Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brazil Agenda

Been to an event that does not appear in our calendar? We can now offer those online.

FILE Festival in Porto Alegre

The festival is the FILE Electronic Language International, dedicated to new media and the opportunities they offer to young designers. Music, visual arts, literature ... Art happens more electronics!

A popular vote to appoint the best work of art in three categories is possible. The award is February 27, 2011 at Santander Cultural. The FILE Symposium opened on the first day of the festival and devotes a large space for exhibitions and debates.

When: from January 6 to February 29, 2012
Website: www.file.org.br
Destination: Brazil

Drums of Mina in São Luís do Maranhão

Afro-Brazilian rites proper to the State of Maranhão. The sounds of drums echoing in honor of saints peculiar to the State of Maranhão. They follow an annual timetable. The main festivities fall on January 20 (San Sebastian), June 13 (St. Antoine), June 24 (Saint John), 29 and 30 June (St. Peter and St. Marçal), July 26 (Sant'Ana) and August 19 (St. George-Ogum).

When: January 20 to August 19, 2012
Website: www.saoluis.ma.gov.br
Destination: Brazil

Yemanja Festival in Salvador da Bahia

February 2 is a day of celebration all along the coast of Bahia, in homage to Yemanja, the queen of the sea in the Afro-Brazilian religions. The festival takes place especially in Rio Vermelho, where stands the house of Yemanja (casa de Yemanja). Ships at sea for a long procession, laden with offerings and gifts to the goddess of the sea, while on the beaches, people dressed in white sing and dance. Try to follow by boat to the place of offerings. After the ritual is over, the party continues all night.

When: February 2, 2012
Website: www.bahia.com.br
Destination: Brazil

Brazil Travel Itineraries


Attention! The country is huge: buy an air pass to the "jumping flea" from one city to another.

Rio
  •     The Sugar Loaf and Corcovado
  •     Districts Lapa and Santa Teresa
  •     The churches of Centro and Lapa
  •     The beaches: Copacabana (but far from being the best), Ipanema (eclectic in), Leblon (the smartest), do Arpoador (beautiful view), Prainha (the most beautiful, but Barra) ...
  •     The samba schools
  •     February: Carnival
Salvador de Bahia
  •     The district of Pelourinho and baroque churches (do not miss one of Bonfim) and the Convent of São Francisco
  •     The roda of capoeira in Fort Santo Antonio, Terreiro de Jesus or the Fundação Mestre Bimba
  •     The Bahian restaurants
  •     Beaches (Itapuã, Estella Maris, Barra do Flamengo and Jardim de Ala) ...
São Paulo

    Visit the center, and its historic buildings, especially the Patio do Colegio
    MASP and Pinacoteca museums.

Manaus
  •     The old town and the opera
  •     The market
  •     The meeting of the waters and dolphins
  •     Excursion into the jungle with an agency (minimum two days)
  •     Back at the airport in Sao Paulo, Rio or Bahia
Recife
  •     The old town
  •     The chapel Dourada
  •     Around: Olinda, charming colonial town classified by UNESCO
Fortaleza
  •     The Dragao do Mar Cultural Center (Memorial and the culture of Ceará Museum of Contemporary Art)
  •     Nightclubs (do not miss O Pirata, the largest in the world) ...
  •     Nearby, in Ceara Jericoacoara and Canoa Quebrada
Belém
  •     The port and the market Amazon Ver-o-Peso
  •     Park Mangal das Garças
  •     Tour of the island to parrot
Minas Gerais
  •     the colonial city of Ouro Preto and baroque churches
  •     works of Aleijadinho at Congonhas
Brasília
  •     Guided tour of the modern city
  •     The panorama of the TV tower
  •     The buildings and monuments of architecture delusional ...

Campo Grande
  •     The Pantanal, the most beautiful nature reserve of animals in Brazil
  •     swim in crystal clear waters at Bonito (300 km)
Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha
  •     Diving or snorkelling
  •     The most beautiful beaches of Brazil: Baía do Sancho, Baía dos and Praia do Leão Porcos.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brazil In General


When it was 12 in France, it is 9am in Brasilia between October and February and 7 am between March and September. Brazil is divided into four time zones, with 1 hour for each shift (from February to October). Only the Brasilia time zone changes from hour to October (+ 1 hour) and February (- 1 hour), but beware, some cities of that time do not change (eg Belém retains the same time all year) unless the following year, the authorities decide to act any differently! You follow?

Electricity

From one region to another, the catch is fed either 110 V or 220 V, with two-pin plugs. The ideal is therefore to provide an adapter to buy, preferably before you leave, because we do not find that easy there.

Post

Two prices for single or preferential, the latter being more expensive but faster. Count 7 to 10 days minimum for your mail reaches its destination (sometimes less than Rio or Sao Paolo). Posted in the mailbox traditional letters take a little longer to get to Europe.

Telephone and telecommunications

Phone

- From France to Brazil: 00 + 55 + city code (without the first 0) + number.
- From Brazil to France: 00 + an operator number (eg 021) + 33 + number without the first 0.
- Calls interiors: from one city to another, theoretically, should dial an operator (eg 021) + city code (without the first 0) + number. On appeal urban theoretically always, dial the number directly from the peer.
- Telephone information in Brazil city code which is called followed by 102.

It's complicated and the operation is frankly uncertain. Local dialing is 8 digits (after the code). In addition, there are several private operators. The most common is the 021 works throughout the country, you can also use the 023 or 031. Thus, to call Rio to Sao Paulo (code 11) must be: 021 (or 023 or 031) + 11 + correspondent's number.

In practice it is often subject to some trial and error before you get to reach the desired number ...

Calling cards and collect calls

You can call the "big ears" (orelhão in Brazil), which are public telephones. Some who are marked CSD, can only make calls national. For international calls, you need a phone CDI (it is written above), normally not too difficult to find. They work with cards (cartão - pronounced "box"), IO cards, on sale in post offices, some newsagents or call centers, but for international calls, it's better really to get a card code Pine, who can talk much longer. Otherwise, some cities have call center with cabins, which can be called directly or after buying a card at the counter. Reduction in the evening (from 18h) and Sunday. price per minute. Avoid calling from hotels, it is always (much) more expensive. For collect calls (a cobrar / collect call), you can use the services of Embratel (in Portuguese or English) 0800-703-21-11 (also works from a booth).

Mobile Phones

Normally, the latest mobile phones operate in the country. Just make sure with your operator that you have activated the "world". Another option, less expensive, is to buy a SIM card (for about ten reais) in a booth or a mobile phone shop. You then assign a local phone number and a small call credit.

Internet

There are places to surf everywhere, including in some small towns. They are usually open from morning to night without interruption. Starting from February to May Rls for 1h. Most also allow use Skype at no additional cost. Otherwise, many hotels and AJ have a terminal connected to the Internet, pay or not. And it is sometimes possible to get free in some French Alliances and some post offices.


Transportation in Brazil



The plane

Tam and Gol are companies that provide most of the flights in the country. In principle, Gol is cheaper than Tam, but it is always better to compare their respective tariffs as Tam also offers specials.

About low cost carriers, there are others in Brazil, fairly recent, as Avianca, Web Jet Azul.
Otherwise, the domestic airline Tam Airlines offers several packages of 90 days very interesting: the Brazil Air Pass. They are only for foreigners. The first pass, the least expensive ($ 532) includes four coupons, other versions are available, up to 9 coupons (9 domestic flights to $ 1,152), but still 90 days. The Brazil Air Pass can be purchased in France and some European countries.

Also important: you must book your flights in France well before the start, even change your route on site ($ 30 each change.

There are also local companies, serving the smaller cities of the regions where they operate, as Trip in the Amazon.

The bus

Clean, comfortable, safe, punctual ... the bus network in Brazil is very well organized and is an excellent mode of transport.

Buses are especially convenient for travel within a state because they can go anywhere. However, for very long distances, they compete with the aircraft, not really more expensive. Similarly, in the Amazon, you sometimes make detours of several days to reach the destination. Again, between the bus and plane, the choice is usually quick. Many trips are at night.

Each city has its rodoviária (bus station or terminal Rodoviário). There are lanchonetes to eat, toilets (sometimes with showers), telephones, instructions (guarda volumes), often ATMs and sometimes Internet access ...

- One drawback: you have to wait to be in the stage town to reserve the next drive.

- A tip: book your bus tickets upon arrival in your city-step. However, tickets are not exchangeable or refundable.

- On medium and large distances, three types of buses, according to the comfort convencional (no AC or WC), executivo (with AC, toilet, reclining seats and distributors of coffee and water) and leito (semi sleeper seats, almost horizontally, with pillows and blankets).

- Information from companies Itapemirim, São Geraldo, Viação Águia Branca and Real Expresso.

The train

This means of transport practically does not exist except as a local curiosity, to serve on the outskirts of Rio, Minas Gerais rally in Vitoria (Espirito Santo) or to explore a little Sierra to the south, in Santa Catarina.

The car

In many areas, the car is the means of the tour more enjoyable. Expect, however, at very long distances. In theory, it is not moving faster in Brazil (80 km / h), and many trucks are not easy to overtake on the narrow roads, often busy.

- Roads are correct throughout, especially in the south and the southeast, but beware rutted pavement on secondary roads and in some remote areas (we can quickly put out a tire). Paved roads can be littered with many nests-holes.

- Motorways and expressways are rare, and service stations in some areas. In the Amazon, few paved roads are sometimes used as the dry season. As for the transamazonnienne or BR 319 (between Manaus and Porto Velho), they now contain, lack of maintenance, impassable sections throughout the year.

- Ride the night to avoid. Inadequate signage in the day becomes zero after dark. At night, in some neighborhoods of large cities, Brazilians do not stop at a red light for fear of attacks, lock your doors!

- Watch for trucks, which run quickly, and conduct Brazilian, sometimes ... Surprisingly, in vehicles not always in good condition. And do as they do: at junctions, crossings, etc.., Make use or overuse of the horn to signal your presence!

- Signage: curves are rarely indicated, and the systematic speed bumps at the entrances to villages.

- Rent a car prices, taking into account the offers and weekends are around 35-40 € per day, minimum. The International Driving Permit is required in some states.

Traditions of Brazil


Religions and beliefs

If Brazil is the largest Catholic country in the world, the fact remains that it is also the largest country in African religion Yoruba, referred to as the overall Candomblé. There are surely more devotees of Candomblé in Brazil than in Africa, about the same as Brazilian Catholics.

On Sunday morning, at Mass, everyone is Catholic, but on Monday night or any night of the week, the same will go to terreiro candomblé be possessed by the African gods or sacrificing an animal with the same fervor as in the Eucharist.

Candomblé

Religious rituals where beauty is part of the festival, each orixá candomblé characterized by a multitude of attributes, objects, materials, seven days a week, ornaments, jewelry, plants, colors, songs, drums, food preparation and specific sacrifices , a place that houses ... all of which show his presence, but may vary in different regions of Brazil.

The terreiros of Candomblé

The worship of orixás, Nigeria, except for major holidays community is primarily domestic. The conditions of survival of African cultures in Brazil have created the terreiros of Candomblé houses of worship as true community in the middle of a neighborhood.

It is a small parish house, surrounded by a small community of direct assistance, and who used his insider trading when he or she needs them for an important ritual. The terreiro provides assistance to the entire neighborhood.

Syncretism

Candomblé had to use pseudonyms instead of naming and representing orixás the way Yoruba, the terreiros and their followers the collection of images of saints of the Christian mythology, found in such a detail religious images, color, one subject who showed the presence of orixá.

The merger took place in the Brazilian imagination. This ended up creating a kind of Brazilian syncretism which we do not know which way it always honors, Christian or Yoruba.

The Umbanda

In the regions, cities or communities where black communities were less cohesive, the mask of Christian orixás of Candomblé evolved into various forms of syncretism that are grouped under the term of Umbanda.

Various sects and evangelism

There are all sorts of religions, from the more traditional (Orthodox Christians, Protestants of various schools, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Shinto), to more exotic, through the sects of the most extravagant local generation.

Concern, however, the rise in the slums of a phenomenon that goes beyond the Brazilian penchant for hair-raising religions: the breakthrough of cults in general, and especially Pentecostal evangelists.

Shamanism

In a hostile environment and rich, where the sacred is mingled with profane, the shaman (witch doctor) is one of the most significant Indian communities. Apart Guayaki Indians and GHGs, in whom we do not find a trace, shamanism is one of the traits of culture common to all the Amazon Basin.

Manners and customs

Some rules of life

Very demonstrative, Brazilians have easy contact, and we are given frequently abraço (hug) is also a word used to say goodbye. The report is free to the body along the coast, the tropical climate and the beach incentive to dress lightly, so to show her body. However, the topless on beaches remains taboo.

Punctuality

For transport by bus, schedules are often observed, except in cases of heavy rain, breakdown or accident. However, if you set an appointment with a Brazilian taxi driver, confirm it several times and expect a certain amount of delay. Patience is one of the great virtues of each Brazilian necessary to face the queues.

Tip

In restaurants, the service may or may not be included in the bill. If it is not, the note is increased by 10%, which does not always leave, in addition, a tip ... Added to this is also the most expensive restaurants, a 10% tax.

By taxi, it rounds the sum if the driver has shown nice or at short distances. We can also give 2-3 Rls doormen in hotels, as well as gas station attendants if they clean the windows and check the pressure.

If you travel by car in Brazil, you will notice every street parking, people who take to help you maneuver and keep an eye on your car. The function of these "gatekeepers" is not official but it is recognized. It always leaves one or two Rls to return.

Ditto for another little job: keeper umbrella ... They are found at the entrance of the stores as soon as rain comes!

Bargaining

It is rather frowned upon a bargain price in a craft store or even on the market. In a pinch, you will get a discount of 5 to 10% by emphasizing good. However, very tourist markets as Fortaleza and Salvador, feel free to negotiate prices.

Moreover, one can easily apply a discount on room rates in hotels and pousadas, Tour and sometimes car rental. Discounts are often given for a cash payment.

Hygiene

You throw toilet paper in a bin and not in the toilet because the system of sewerage and sewage are still far from being developed, sometimes forming in major cities of water channels Foul open.

Sports and Leisure in Brazil



Football, volleyball and kite surfing

When we talk about sport in Brazil, one thinks of course football, the rank of popular religion by all Brazilians and practiced in all towns and villages. The number and size of football stadiums in Brazilian cities is testimony to the popularity of this sport, the most famous being the Maracana in Rio and Sao Paulo Morumbi. Every major city has at least two teams, so two stages, a team supported by the working class and another supported by the bourgeois class.

To experience the atmosphere vibrant games and plunge into all this madness in Brazil, you can go to the stadium, usually on Wednesdays and Sundays. For large meetings, everything stops.

After football, volleyball and beach volleyball, practiced on the beaches of the coast, are very popular and appreciated by men and women. Like basketball, which saw the birth of the top players. The middle class particularly enjoys tennis. Not to mention the formula 1, popularized by the legendary motor racing driver, Nelson Piquet Rubens Barichello or Ayrton Senna.

On the coast of the Northeast, from August to September, the kite was on a roll! The small town of Paracuru, a hundred kilometers north of Fortaleza, has become in recent years, one of the spots in the world of the sport, like Jericoacoara or Barra Grande.

Otherwise, there is little known in Europe but activity practiced by a majority of Brazilians, walking tonic (!). This activity requires very specific conditions in these regions because it is performed preferably in an idyllic setting along the coastal beaches such as Copacabana, to name only the most famous...

Early morning or late afternoon, a crowd uniform, wearing a tight-fitting shorts, sneakers and futuristic usually equipped with a walkman, with an energetic pacing the few miles along the vast sandy beaches. Democratic activity, practiced alone or with others, from 7 to 77 years, which sometimes offers an unusual sight on the beaches of Rio, the Espírito Santo and Bahia.

Capoeira

Practiced in many Brazilian cities, in the afternoon or evening in the square by the sea or the sound of African songs and three musical instruments, amazing dancers, often dressed in white, two rival two in the middle of a circle formed by the participants. The pace particular, the vibration of the steel cord of berimbaus the choir clearly truculent and profane at the same time chanting, this can attract your attention. And tricks of the "dancer-combatants", usually men, will make you think it could be a ballet-like tragic and murderous.

Hidden within this amazing dance, it is one of the most formidable combat sports that are borrowed from the martial techniques of various African nations. Capoeira is now practiced throughout Brazil, with championships and a sports federation (which are obviously the best academies in Bahia). It serves as a flag to the various cultural movements of black consciousness.

The "game animals"

On popular games, you can see many blocks from the downtown of men sitting on chairs, pen and notebook in hand, waiting for customers for the jogo do bicho. The "game animals" is parallel in paris (and illegal) is being done on animals, on the same principle as the National Lottery. It was invented in the 1870s to raise funds to redevelop the city zoo. The idea was taken illegally.

It is an institution in Brazil, the police do not seek to prohibit. Indeed, the rich people at the head of the Paris underground grease the highest political police and paws. In addition, they largely fund the carnival, and that's sacred!

Health and Safety in Brazil



The situation of public health in Brazil is improving despite difficult geographical areas, and isolated cases of cholera and meningitis.

Dengue fever is rising considerably. Yellow fever has been resurgence across the South and particularly in the country's tourism.

However, few serious general risks outside the favelas and rural Amazon, provided to be careful with water. If you choose to go to a private hospital, know that the price of care is very high. It is therefore advisable to take out travel insurance before departure.

Amazon

For stays in the Amazon rainforest, a medical consultation in a center of international vaccinations and advice to travelers is essential, even if only to assess the risk of malaria (there is also a treatment against it will be required) and also address the prevention of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis steadily expanding. Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory.

Remember to bring systems water purification: as appropriate, tablets for chemical disinfection, microbial filters Katadyn type.

Mosquitoes

The main risk of disease comes from mosquitoes. In the forest, it is malaria, yellow fever, leishmaniasis, dengue ... But dengue fever, up sharply, too prevalent in urban areas.

Do you maintain, as far as possible, bites! And that night (malaria) and day (dengue, etc.).. In the forest, in areas infested with mosquitoes, cover up, you sprinkle effective repellents (DEET greater than 35%) and in the absence of air conditioning, do not sleep without a good ITN ... Remember to soak into your clothes.

For the most part, mosquito repellents / arthropods sold in supermarkets or pharmacies are not or insufficiently effective. Nevertheless, there are a range reliable and consistent with the recommendations of the French Ministry of Health: Insect Screen.

In the Amazon, the germ that causes malaria is resistant Nivaquine, we recommend Malarone or, failing that, the Lariam or doxycycline. CAUTION: This is potentially photosensitizing. In all cases, seek the advice of your doctor in every way, these drugs are issued with a prescription.

Some recommendations

- Risk Standing for tourists: the sun. Remember, cap or hat, good sunglasses and sunscreen. Be careful the first few days and do not linger too long on the beaches ... Drink plenty of water.

- Another possible problem: parasites, which multiply in the Brazilian countryside and beaches. Do not walk barefoot and avoid swimming in fresh water. At Bahia in particular, but on all the beaches in general, attention to bicho PE (larva migrans), a parasite that lives in the sand and into the foot. To avoid this, one solution: wear shoes - or sandals - on the beach and lie on a mat!

- Be wary also of bugs, especially in the Amazon: one of them (red and black) transmits Chagas disease, a rare but serious. As for snakes, scorpions and spiders, just watch where you walk and not put his hands anywhere ... In the forest, sleeping in hammocks to avoid this, covered with nets. And we inspect your shoes before putting them on.

- Consultations with a GP practice are very expensive (45 to € 75). The same is true for drugs.

- Pharmacies: in large cities, no difficulty finding open day and night. Please note, employees are not white coats ... pharmacists (pharmacist is usually one day per week). When in doubt, get advice from a doctor before you rush to the pharmacy.

- Finally, remember to protect yourself against AIDS by using condoms.

Dangers and annoy

The images of social and urban violence are cause for concern, yet the day, the beaches and the streets are crowded in the evening, terraces and bars remain lively late at night.

Brazil Is a violent country? Yes, certainly, with about 50,000 murders a year (!). But this spectacular and bloody violence on the world of the little traveler. Over 75% of crimes are the result of conflicts between corrupt police and a youth poor and desperate they are held in the slums of the outskirts.

Specific policies (Policia turística) were established in some large cities (Belém and Salvador, for example). Agents roam all day the sights.

So Brazil is it a dangerous country for the traveler? Our answer is clear: you can travel without worry as long to observe a few simple rules.

We must distinguish, however, within the country, small towns, where the violence was not over, and major urban centers in Rio, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Recife, Natal and Fortaleza, prudence.

Tips

- Dress Code: Rule number one, do not look like a tourist!
- Go out with the bare minimum.
- Avoid the trappings of wealth.
- Photos: if you plan to take pictures, a small device that fits in your pocket is better than a bag full of sophisticated objectives.
- At the beach, use an ordinary plastic bag and take only the bare minimum.
- Night: in large cities (such as Rio, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Belém ...), avoid a stroll on foot after dark, move more in a taxi. If you have a car, do as the other drivers and do not stop at red lights only when necessary.

Tips for the money

This is obviously the primary target.

- Always make changes in the specialty pharmacies.
- Never change a stranger, who offers you an attractive rate, it is a blow to be robbed.
- The output of the currency exchange is a place where the robbery attempt and is current.
- In general, do not keep you on the money needed and leave the rest in the hotel safe or properly hidden in your luggage (with a closed padlock).
- Belts with zip inside or installed under your pants are a good solution, provided to a discrete model (cloth) and, of course, avoid using it as a portfolio by putting all money and opening it in public!
- Avoid having large bills in excess of the equivalent of € 20. If you have euros on you, take them out quietly, not bundles.
- Do not leave your wallet or your papers in the back pocket of your pants!
- Never agree to share a drink with a stranger.
- During the carnival in Salvador, Recife, or Rio, follow all previous. Many pickpockets are rife.

Drugs

We rarely offer drugs to travelers or tourists. Though it depends on the cities. That, at least, a daily reality in Brazil. Large quantities of illicit drugs at low prices to move, mainly marijuana and cocaine. Repression of their possession, transport, use, or trafficking is very severe, whatever the amount.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Accommodation In Brazil


- Reminder: During the holidays (New Year carnival celebration Tirandentes, Holy Week, long bridges, etc..), Most hotels having packages (Pacot), that is to say a minimum stay of three, five or even seven days, at high prices.

Hostels (albergues da Juventud)

The hostel network is very comprehensive. They are mostly well designed and clean, offering breakfast and many services, such as free access to the kitchen, Internet connection or bike rental. There is no age limit to stay in AJ. It is not necessary to be a member of Hostelling International, but you'll pay a few reais more if you're not.

The United Federation of Youth Hostels offers its members the opportunity to book online through its international reservation system. You pay a 5% deposit and booking fee.


The pousadas

In Portugal, a pousada is a luxury hotel listed building. In Brazil, that's not it at all! In general, these are small structures not too expensive, the atmosphere more or less friendly. But we have seen, as the pousada of really attractive to high prices! In short, the term "pousada" is elastic enough, especially since, not to simplify, some institutions that one is tempted to call pousada (large family house, with cottages) are called ... hotel.

Hotels

Vague term, too, since it can just as easily refer to a home-like hotel pousada a classical structure. However, a building primarily functional, with reception rooms on floors numbered, is still called "hotel" and not "pousada". Like these, they can be in all categories. They are often without much character, but generally well kept and comfortable. Without some areas, um quarto means a single room, sometimes with shared shower and apartamento a double room with private bathroom. Apartamento is a bit more expensive.

Motels

Excellent hotels mainly for fun lovers. By no means reserved for prostitution, they provide for expensive and not well a few hours, a Hollywood backdrop of alcove, equipped and adapted to all kinds of fantasies, quiet and comfort. The most kitsch are in peripheral areas, identifiable by their evocative name ... The motel is a sociological necessity: as there are many families in Brazil, the couple may not have places to cuddle.

Apartment rentals

A solution under development in the country, usually through agencies. The problem is the same as everywhere else: you really have to trust the agency to book in peace! We have selected a few, who often work only on a city and you will find in the places concerned.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Geography, climate and weather In Brazil



It is a federal republic divided into 26 states, federal district and five major administrative regions. 65% of the population in the South East and South

- The North: the largest region of the country and the least populated. With much of the Midwest, the North as the Legal Amazon. It is almost entirely forested.

- The Northeast: here and in the North are concentrated latifundia, vast private estates of tens of thousands of hectares. From there come the millions of landless peasants who are scrambling around the capitals of South-East, or will form the fronts of colonization and deforestation in the North and Midwest. Land of great wealth and cultural traditions, today is also a region ravaged by social deprivation.

- The Midwest: the continental shelf of the country, the geographic center of which is built the capital, Brasilia. It is divided between the arid highlands, covered with vegetation of the cerrado, and the region of swamps and tropical forests, which, east of the Rio Araguaia, the universe continues exuberant Amazon. Sparsely populated, the Midwest is also, in its western part, a land settlement of peasants from the South and Northeast, and a place of conflict for the possession of the land. The cerrado is largely devoted to cattle ranching.

- South East, which is only 10% of the country, is home to 40% of Brazilians. Heart of Brazil developed its vitality and its economic fevers, this region, where agriculture high performance of colonial origin was combined with industrial concentration, is symbolized by the power of São Paulo and Rio radiation . Country of vegetation and tropical climate, beautiful coastline and forested mountains, dotted with hot springs and inland lakes and historical sites of great beauty.

- The South is a subtropical and temperate. This is the land of the gauchos, Brazilian cowboys and rodeos churrascos (of beef grilled). Beautiful natural sites. While enjoying a cooler climate, especially in winter in the far south is a land where the black and Indian roots, utopias and the Jesuit traditions of immigrants from Central Europe have formed an amazing mix. A land where social balance, put to the test here as well, yet no one knows the sinking of the country.

Climate

Brazil is so large that it is virtually impossible to define the ideal time to travel there. The country is situated in the southern hemisphere; the seasons are reversed compared to us.

In the south, the southern summer extends from December to March. It is very hot or stuffy in Rio and São Paulo. It is not free of tropical rains, sometimes sudden and torrential. The short winter from June to September, but temperatures remain pleasant 12 ° C overnight at 25 ° C day (roughly).

In southern Brazil, the coast offers an almost Mediterranean climate: mild winters, hot summer.
- In the states of the Northeast - Bahia and Pernambuco - near the equator, heat, heavy at times from December to March, is punctuated by frequent but brief showers. Prefer the period from September to mid-December to visit this area.

- The Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul also know, during the austral summer, a rainy season floods the plains of the Pantanal. The city of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, is reputed to be one of the hottest Brazil, with temperatures around 40 ° C throughout the year.

- The Amazon is a hot, humid and rainy. In the forest, the humidity reaches 100%. There are two periods: that of the CHUV, which extends from January to June (sometimes torrential rain), and one that goes from July to December, best time to travel in the Amazon, some days escaping the rain!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brazil Culture



M
usic

This is the samba. It can be slow, song dressed in a voice still hot, then samba Canção, or hymn to the rhythm rolling and jerky carnival parade, samba enredo, or even walk leading to the collective enthusiasm, walked ranch ... She is always composed at the turn of a play on words, a desire, the memory of a past love. Above all popular music, it runs the district, city, radio waves. Samba saw its heyday during the carnival, but it fills the life of every Brazilian, especially in Rio, with multiple schools. Competition is severe and each year we compete in talent to create the most beautiful parade, call the samba and choose who will become a tube, prepare costumes, rehearse with the musicians and dancers ...

Brazilian music also captures the many influences from the world, especially Africa, but also Latin and Western styles that mix to reinvent between pop, jazz and African rhythms. Often with the feeling of indescribable saudade (nostalgia, melancholy), which is perhaps the secret of the music found in Cuba, Angola and Cape Verde. Saudade is also reflected perfectly in the bossa nova, born of a merger between the acoustic guitar and the sweet life of Bahia beaches.

In Minas Gerais, the voice of Milton Nascimento lives in the tropical mountains, and in a different genre, hard rock group Sepultura, adored by another audience in Europe and the United States ...

Assert new trends. Like rap, that Brazil digests its way, with a return to reality "naked and raw," and yet festive swing. And all the music derived from the carnival-like focus to music or Chiclete Daniela Mercury, which attract all the young Bahia, or pagoda, a popular Rio to Salvador, a sort of samba reduced training, sung by the particular Zeca Pagodinho Carioca. And Afro blocks carnival in Salvador da Bahia.

And then there's the music of the Northeast: the forró warm to energy, with its syncopated rhythms of accordion brega the area of
​​Belém and Marajó Island, which means "corny" and attracts couples dancers applied to the ball Friday night, or the languor Sertaneja frevo and Recife.

Not to mention the famous MPB Musica Popular do Brazil, you meet all street corners and in many bars and restaurants. A kind of bossa nova revisited in the 1960s by the great of the time.

Museums, sites and monuments

Museums and churches are generally closed during the carnival, and sometimes between Christmas and New Year's Day. Except for major museums, opening hours are often variable, depending on the weather or the mood of the guard ... Discounts (or free) are often granted with the international student card. Reminder: to visit most of the religious buildings, proper attire (legs and shoulders covered) are required!

Show Your Support For Walgreens

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Because of the unsuccessful talks among Walgreens and Express Scripts makes the people who are under the medical insurance plans administered by Express Scripts are badly shocked. The business deal of Walgreens and Express Scripts concluded on December 31, 2011 and the worst news that shatters us is that the Walgreens is no longer part of Express Scripts pharmacy provider network from January 1, 2012. Moreover this has rooted disturbances and inconvenience to the people who are using the wonderful service of Walgreens pharmacies for years and also have set up a special association with their Walgreens pharmacist. To diminish their trouble and difficulty, Walgreens has offered an all-inclusive nationwide action to build this changeover as smooth as promising by presenting unique discounts on annual membership for the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens . People can join their exceptional January promotion just for $5, or $10 for a family membership, and also can receive savings on above entire generic drugs. More than 400 generics are available by a three month supply for below $1 per week and can get reductions on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers, as well as diabetics supplies. Support Walgreens by following them on Walgreens on Twitter and Walgreens on Facebook.

Pimp My Cube Contest

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Contest Factory for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
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This competition has a splendid prize value of about $1200. The prize is to modernize your workspace or cube by means of one of three prize packages found below:
- Brand new computer system

- Desk, Chair and Decorations

- Brand new entertainment package with high-end stereo, espresso machine and so on.

And the second prize of a $200 gift card will be rewarded to the enrolled user selected by means of random drawing at the conclusion of the contest.
Please take a look of the contest video presented in this article and get a idea about it. Just shoot a video of your work place and enter the contest in the PMC website. The contest will end on 1/31/11 at 12:00PM. So, please be hurry :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brazil Food and Drink



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uisine


Brazilian cuisine is the result of the amazing marriage of Portuguese culinary traditions, Indian and African, with inputs Italian, Slavic, Jewish and even Arab. Apart from Bahia, where the African influence is predominant, and Belém (Indian influence), it is impossible to disentangle the various influences.

Dishes

- Feijoada: This is the national dish of Brazil. In restaurants, it is traditionally served on Saturday evening. Beans are simmered with feet, tails and ears of salt pork, brisket and smoked sausage, meat smoked beef, all flavored with garlic and onions back to palm oil.

- São Paulo or Minas Gerais has Virada: the bean is transformed into a puree. Served with rice, collard greens and served with pork chops, roast of pork rinds and bananas breaded.

- Carne do Sol (carne seca) of beef salted and smoked. With mashed cassava is the star of the gastronomy of the Northeast.

- Farofa: fried manioc meal to which is added to the selection of small pieces of carne do sol, sausage, eggs, beans, herbs and onions.

- Moqueca of peixe or Camarão:
it brings back the fish or shellfish with onion, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes in coconut milk and it finishes cooking with palm oil. Served with rice and a pirão.

- Empadão: large pie stuffed with meat or shrimp with hearts of palm and other vegetables. As much revenue as houses.

- Cuscus: couscous Brazil. Nothing to do with the Maghreb, this is a cake of cornmeal, stuffed shrimp and sardines, with pieces of vegetables. Two types of cuscus predominant: the Paulista and cuscus cuscus bahiano.

- Vatapi: delicious puree made from bread or wheat flour, including shrimp, coconut milk, ginger, cashew nuts, spices, etc.. One of the most famous dishes of Bahian cuisine, known throughout Brazil.

- Buchada Carneiro: a triumph of Pernambuco kitchen! Belly stuffed with sheep guts and offal, prepared in a stew with herbs and cooked in court bouillon.

- Churrasco is a major "sports" in Brazil. His reputation is gaucho country. This is the grilled beef.

- Pernil assado: whole ham, fresh roasted, with farofa and grilled pork rinds. São Paulo and Minas Gerais tradition.

- Pao de queijo: are found throughout the country. A kind of small cabbage cheese, sometimes filled with different sauces. Appetizers.

- Salgados: an institution. Snacks sold for next to nothing in many bars, and Padaria lanchonetes form of fried salted meat, fish, cheese or vegetables. To nibble on or off the premises.

- Pudim: dessert, excellent small blanks milky and sweet at will.

- Pé de Moleque: a candy made from peanuts and caramel, a kind of nougat. Sold on street stalls, including Paraty and Salvador, which also offer the bolo do estudante, gelatinous cake made from coconut, coated cashews.

- Romeo e Julieta: guava pulp which is eaten with cheese Mineiro (like feta). A marriage of sweet and salty. Very popular.

- Fruits: wide variety of shapes and flavors.

Beverages

Soft drinks

- Water: Do not necessarily tap water and drink bottled water. Brazil has an infinite number of excellent natural sources.

- Cafezinho ("small coffee"): a national institution. Everywhere, if you need to wait, you the offer.

- Guaraná: the national soda. Prepared from the fruit of the guarana plant exclusively Brazilian Amazon, but this version of guaraná soft drink has nothing to do with the original version of the Indians, which is a real exciting!

- Guaraná em po: a traditional Indian beverage, the virtues of energy, balancing and toning.

- Sucos and vitamins in any bar or greasy spoon, drink the fresh juice prepared in a blender. A health treatment based on vitamins.

- Mate: drink traditional colonial. An infusion of the herb material - yerba mate. Toning and balancing plant, the material is consumed in two forms, very different!

- The cha maté: infusion of the herb roasted, which gives a dark brown tea.

- The material of chimarão: the national drink of southern Brazil, especially the gauchos. The green grass, dried and chopped, prepared as a tea in a small gourd individual.

- Caldo de Cana: juice of sugar cane crushed and pressed directly into machines. Sweet juice and taste fairly neutral, sometimes decorated with lime: dynamite vitamin for next to nothing.

Everywhere in the streets, in markets

- Coco verde: everywhere too, in the streets, on beaches or along roads, strong men armed with machetes took off a scalp to the skull with green coconut milk drink with a straw. One can also buy it in bottles.

- Phicol: acts of sorbets, which sucks on a stick like an Eskimo, sold in the streets or beaches.

Alcoholic beverages

- Cachaça: also called pinga or aguardente. With beer, it's one of the most popular alcoholic beverages. It is a small agricultural rum titration.

- Caïpirinha: literally, the "little country girl." A cocktail made from cachaça, crushed ice well softened, crushed lime and sugar cane. A ritual required.

- Beers: The national drink, the Brazilians have a way to serve iced. The heavy drinkers to lengthen a glass of cachaça!

- Wine: There are wine growing interest mainly from the South, cabernet franc grape. But they are nowhere near the quality of wines from Argentina or Chile.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Money, banking, foreign exchange of Brazil


The currency of Brazil is the real. Its rate is quite fluctuating, but mid-2011, this gives approximately: R 1 = € 0.45 or € 1 = 2.25 Rls. To have reais, two solutions: change or withdrawal by card at ATMs, many in the country.

- To change, we strongly recommend to visit the cambios (bureaux de change), present in every city of any importance, rather than in the Banco do Brasil, which take a high commission. It changes the euro cash at a price not less favorable than the dollar. Attention, they do not change traveler's checks. For that, you must go to certain agencies of Banco do Brasil, but the commission of these is even stronger than for the species! In short, it is better to go with the euro in cash and a Visa or MasterCard.


- Visa and MasterCard: include a commission (7-8 €) but, as is done at the official rate of the day, this is not necessarily less favorable than if you change your euros in currency exchange.
Payment cards are also accepted in most hotels and restaurants of a certain category, and in a lot of shops and boutiques. The transaction is safe and is performed at the official rate of the day.

- Important: If you plan a trip of several days away from major cities, make sure you have enough reserves, as it will be difficult or impossible to change or withdraw cash with a credit card . In these places, it is better also bring small bills.

Budget

With the rise in the real for some time, Brazil has become a rather expensive country. In some cities, the cost of living is even close enough to what it is here. Even the cities of the Amazon are not that cheap. However, in the interior regions, the cost of living remains very affordable.
The price ranges are approximate. They can vary from one region or one city to another.

Accommodation

On the coast, particularly in the Northeast, many hotels and pousadas have tariffs high season, roughly from mid-December until February carnival. In July and August, prices are also experiencing an inflationary fever. In low season you can expect lower rates of 10 to 25%.

- In tourist areas, hotels also tend to impose a Pacot during peak periods: it is a minimum stay of 3 to 5 nights at prices significantly inflated.

- In the great majority of cases, breakfast is included in the price of the room.

- Sometimes some institutions (category "Chic") add a tax of 5 to 15%.

- You can sometimes get a discount (10-20%) by paying cash, even if you stay more than one night.

Prices below are for a double room.

- Budget: less than Rls 80 (€ 36).

- Average Prices: 80 to 120 Rls (about 36-54 €).

- More chic: from 120 to 180 Rls (about 54-80 €).

Restoration

Prices are those we give you a full meal, essentially a flat, generally quite rich à la carte dishes are usually for two people.

- Inexpensive: less than 20 Rls (about € 9)

- Average Prices: 20 to 35 Rls (about 9 to € 16).

- More chic: Rls 35 to 50 (about 16 to € 22).

Purchases

You'll still be able to do some good shopping at reasonable prices.

- In the North and the Amazon (Manaus, Belem, Macapá ...): woven bags and hammocks, ceramics, stoneware, pottery and the famous island of Marajó. Basketry, colorful necklaces with many seeds.

- In Pernambuco famous terracotta figurines naive, brightly painted, depicting scenes from everyday life.

- In El Salvador and Bahia state, why not a tracksuit capoeira? The "Rastas" are the most common. Prefer the official mark Afro Bahia. Havaianas flip flops, and fitas of Nosso Senhor do Bomfin, small woven bracelets good luck charm.

- On the coast, from Rio to Salvador: bikinis. For men, the lycra shorty version year 1950 is a must (!). To complete the range, sarongs and flip flops Havaianas.

- In the Minas Gerais: beautiful objects made of "soapstone," a smooth stone and marble. Semi-precious stones, including amethyst.

- From Fortaleza to Recife: white doilies, lace, colorful blankets.

- The region of Natal: small glass bottles containing exotic landscapes.

- The Pantanal region: ceramics, wood objects, fabric.

- Turning to gastronomy, in Belém, wholesale candy dough fruit coated with chocolate. In Salvador, the goiabada (guava paste) and cocadinha da Bahia, confectionery coconut.

Before Departure To Brazil


Useful Addresses

- Brazilian Tourist Office: 34, cours Albert-I, 75008 Paris. M.: Alma-Marceau. Tel. : 01-45-61-63-00. The premises of the embassy. Open Monday to Friday from 9h30 to 13h and from 14h30 to 17h30.


- Embassy of Brazil: 34, cours Albert-I, 75008 Paris. M.: Alma-Marceau. Tel. : 01-45-61-63-00/68.

- Consular Section: 65, avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 75008 Paris. Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt. No info by phone, visit their website or send them a fax. For visas, open to the public only on Monday and Wednesday from 14h to 15h30.

- Brazil Tourism: 6, rue Louis-Armand, 74000 Annecy. Tel. : 04-50-46-41-55. This association may send you free literature, and organizes custom trips, with possible extensions to other countries in South America.

In Belgium

- Embassy of Brazil: Avenue Louise 350, Box 5, 1050 Brussels. Tel. : 02-640-20-15. Consulate in the same premises.

In Switzerland

- Embassy of Brazil: Monbijoustrasse 68, 3007 Bern. Tel. : 031-371-85-15. Open Monday to Friday from 9h to 13h and from 14h30 to 17h.

- No consular service in Bern.

- Consulate in Zurich: Bürglistrasse 6-8, 8002 Zurich. Tel. : 044-206-90-20.

- Consulate in Geneva: 54, rue de Lausanne, 3rd Floor, 1202 Geneva. Tel. : 022-906-94-20.

In Canada

- Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil 450 Wilbrod Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6M8-. Tel: 613-237-1090 or 755-5160. Visa Section is open from Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 11:30. Allow 8 days of delay and $ 72 CA for Canadian citizens.

- Consulate General of Brazil in Montreal: tel. : 514-499-0968 or 0969.

- Consulate General of Brazil in Toronto: tel. : 416-922-2503.

- Honorary Consulate in Vancouver (tel. 604-601-5001) and Halifax (tel. 902-462-0714).

Entry


- Passport: valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry in Brazil for the French, Belgians and Swiss.

- Visa: It is no longer mandatory for the French, Belgians and Swiss tourism if the stay does not exceed 3 months (6 months). However, tourist visa requirement for Canadians (plane ticket round trip required to get it), valid for 5 years (Consular information - see above).

- When you enter the territory, Customs will give you a cartão de entrada / Saida. Keep it, you will be asked when you leave.

- Exemption from taxes: Here are the maximum amounts that can be imported into the country without declaring them to customs: 400 cigarettes or 250g of cigars or 225 grams of tobacco, 2 liters of wine or liquor, perfume (no limit).

Vaccinations

- Vaccines Required: even if Brazil does in practice almost never vaccination against yellow fever for entry into its territory for travelers from Europe (except to visit the Pantanal, in Mato Grosso ), it is highly recommended to get vaccinated against the disease: very serious epidemics have punctuated the years 2008-2010. In addition, if you come from other countries in South America, this vaccine is required.

- Vaccines universal: already recommended for non-Europeans travelers, they are obviously more useful in this country hot, humid, sometimes lacking in hygiene and health care system still fails in some places. Check if you update your vaccinations against tetanus, polio, diphtheria and whooping cough and hepatitis B.

- Other vaccines: food hygiene is often defective, vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis A are highly recommended. Vaccine against meningitis A and C: long stays in close contact with people, especially children and young adults. Preventive vaccine against rabies: expatriates, rural or extended stays.

- Consult the list of vaccination centers in France.

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

The ISIC prove student status in the world and can enjoy all the benefits, services and student discounts in the world for transport, accommodation, culture, recreation, shopping ...
The ISIC also provides access to exclusive benefits on travel (airfare, hotels and hostels, insurance, SIM cards, car rentals, etc.)..

Be aware that in Brazil a French student card, provided it mentions an expiration date, you can already get a lot of cuts, including cultural activities.

Map to International Youth Hostels (YHA)

Map FUAJ, valid in more than 90 countries, opens the doors of 4000 AJ Hostelling International network spread throughout the world. There is no age limit to stay in AJ. You just need to be a member. The card also entitles to discounts on public transport, museums and tourist attractions.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Super Yachts For Sale


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Ohare Airport Limo


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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Traveling as a delight: Guidelines to ensure safety on the way

Traveling as a delight: Guidelines to ensure safety on the way

Traveling can be such a relaxation these days – a few days away from the monotonous life and the hustle and bustle of the daily activities. Who wouldn’t want that? However, it can be better enjoyed if the entire period goes smoothly. To ensure a safe travel, you need to follow certain guidelines, which are pointed out below.

Guidelines for a safe travel

Certain precautions have to be taken into consideration, if you want your travel experience to be pleasant as well as safe. The following guidelines may come to your aid:

1. Find out about your destination – Take out some time to research about your travel destination. Know about the places to visit, the people, the culture, the specialties, the background, the government and the present political situation of the country. It will help you to understand the country better and assist you when you interact with the people there. Search on the web to get the travel information regarding your destination.

2. Apply early for passport or visas – It usually takes some time to get passport and visa approval, during your travel. So, to make sure that everything goes along smoothly, you should prepare yourself long before the departure date. Send in your applications early. Those who already have their visas, check whether or not they are valid during your travel.

3. Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program – The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a free online service provided by the U.S. Government of State, which can come to your assistance if you face any emergency situations. You’ll just have to give a brief sketch of your travel plans, and the department will contact you if you face any trouble or your family gets into any urgent situations.

4. Ensure that your cards and connections are valid – Make certain that the credit and debit cards can be used even when you are abroad. Not only that, you should also ensure that your phone connections work during traveling. Get a new number for yourself which will be available, if your connection won’t work in the destination country.

5. Pay attention to medical needs – Carry your own medicine. If you have allergies, carry anti-allergic pills with you. Also be prepared for the common health problems that affect during traveling. Before you visit a place, search out the nearest medical facilities that can come to your aid.

These are some of the precautions that you need to keep in mind, while you intend to travel. Try not to carry a lot of valuables with you, as they may invite risks. Travel safe, as it is the delight that matters, not the extravaganza.

Monday, January 9, 2012

About Brazil


- Official name: Federal Republic of Brazil.
- Capital: Brasília.
- Area: 8,514,876 sq km, divided into 26 states and one federal district.
- Population: 203 million inhabitants (estimate 2011).
- Population density: 23.8 inhabitants / km ² (with 87% of urban population and 70% of Brazilians living within 100 km of the sea).
- Currency: real (plural reais).
- Official language: Brazilian Portuguese.
- Rules: constitutional democracy. Presidential system.
- Head of state: Dilma Rousseff (PT, center left) since 1 January 2011. This is the first Brazilian woman to hold this position.
- Major religion: Roman Catholic (79% of the population).
- Minimum monthly salary: Rls 510 (about € 230 per month).
- Heritage Sites UNESCO World: Brasilia, the Iguaçu National Park, the historic city of Olinda, the historic center of the city of Diamantina, the historical center of the city of Goiás, central history of Salvador da Bahia, the historic center of São Luis, the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas, the historic city of Ouro Preto, the Pantanal Conservation Area, the complex of Amazon Conservation Central Coast discovery - the Atlantic Forest Reserves (States of Bahia and Espirito Santo), the Atlantic forest - South-East Reserves (States of Paraná and São Paulo).


Economy

International in the doldrums, the Minister of Finance announced that Brazil will be among the top 5 world economies by 2020. The country has considerable advantages: the fifth country in the world's population, Brazil repaid its foreign debt, it is independent of raw materials and mineral resources, and reached energy self-sufficiency.

Brazil is among the leading producers and agri-food industry in the world. Agriculture plays a major role in the economy, although it represents only 6% of GDP, and contributes very significantly to the maintenance of growth. The forest holds riches (rubber, vegetable oils, resins, medicinal plants ...), but the Northern Forest states are affected by the growth of agribusiness.

Nearly a third of the country's GDP comes from industries and mines. Brazil remains a country at different speeds, with poor regions (the Northeast), emerging (states located on the Venezuelan border in Minas Gerais) and developed (large southern states).

Lula has contributed to the emergence of his country as a world power. Better still, he managed to impose on the diplomatic front. The only downside, not least, the lack of interest towards the "landless", the main social movement in Brazil and Latin America, who reproached him for his excitement against land reform.