Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Author Archives: Ian

Cachaça and Caipirinhas

May 29th, 2014 | Posted by Ian in Brazil | Food - (2 Comments)

Cachaça Cachaça is to Brazil what tequila (or mezcal!) is to Mexico, what vodka is to Russia, what rum is to the Caribbean – that is to say, it is Brazil’s most common distilled alcohol. Also called pinga or aguardente depending on where you are, cachaça dates to at least the sixteenth century and is distilled … Read more

Paraty, Brazil

Running the length of the state of Rio de Janeiro’s coastline, and spilling over to São Paolo’s shores as well, is Brazil’s magnificent Costa Verde (literally “Green Coast”, though I prefer “Emerald Coast”). It is a storybook place where blue tropical waters lap against the Serro do Mar mountain range, whose Atlantic rainforest-clad slopes reach … Read more

One last look

At a Glance: Tijuca National Park is one of the largest urban-surrounded forests on earth, taking up some seven percent of Rio’s area. It is not original growth, but is secondary re-planted and otherwise re-grown Atlantic rainforest. After it was realized that the cleared land had eroded and polluted the city’s water supply, Emporor Dom … Read more

Rio Panorama from Mirante Dona Marta

How much of an introduction does A Cidade Maravilhosa (The Marvelous City) really need? Dating to the early sixteenth century, Rio de Janeiro was Brazil’s capital until the move to Brasilia in 1960. Today’s 6 million cariocas, as Rio’s residents are called, make it South America’s third largest city after São Paulo and Buenos Aires; … Read more

The Breakdown: An “Alternate” Plan

May 8th, 2014 | Posted by Ian in Brazil | Dogs | Lodging | Speedbumps | The Places We've Been - (Comments Off)
Eddie and the CR-V

Welp, it finally happened for the first time. The CR-Van broke down. We hopped in the car to leave São Paulo on a sunny Saturday morning, excited to hit the sexy beaches of Rio de Janeiro by that afternoon. After a few loopty-loops and a few curses lobbed at the GPS for her poor performance, … Read more

Museums of São Paulo

April 30th, 2014 | Posted by Ian in Brazil | The Places We've Been - (0 Comments)

São Paulo has a lot of museums. Like a ton. Here are some that we have never been to and thus can’t speak to their quality: Museu do Ipiranga - Technically the Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo, this museum focuses on the history of Brazil and the state of São Paulo. It is São Paulo’s most famous … Read more

São Paulo apartment view

São Paulo is a monster. The city proper’s nearly twelve million residents make it one of the top ten largest cities in the world, as well as the largest in all of the Americas and all of the Southern hemisphere. With a total population of twenty million, the metropolitan area is also in the top … Read more


More than anything, Colonia del Sacramento is an escape. It is old cars and cobblestone streets and lamplight, all of it seemingly separated by both kilometers and centuries from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires, visible on a clear day across the Rio de la Plata. Even the river itself looks different from this … Read more

Yerba Mate

April 10th, 2014 | Posted by Ian in Argentina | Brazil | Food | Uruguay - (2 Comments)
Yerba mate and bombilla

Back in the States, we are generally only exposed to two kinds of “natural” stimulating beverages, namely coffees and teas. Over the past six months we have had the pleasure of being introduced to a couple alternatives to these staples. To try (legally, at least) coca tea, one would unfortunately have to actually travel to … Read more

Old car in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento sits peacefully on the north side of the Rio de la Plata, around thirty miles as the crow flies east-northeast across the water from Buenos Aires. Originally founded by the Portuguese in 1680 at a highly strategic point jutting into the river, Colonia, as it is often shortened to, changed hands between … Read more