This is the Brazil itinerary we have drawn so far on the map in our kitchen. Hopefully we will have better weather than last time we traveled there, although as "earthrounders" we will need to get used to waiting for thunderstorms to pass. And we already have some experience...
About 5 years ago, when coming back from a trip to Peninsula Valdes where we had seen whales, penguins and sea lions, we got stopped by thunderstorms and instead of making it back to Buenos Aires, we had to land in Bahia Blanca, an average size port city in the South of Buenos Aires Province. We were stuck there for over 48 hours, in a hotel without charm, watching weather forecasts on TV while it was pouring outside. Between downpours, we visited the city - was quick- and even went to the movies. It reminded me of a similar situation in Mexico when I was about 15 years old. Our family had traveled to Veracruz to visit but it rained non-stop so we couldn't do much. So we went to the movies...and ended up watching a Korean movie subtitled in Spanish but we didn't speak Spanish yet ... the outing was a total flop and we often laughed about it later:) Coming back to Bahia Blanca, since our underwhelming experience there, the city's name has become the word for "hole in the wall" in our family. I apologize for not sharing a picture of the place but I couldn't find anything interesting enough on the internet, which kind of drives my point home... Picture of the whale we saw in Peninsula Valdes is more worthwhile:
More recently, our plans have also been aborted due to thunderstorms in Brazil where in 2017 we were going on a 3 week summer "roadtrip" (by plane) from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro and back (about 4000 km in total), stopping at various beaches in the area of Florianopolis on the way. Well, we never made it to Rio: after a week in the South, a bad weather system appeared and it was soooo big that they forecasted it would last several weeks. So instead of heading north to Rio, we escaped Brazil while it was still -barely- possible. We hired a Brazilian pilot who was instrument rated to take us from Florianopolis to Porto Alegre. Getting out of Florianopolis was almost like mission impossible: we were on standby for several hours until a small hole in the thunderclouds appeared. At that moment, we all ran to the plane under pouring rain and the pilot maneuvered us out of there safely, greatly assisted by Air Traffic Control (in Portuguese of course). We landed in Porto Alegre to let him go and continued with better weather to Punta del Este in Uruguay. There, TV's in all places were showing how rain and thunder was spoiling the Brazilian vacations of thousands of Argentine tourists and we felt extremely relieved we had managed to break away.
But Rio is still pending...so the plan for the next trip is:
Curitiba: the smart city, completely re-engineered in the past 50 years, one of the few Brazilian cities with a very high Human Development Index according to their official site.
Paraty: the end of the colonial gold trail where gold from the Minas Gerais was loaded to sail to Portugal
Rio de Janeiro! we just watched the series "Coisa mais linda" about its trendiness in the sixties- and Buzios, the beach town that Brigitte Bardot made famous and that subsequently suffered what they call "the argentine invasion" at the end of the 80's:)
Ouro Prieto: one of the main colonial goldmining towns
Brasilia: Alex has been there but I still have this architect-designed-capital on my list
Salvador de Bahia, the very first capital of Portuguese Brazil, and part of Dutch Brazil (1624-1625, I had no idea....)
Sao Luis, to visit the Lencois Maranhenses national parc
and last but not least : Manaos in the Amazonas. I finally get to go to the Amazonas!!(Alex never wanted to because he says there are too many mosquitoes:))
And from there, to the US via the Caribbean.... But before that, I have a request to all of you because I am a big believer in co-creation: Do you have any advice or comments regarding our itinerary? Do you know anyone in Brazil who would like to give us tips? And if you have ever been to Brazil, what did you like most? Anything goes, obrigada!