Archive for the Brazil Category

Um presente

Posted on January 2, 2014 by 6 Comments

The other day we had a knock at the door and the delivery guy was dropping off a big box. From São Paulo.

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Inside was a personalized VW bus doormat, a nice note, and a copy of a magazine with a VW advertisement where we’re listed as heirs of the last VW bus to roll off the line. Pretty cool!

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Legal! Muito Obrigado, VW do Brasil!

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Filed Under: Brazil, Colorado

Camping Brazil with GPS coodinates

Posted on August 27, 2013 by 6 Comments

Quite a while ago, I promised our buddy Luis a list of camp sites for Brazil. Well, I’m a little late, but so is he.

These aren’t intended to be recommendations (although some are pretty great) but more of a guide of where you can go. It’s always good to know that there is a safe place you can stop and pitch a tent or pop the top somewhere down the road.

This list is mostly pay sites with a bathroom and/or shower. If you are driving Brazil, you can keep these coordinates handy as a backup. It’s accurate to within a few feet, so no searching in the dark should be necessary (usually). For boondocking, you’re on your own – that’s the idea – although we do have a few recommended spots on here too.

We mostly hugged the coast, so that’s what we’ve got. Of course, there’s more to explore. This was all we could cover in 6 months.

If you’re interested, you can download the Garmin GPS file here, or just browse the table below.

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Name Description Position Altitude
Camping Do Tião Camping Do Tião S2.87877 W40.45443
pousada with secure parking. no camping here. boondock on beach roads possible S3.62712 W38.73053
Camp site here. Was not open. S4.52284 W37.70645
Camping Pousada Vila Láctea Rua Beira Mar S4.52310 W37.70415
weird pousada with parking and wifi. not many options. Could boondock at end of street. S4.92651 W37.11370
you should boondock here! barraca great beach S5.10414 W35.69927 52 ft
boondock right on beach – safe S5.12121 W35.63370
Camping pipa – good option S6.23216 W35.04215
boondock on cliffs S6.23581 W35.03782
Ccb Pontasestas S7.16030 W34.79528 77 ft
Acampamento Em Tambaba tents only, but you can boondock up the hill S7.36408 W34.79894
Acampamento Lagoa Azul- Apenas de Dia Acampamento Lagoa Azul- Apenas de Dia S7.78778 W34.85406
free beach camping behind barracas – many surfers in tents Praia de Maracaípe S8.52548 W35.00768
other camp sites here – small Estrada de Terra S8.52796 W35.00736
camping jesus – beautiful S8.95789 W35.17366
boondock S9.22829 W35.33787
Ccb Drunk Guy – still a great spot S9.28245 W35.38338 78 ft
camp maceio dingy but works S9.63353 W35.69861
Surfcamp S9.77579 W35.85106 116 ft
can boondock out front at palapa, or nice pousada here S10.12301 W36.10803
Camping Club de Aracaju Camping Club de Aracaju S11.00008 W37.05862
Camping – quiet! S12.49999 W37.96195 46 ft
great town – many camping options Avenida Doutor Chiquinho and Rua Desembargador Ouniy Silva S13.89189 W38.95203
camping and pousada low clearance, wifi S14.27647 W38.99095
Praia Da Costa – smal campsite here Praia Da Costa S14.28854 W38.98563
camping breachfront – don’t drink the water! nice spot. don’t drink the water! S15.01766 W38.99782
Camping Pousada Do Mundaí – awesome! Camping Pousada Do Mundaí S16.40905 W39.04899
Camping A Nave Rua Ítalo Vasconcelos S18.41861 W39.70939
180 S19.73127 W41.81717 1242 ft
Camping CCB Camping S20.37947 W43.52536
Camping Primitivo Camping Custódio S20.46571 W43.49178
181 S20.49176 W40.47994 3374 ft
183 S20.49257 W40.64300 34 ft
Camping e Pousada Costa Mares – wifi, nice! S20.62937 W40.44606 53 ft
Camping Clube Do Brasil – Guar Camping Clube Do Brasil – Guarapari S20.63248 W40.44144
182 S20.65379 W40.47399 31 ft
174 S20.67078 W40.49835 2939 ft
Camping Do Praiano – tiny mostly tents, we did not try S20.82973 W40.69328
Camping Itaipava Camping Itaipava S20.89733 W40.77739
Itaoca Pousada Camping they have eveything S20.90955 W40.78355
camping itaoca – nice! S20.90964 W40.78364
Camping Do Siri Camping Do Siri S21.11658 W40.85815
Camping Hans S21.12190 W44.15799 2932 ft
Camping Tiradentes S21.13119 W44.17167 2950 ft
pousada and camping S21.47112 W41.05845
camping here – okay but mosquitos S22.59339 W41.99106
Camping Dunas Do Peró Camping Dunas Do Peró S22.84834 W42.00140
camping – Ccb Cabo Frio Ccb Cabo Frio S22.86744 W42.02936
camping here – quiet small fishing village. entrance on highway. S23.04608 W44.59332
camping here. spacious, nice beach S23.20985 W44.71601
camping club do brasil – good location ACTIVE LOG: 13 JAN 2013 12:36 S23.21533 W44.71196
camping here S23.21645 W44.71825
Parati Mirim – ‘camping’ here, but basically just parking in a field Parati Mirim S23.24078 W44.63451
camping on the beach. many camp sites near here. S23.34692 W44.72005
4 camping spots here Rio S23.40282 W45.01164
camping club do brasil S23.45925 W45.05636
many camping options here. front of beach. get wifi from posada next door ACTIVE LOG: 07 JAN 2013 14:40 S23.52748 W45.21893
camping here – nice, but no wifi S23.57337 W45.27132
Humaitá Camping – overpriced, but usable Humaitá Camping S23.83939 W46.12822
Praia Grande camping Praia Grande S23.85776 W45.41688
catch ferry to ilha cardoso Rua Acesso Balsa S25.01601 W47.92667
camping option here near river, nice S25.43366 W48.87382
ilha do mel – boat from parangua Morro S25.56431 W48.30857
recommended camping,waterfront, walk to boats – “Camping?” sign. nice guy S25.56519 W48.35359
camping here. run down, did not use. S25.63629 W48.42812
Camping de Matinhos – closed Camping de Matinhos S25.80811 W48.53157
grungy camping – don’t use S25.81341 W48.53284
camping Tony somewhere in here – look for signs on main road. Good place. wifi. Rua Campos Novos S26.21963 W48.52621
camping on ocean – good beach1 camping on ocean – good beach S27.14433 W48.47714
camping on ocean – good beach S27.14435 W48.47717
Quatro Ilhas Camping Quatro Ilhas Camping S27.15273 W48.48046
Camping right on beach – popular for new years Camping S27.19749 W48.49827
Camping Lagoa Da Conceição – popular Camping Lagoa Da Conceição S27.60942 W48.44949
Camping Rendeiras Camping Rendeiras S27.60944 W48.44992
Praia Da Joaquina – surf Praia Da Joaquina S27.63029 W48.45026
Camping3 Camping S27.88442 W48.58156
Camping Lagoamar- awesome, but expensive Camping Lagoamar S28.02091 W48.62272
Camping Do Quintino – possible stop to camp Camping Do Quintino S28.15339 W48.68471
camping with large facilities, pool S28.94199 W49.37156
Camping Mampituba Camping Mampituba S29.32974 W49.74472
gramado camping ccb S29.36348 W50.86271

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Filed Under: Brazil

Lilica & Tigor

Posted on August 15, 2013 by 2 Comments

Ja Viu a nova Edição da revista Lilica & Tigor? Bem, nós estamos nela!


This is kinda goofy. We’re in a Brazilian parenting magazine this month (and their blog.)

Several months after the O Globo article, we had multiple inquiries about interviewing and a few publications sent us a list of questions. We answered with some stock responses to stock questions – mostly stuff about the bus and the ups and downs of living in a 42 year old vehicle. What I didn’t realize was that one of these was a parenting magazine – I figured they were all car related.

A few weeks later, they came back to us and asked for some photos and asked more questions – basically, they didn’t have enough to work with. By then, we were on our way out of Brazil, so we didn’t really give it it 100% and still didn’t do our research to see where this would end up. Well, now we know.

It looks like a fancy-pants parenting magazine to me. Pretty polished, at least. And, inside there’s us – traveling and raising our kid in our old VW bus. The article isn’t exactly accurate, but we’ve found that to be the case every time so far.

Oddly (to me), this is the second time we’ve been featured in a parenting magazine – I never imagined we could be such examples of how to (or not to) raise a child! ;)


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Filed Under: Brazil

Crossing the Equator and a Border.

Posted on June 4, 2013 by 2 Comments

On our last morning in Manaus, we went on another wild goose chase with some guys from the club, looking for a distributor. Again, no luck. At least we got an escort to the city limit.

Tchau, Manaus!

We only went as far as Presidente Figueiredo before calling it a night. The Reserva Waimiri-Atroari is just north of here and the road is only open 6 AM to 6 PM. The next morning, we made a break for it and drove the 150 km across the reserve with no stops – we couldn’t if we had wanted. It’s all jungle – there wasn’t a single place to pull over. I did see one road with ‘do not enter’ posted all over it, so  I guess it led to an indigenous village.

Much farther down the road, we crossed the magic invisible line. The first time that Red Beard has been in north of the equator in two and half years. There was an accurately-placed monument, but for some reason it looked like a hockey stick.

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Our 600 km day ended in the farm town of Boa Vista. Not much going on here.

The next day it was another 300 km or so to the border town of Pacaraima. Again, not much to look at on the way. We at least managed to climb up 1000 meters in altitude at the border, so the scenery has changed a little bit.

Checking out of Brazil was a little more effort that we expected. For no particular reason, handing in our car papers took almost an hour. We were the only ones there, so it must have been a new guy. Our vehicle document was stamped out in triplicate. Then, we were just in time for the exit aduana to close for lunch. So, we killed an hour waiting for the office to re-open to stamp our passports. Five minutes and we were done. The exact day our visas expired.

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Venezuela is 30 minutes behind Brazil, so we had to wait a bit for it’s office to open after lunch as well. One of my favorite wacky dictator power moves is to invent your own time zone, and Chavez went for it. I’m not sure why you would choose 30 minutes, though. I would go with 12. Definitively twelve. If you’re going to arbitrarily impose authority, I say make it arbitrary. No more Mondays – let’s do Tuesday twice!

When the officer asked us for our hotel reservations, we didn’t have a good answer. Oops. This seemed to be a snag, but we eventually invented a hotel name and he decided we weren’t very interesting and that was that. You’re supposed to have proof of itinerary and an ‘exit ticket’ from the country, but we got off easy.

Getting our Venezuela car papers was the biggest deal of the day. We had all of our documents, including our ‘international vehicle insurance‘, but it still took an hour and a half. No reason. You just fill out all the papers and wait. Still, it seemed that the bigger wait might be for the folks returning to Brazil.

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It’s official. We’ve driven into 19 countries.


Posted on June 2, 2013 by 9 Comments

Manaus (pronounced with a ‘sh’ sound at the end) was an interesting stop. It’s a huge port city – but 1500 km from the nearest ocean. One million people live in this metropolis – but it’s isolated in the middle of the Amazon rain forest. And, it’s famous for… opera?

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More importantly for us, it’s the home of the Amazon Antique Car Club.  Our new buddy Alvino’s family has a hotel in the city center and he set us up for our stay. Later, our new buddy Alex came by and we went to his house to fix our major oil leak. After pulling the motor and replacing the main seal, it was still leaking. So, we pulled the engine a second time and did it again. That seemed to do the trick.

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An umbrella is useful at all times in this city. You never have to put it down. It’s either pouring rain or scorching hot.

We wandered a bit and got our last acai na tigela. Bode is sad that this may be the end of it.

We tried the local dish, tacaca. It’s soup, but oddly, you eat it with a single stick. It was pretty good, but as usual, I wish they would remove the cascas.

We even got lucky and scored a special outdoor opera one night in front of the famous Teatro Amazonas. Operas are far better when they are free, outside, and viewed from a sidewalk cafe with beer in hand. Trust me.

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On our final night, the guys from the club picked us up and took us on a cruise around town to see a few more sights.  We drove across the Rio Negro on the Manaus Iranduba Bridge. Apparently, the most expensive bridge (by length) in the world.

We’ve definitely got ‘family’ in Manaus, and it feels pretty good. Thanks for everything, guys!

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Filed Under: Brazil

Amazon: The Final Day

Posted on June 1, 2013 by No Comments

We were still weak and sick and looking forward to getting off the boat. It was another rainy morning. There were several stops of 20 minutes or less – some of them being in the middle of the river with another boat tying up to ours and getting some bags from the hold.

Manaus came into view and everyone went to the rail to see, but it was still hours before we arrived. About 10 km before Manaus, we saw the Encontro das Aguas which is really unusual. It is the meeting point of 2 rivers, one ‘brown’ the other ‘black’. Because of the different temperatures, density and speed of the currents, the two rivers don’t mix and run side by side for nearly 6 kilometers.

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We finally arrived in Manaus, about 4 hours behind schedule. Unfortunately, the now-orange tomatoes were unloaded first, so we had to wait. We were kicked out of our room, and it was raining, so we sat in the bus. Bode and I finally went to find some food at the port and Jason joined us when it looked like it would be another few hours.

After 3 hours, Bode and I took off to find our hotel and left Jason with the bus. We got lost in Manaus, but eventually found it. Jason finally met us around 9 pm – 8 hours and one questionable payment to a port security guard later.

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Finally, a shower and a non-moving bed.


*A couple of good things to mention if you plan on taking this journey- The mosquitoes were nearly non-existent.  I think it had to due with the time of year (the river was high) and the moving boat, but we never put on bug spray. I did notice some when we were at port in Santarem though.

The heat was only bad in the day, and there was always a breeze while we were moving. At night, it was downright pleasant, most folks on hammocks had a light blanket.

Finally, if going from Manaus to Belem, the trip is only three days.



Filed Under: Brazil

Amazon Day 5? Are we there yet?

Posted on May 31, 2013 by 2 Comments

We met a guy working on the boat who is retired, but helps manage the crew in exchange for free transport to Manaus. There, he either buys (or catches himself, I’m unsure) huge fish that are from the interior of the Amazon and then returns back to Belem to sell them. He spoke English pretty well, and says he has friends from the U.S. who are missionaries from Dallas. They’re always from Dallas.

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Our room and bathroom is moldy, and Jason seems to be allergic to it. So on top of stomach issues, he’s got a cold. The kitchen staff bought fish off some fisherman on the river, but we are uninterested in food, and frankly a bit scared to eat it from the boat’s kitchen. Again, we can only manage crackers and ramen.

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There was a mid-river drop off of lightweight bags containing some sort of grass-like substance. Probably shouldn’t transfer those in an actual port.

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We feel like we’ve been on this boat forever, but at least today we saw a toucan.

Overall, the trip has been interesting, but rough. Real rough.

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Filed Under: Brazil

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