Archive for January, 2009

February 2009 desktop calendar

February 2009 desktop calendar

The Brazil Travel Blog brings you every month a calendar for you to use on your computer desktop.

On February 2009 we set sail for idyllic Ilha Grande.

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Remember, a new calendar every month!

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January 30, 2009 | By More
road conditions in Brazil

road conditions in Brazil

The Brazilian government’s DNIT (Departamento Nacional de Infra-Estrutura de Transportes / National Department for Transport Infrastructure) has a web page where you can check out road conditions throughout the country.

You need to select the state you are interested on (they all appear listed on the left hand side of the screen) and then click on the rodovia (road) you want to check out.

The data is presented in a clear fashion but unfortunately in Portuguese only. The first column contains a description of the road conditions. The second column refers to the stretch of the road. The third column shows the exact point along the road. The forth contains a description of the problems. On the fifth column you’ll find other comments.

It is important to notice that DNIT’s page only shows information on federal roads, ie, those maintained by the central government. Brazilian federal roads are identified with the letters BR. Although they are sometimes mentioned, the site does not cover conditions on state roads.

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January 28, 2009 | By More
trekking in Ilha Grande

trekking in Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is a paradise for all of you out there trekking fans. The good news is that the island combines awesome landscapes with paths that are unusually well signposted. There are signposts on all paths showing the route and the location of interesting places. We just thought it would be nice to hand out a little map with all the paths on it – we were told at the Visitor Centre such map does not exist. Never mind, this is Brazil. The fact that the paths are signposted should be cause for celebration.

Each path is identified by the letter T (path is trilha in Portuguese) and a number. At the Vila do Abraão you will find the following map with details of all the trilhas:

Ilha Grande, Brasil

Next to the map, specific details for each trilha, including its length and approximate duration.:

Ilha Grande, Brasil

The following are all the official trilhas in Ilha Grande (you are strongly discouraged to explore new paths), with its ID and number. Many paths start where the previous path ended, allowing you to walk around most of the island.

T1 Circuito do Abraão
T2 Aqueduto Saco do Céu
T3 Saco do Céu – Freguesia de Santana
T4 Freguesia de Santana – Bananal
T5 Bananal – Sítio Forte
T6 Sítio Forte – Praia Grande de Araçatiba
T7 Praia Grande de Araçatiba – Gruta do Acaiá
T8 Praia Grande de Araçatiba – Provetá
T9 Provetá – Aventureiro
T10 Abraão – Mangues/Pouso
T11 Mangues/Pouso – Lopes Mendes
T12 Mangues/Pouso – Farol dos Castelhanos
T13 Abraão – Pico do Papagaio
T14 Abraão – Dois Rios
T15 Dois Rios – Caxadaço
T16 Dois Rios – Parnaióca

For each particular path there is a panel at the beginning with detailed information. This is the panel for T1, a pleasant walk leaving from the Vila.

Ilha Grande, Brasil

If you read Portuguese, at Trilhas na Ilha Grande you have very detailed information on all the paths.

From the Vila do Abraão the most popular paths are T1 (suitable for everyone), T13 (a very steep climb for fit people) and T14 (long but not too difficult). If you go to Lopes Mendes beach the boat will leave you in the Pouso beach and you will have to cover T11 (short but steep).

Good footwear is a must. Any rainfall turns the paths into a skiing slope.

You can leave any questions you might have about the island at the entry destination: Ilha Grande.

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January 26, 2009 | By More
new transit layer on Google Maps

new transit layer on Google Maps

Google has just incorporated a transit layer to its maps. It contains information for a number of world cities, including an important selection from Brazil: Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Recife, Río de Janeiro and São Paulo.

When you turn on the transit layer (accesible through a drop-down menu on the top right-hand side of the map) you will be able to see lines showing the layout of rail transportation in the above-mentioned Brazilian cities. Both underground and above-the-ground train services are shown. It is a very useful tool as you can easily see whether there is fast and convenient public transportation to any point in the city.

Let’s take Porto Alegre. You are arriving in the airport and want to know whether there is any transportation into town. You just have to locate the airport on the map, activate the transit layer, and you will quickly find an visual answer to your question.

If you click on the symbol of any station you will find out more information about it.

How about the location of São Paulo’s underground stations?

The only care you need to take is not to confuse the subway/underground lines with the suburban trains – both exist in the case of São Paulo. A single click on any station will allow you to see which means of transportation is available there.

A warm welcome to this additional layer of information. You probably know we are big fans of Google Maps. Our work landed us recently a double-page spread on Info magazine (GoogleMaps on the Brazil Travel Blog). Might be nice to see more people using Google Maps in Brazil. At times it seems the institutions and powers-that-be responsible for putting out tourist information are completely unaware of its existence and usefulness.

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January 23, 2009 | By More
link: Mochileiros

link: Mochileiros

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Mochileiros is a vast travel forum in Portuguese. I can’t tell whether their claim to be largest travelling community in the Portuguese language is exaggerated or not, but the fact is that Mochileiros is one of the reference points when it comes to discussing travel online in Portuguese.

Unfortunately, the forum will only be of help to those with a basic grasp of the Portuguese language. There are rewards aplenty, as the forum covers off-the-beaten track destinations.

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January 21, 2009 | By More