Archive for June, 2008
The finger-licking good brigadeiro (in Portuguese it means brigadier) is one of the best known and most typical Brazilian sweets. Born in São Paulo in the 40s (so the Portuguese Wikipedia tells us) when a group of housewives began cooking the delicacy to be served in meetings in support of brigadier Eduardo Gomes, at the time running for the presidency of Brazil.
Brigadeiro is a tiny and round sweet. Its basic ingredients are condensed milk, chocolate powder and butter. Once the ball is formed, it is rolled in chocolate sprinkles. Brigadeiros are mandatory at birthday parties.
Not recommended for weight watchers.
It might well be that an unearthly departure time or a longer than usual connection at São Paulo’s Guarulhos international airport forces you to search for accommodation near the airport.
Up until very recently there were no hotels at the airport itself. A few weeks ago the Fast Sleep hotel opened its doors (if you want to read a blog review in Portuguese, published shortly after the opening of the hotel, go to Uma Opção de Hospedagem Dentro do Aeroporto de Guarulhos: Harbor Fast Sleep).
The hotel charges by the hour.From what I’ve learned, the first hour at the hotel costs around R$55 for two (the price changes depending on whether you have a bathroom inside the room or outside). Additional hours are charged at R$25. There is a fixed price if you intend to use the hotel for between 5 and 8 hours. You can see photos of the hotel on its website.
As well as the hotel at the airport, there are some hotels not too far from it. Both the Hotel Panamby and the Monaco Hotel include a free transfer from and to the airport on its rates. In the city of Guarulhos there is an affordable hotel, the Ibis Guarulhos. Transfer to and from the airport is not included, you will have to budget for a taxi.
I haven’t used or visited any of the hotels mentioned here at this entry. If any reader has had any experience on them and wants to share them with other readers of the blog, they are more than welcome to do so.
The bus link from Curitiba to Foz do Iguaçu is very handy for those trying to approach Iguaçu Falls from the south region of Brazil. The bus company Catarinense runs a service between both cities. On its website you can check schedules and prices.
At the time of publishing this entry, there are between 8 and 9 daily buses (changes according to the day of the week). The trip lasts 11 hours and there are two types of buses, the convencional, costing R$90,63 one way, and the leito (bed), costing R$181,27 one way. On the company’s website you can check how many seats are still available for each service.
At the entry Iguazu Falls you will find the general information on the falls published here at the Brazil Travel Blog.
This is one of those news items you don’t read about every day. Yesterday Brazil lost, as a result of a government decree, one time zone. The change affects the states of Acre (it has now one hour less than Brasilia), Amazon (it now has just the one zone for the entire state) and Pará (with just the one time zone, the same as Brasilia).
From now on, Brazil will only have three time zones. Regions west and centre will have one; Brasilia and regions north-east, south and south-east will have the second one; and Fernando de Noronha will have the third time zone.
At What time is it in Brazil? we explained how to find out what time is it at any given moment in all the states and capitals of Brazil.
Whereas at Guarulhos international airport only one taxi company is allowed to operate (taxis from Guarulhos int’l airport in São Paulo), at Congonhas domestic airport there are two different taxi companies with an authorisation to work at the airport: Táxi Comum (which is really your run-of-the-mill taxi) and Rádio-Táxi.
After you claim your luggage, follow the signs that point to the taxi stop. On your way you are likely to be approached by illegal taxi drivers offering you their services, do not accept them (Congonhas has just been modernised and yet, the authorities seem to be unable/unwilling to get rid of unscrupulous taxi drivers).
You will descend a ramp at the end of which you will see two different taxi booths, belonging to each of the taxi companies mentioned at the beginning of the entry.
Both companies offer their customers two choices: you can either ask the driver to switch on the taximeter and pay whatever fare is shown at the end of your ride, or you can pre-pay a fixed rate (based on the distance to your destination). When traffic conditions are ok, the taximeter is the cheapest option. But the fixed rate has the advantage of knowing beforehand how much the ride is going to cost you. You don’t have to worry about the taxi driver taking you for a ride (no pun intended!). If you choose the fixed rate, you will pay in advance at the counter, you won’t pay anything to your taxi driver.
Táxi Comum is cheaper than Rádio-Táxi. Both are safe and reliable.