Thursday, 16 January 2014

Brazil Public Holidays 2014

Thank you Angloinfo!
25 January 2014 (Sat)Foundation Day (São Paulo only)Regional
3 March 2014 (Mon)CarnivalNational
4 March 2014 (Tue)CarnivalNational
17 April 2014 (Thu)Bank Holiday (from 13:00)National
18 April 2014 (Fri)Good FridayNational
21 April 2014 (Mon)Tiradentes DayNational
19 June 2014 (Thu)Corpus CristiNational
9 July 2014 (Wed)Sao Paulo State RebellionRegional
27 July 2014 (Sun)optional holidayRegional
25 August 2014 (Mon)Barretos Day (Barretos only)Regional
3 September 2014 (Wed)Ilhabela Day (Ilhabela only)Regional
7 September 2014 (Sun)Independence DayNational
4 October 2014 (Sat)optional holidayRegional
12 October 2014 (Sun)Nossa Senhora da AparecidaNational
27 October 2014 (Mon)Civil Servants holidayNational
2 November 2014 (Sun)Defuncts' Day (All Souls Day)National
15 November 2014 (Sat)Republic DayNational
24 December 2014 (Wed)Christmas Eve (1/2 day)National
25 December 2014 (Thu)Christmas DayNational
31 December 2014 (Wed)New Year's Eve (half day)National

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Contemporary Art Exhibition: Children's Literature

I am in the thick of setting up my first point of sales for my Cupcake business in a Shopping Mall. As you can imagine, surprise last minute documents are required on a daily basis. I will blog about the process later..

So one of the documents I needed was a "Consulta" which after a heated (frustrated) discussion I worked out was a document that said my name was clean of fines, wrongdoings and jailtime. I also needed to get it for my Company. I was frustrated because a "Consulta" to me is a consultation, like one you arrange with your Doctor... not a piece of paper.

The office was downtown Centro, a walk through Praça de Se (alot of the homeless seem to be away on holiday as well), and a short queue. I had to take all my documents (I now know to just take everything - passport, RNE, drivers license, proof of address, CPF - just incase), the queue was short (holiday time) and all the lady at the counter did was put my details in and she just said, your record or clean (or something to that effect) and didn't give me a document because only people with a record get a printed piece of paper. So now I'm going to wait for the Shopping (Shopping is a noun and not a verb in Portuguese) to ask for the Consulta, which IS just a check-in, and not a document.

So after my 5 minutes getting my non-existent Consulta I walked back to the Metro and saw a banner for MACLI: Mostra de Arte Contemporânea em Literatura Infantil in the Caixa Building. Loved. I'm not a Contemporary Art fan... but the curator has bought together some great pieces. So if you are ever hanging out in Praça de Sê (Cathedral Sê) then definitely pop in - it's free entry and on until February 14th.

Some of my favourites:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Airline Azul max R999 for World Cup

There has been much chat about how people are going to get around Brazil to watch all the games. As soon as the draw was announced in December my husband bought all his flight tickets before prices could go up (my christmas present to him was not being mad about all the games he's going to watch..)

The great news is that Azul has just announced they are capping their flights at R999 for the World Cup, and there will be flights cheaper as well.

For International travellers I've also heard that TAM will be opening up more flights each month so be patient. Flying in and out of Brazil, and within Brazil, is NOT cheap so be patient when researching your travel for the World Cup.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

São Paulo Parks

Discovering São Paulo parks one at a time! We checked out another little park near us called Parque Previdencia which has a medium sized field with trees (shade), and play areas for kids (swings in the shade, bonus!).

There is also a little preserved part of the Mata Atlantica which has a trail running through it. We were able to tie our dog up on the inside (but the outside of the green) while the girls played in the park, and take him for a walk on his leash on the shaded trail with our daughters. It was a great little adventure, and you really felt like you were going on a hike far away from the city (unless we found ourselves on a path alongside Raposo with cars zooming by).

If you're looking for something to do with the kids while they are off from school, check out one of the 32 parks in São Paulo - and make the most of travelling around this city this month (with half the cars / traffic!). Note that rodizio starts again this Friday 10th January

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Brazil this year: 2014

Feliz Ano Novo!

*this post was written last week while I had no internet access for 10 days... I was feverishly sick by Day 9, and then we we drove back hoping for a smooth 11 hour drive home but got stopped for 4 hours on the last hour. 2 days later we're just recovering, Happy 2014!

Praia da Rosa

We are spending our holidays in a little beach town called Ferrugem, less than 2 hours from the infamous Florianopolis. We decided to drive down from São Paulo as we would need a car down here anyhow to travel to each of the beaches. We set off on Sunday afternoon and covered 600km to Joinville, the capital of Santa Catarina. If there is there anywhere in Brazil that you do not have to visit, it’s Joinville. We circled the town center in 5 minutes, in hope of bumping into a padaria but had to resort to the Ibis hotel breakfast buffet spread. My children love cake for breakfast!

We stopped by to look at a property investment in Florianopolis. As we were still days before Christmas the bridge over was relatively quiet but have heard that getting around the island during the peak week (between christmas and new years) can be pretty awful. We stopped at a cute little seafood restaurant called Zé de Cacupé for lunch and had the best pastel de camarão and Bobo de Camarão.

Full tummies, and sleeping children meant our last 1.5 hours to Ferrugem was tranquilo. Roads were clear, sun was out and the holiday house has no internet … * We were joining an English friend and his Brazilian girlfriend, and her parents from Porto Alegre for the week. It’s a cute little holiday house with a beautiful deck looking over the lagoon and the other side towards the sea.

Apparently it’s a good surfing spot - there are other beautiful beaches dotted along this part of the coast filled with surfers. I don’t know if any of the are very good but it sets the scene. Ferrugem has the North End where, this week bus loads of Brazilians, Argentinians and Uruguayans (I want to say young ones, but that makes me feel old) fill the beach and drink, smoke pot and dance around all day (I’m guessing like their version of Spring Break). Not child appropriate but it’s next to Ferrujão one of the pousada/restaurants that has internet access and beer.

At the end of the road is Barrinha which is an inlet that separates Ferrugem South and another beach. You can drive straight onto the beach but watch out for the soft sand. The inlet is wide and shallow and great for kids but there is alot of wind coming in from both beaches. The first evening there we had to spend it huddled behind the boot of the car, just to make sure my English husband felt at home. 

Garopaba is the main beach town 5 minutes away (or an hour in traffic) and has a small historical centre which really can be covered in maximum hour. The beach was absolutely packed and did not look appealing at all. There is a smaller beach past the old church which is sheltered, and is perfect for kids to swim in.

Praia da Rosa was voted one of the top 10 beaches in Brazil. It IS beautiful but even though we managed to get there at 10am it was buuuusssy!! The traffic cops were having a very merry Christmas putting fines on all the cars and even towing one poor sod’s car. We went to the South end which was quieter (…) and had some rock pools for the girls to collect shells in. We went out one night for dinner and to check out an old local bar called Beleza Pura but they had sold their souls and upgraded to a glitzy nightclub with a R100 cover charge (R50 for women) which included nothing. I don't blame any of these restaurants and bars making the most of it - they have 3 months to make as much money as possible and then they can surf for the rest of the year.

Silveira is the beach alongside Garopaba and has not been commercialised. There is one house at the end of North Silveira which makes the biggest pastels ever - the meat one was amazing, and was worth the 20 minute wait. The South side is also just as beautiful but the surf is strong so our girls spent the day jumping waves. Que delicia! E muito simpatico! I heard the girls showering in front of us - What deliciousness! This beach is so friendly! By far the quietest and where I would try and stay for future visits.

Tips for when visiting
  • if you are here during the peak season make sure you come with cash handy. Most places accept cards but for those ice creams and açai cups on the beach you need cash. The one 24-hour atm in Silveira supermarket in Garopaba has either had no cash or hour long queues… 
  • Make sure your phone is set for roaming and know how much you will be charged for using
  • Make sandwiches, bring lots of water to the beach. 
  • You have to bring your own umbrellas to the beach here. As they are not commercialised beaches there are none (or only 1) renting out chairs and umbrellas

Places to eat

Wilsons in Ferrugem and Garopaba - por kilo buffet, v good quality food and perfect for when you have exhausted, hungry, crying children in the car
Mormaai Surf cafe - salads, sandwiches and açai with wifi (not reliable during peak week)
Ferrujão (restaurant and pousada) - Brazilian beach food and beer with internet access
Tigre Asiatico (Rosa) - sushi / thai - the service was below average but I was dying for an asian hit so you lower standards right?

*roaming within Brazil is ridiculously expensive as well, just moving from state to state can cost you X times more to send a text to another Brazilian number. Depending on your operator you might also have to put a code before the number you dial so check with your phone company before you travel.