We are now sailing north to Brazil and for the next 13 days we will be sailing along the coast of Brazil, the largest country in South and Latin America. Brazil is the fifth largest country by area in the world, and the seventh largest with a population of over 217 million. They speak Portuguese and they love their football (soccer) having won the World Cup five times. It is also known for Bossa Nova – a mix of jazz and samba and known around the world as a distinctively Brazilian sound.

Our first stop is Rio de Janiero, or simply Rio! Known for its famous beaches – Copacabana, LeBlon, and Ipanema which actually inspired the song, The Girl from Ipanema. They say it is the most popular tourist destination in South America with Christ the Redeemer atop Mount Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain with cable cars to the top of the granite peak. But it is most known for its ‘Carnaval’, the world’s largest party with parades, floats, beautiful costumes and dancers. We missed carnival by a few weeks, but it is still one of the most vibrant cities in Brazil to spend time visiting.

The 38m Christ the Redeemer state atop Mt.Corcovado
Cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain

The underbelly of Rio lies perhaps in its Favelas. They are Brazilian slums or shanty towns and have been around since the late 1800s. Mostly the people are poor and cannot afford to buy a home. They do tours into the favelas, but I have never done that. They say they are not safe. I saw a movie on board at one of our movie nights on this cruise. It is called “Trash” and it is a story about three young boys who are ‘trash pickers’ and they find a wallet amid the garbage at the dump and its contents are connected to a high level scandal. It was filmed in Brazil and has subtitles, but if you find it somewhere on Netflix or what have you, I would recommend watching it.

Favela near LeBlon

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