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More Brazilian colours, picture, sensations …

by Francesco Zezza

Yes, You are right ! I’m back ... back to Rio de Janeiro (I have to admit I love this city quite a bit ... may be because back there in Europe it is winter now while here the sun is hot ?!?!?). To begin this new report (since Brasil is a federal republic) let me introduce the Rio de Janeiro State Flag

Of course the Rio de Janeiro State is a member of Brasil itself and you’ll see this flag (the national one, I mean ...) proudly waving in the wind almost everywhere ...

I already wrote my early impressions on this unbelievable city (I don’t even dare to write about the whole country since it is a huge one and visiting ONLY one city gives you almost no idea about the rest of the country) thus, this time I will use just images:

Pictured are the “Two Brothers” (locally known as “Dois Irmaos”) as seen from the top of my residence (this time located at Leblon). Only the extreme top – being really close – belongs to the second peak (that stands beyond). Here come a long distance shot (taken from Ipanema Beach).

 

This is a – colorful – view from my (now located in Barra da Tijuca) office window. Being forced to deal with computers with these surroundings is – I admit my fault – anything but easy!!! First things first, any way ...

This happens to be my – rather spartan, I agree – “fighting seat” aka ... my office desk. And here comes – then - the window’s view ... much better isn’t it?

A place I couldn't refrain from visiting again was the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden) and it’s been a wise idea ... lot of things I missed previously were waiting for me ...

The carnivorous plants greenhouse.

Picture that: almost 40° C and 85/90% of humidity! Even half an hour in there to shoot pictures has been a hard, hot, “sweating” matter, but MCH deserves this and even more ... here are the results:

Drosera intermedia (above)

Pinguicola moraensis (below)

And now my beloved Nepenthes (trying to forget my concerns about my plants left in Rome ...)

 

Pitcher – in detail - of Nepenthes alata (above)

Nepenthes alata (whole plant, below)

 

Let’s go a bit further ...

Nepentehs khasiana (above)

Nepenthes khasiana (below, detail of lower pitchers)

And let’s end up (pictured below, again) with a nice specimen of Sarracenia x moorei. The way the name is reported (x moorei) means it’s, actually, an hybrid but my botanical knowledge doesn’t allow me (while the name should ...) to tell if the “pure bred” S. moorei is either the father or the mother plant ...

Look – now - at the following picture: it means things can happen naturally even in “man made gardens” ... A white heron is hunting for fish (mostly juveniles of the “Geophagus brasiliensis complex”, relying on what I’ve seen but had no chance to take pictures) in a small creek flowing inside the botanical garden ...

This further pictures where shot in the “Lago das Tartarugas” (Turtles Lake; actually it’s a pond) always in the same location ... Turtles are everywhere ...

Basking in the sun ...

Swimming in the (not so clear because of algae blooming due to heat) water ..

Wandering around, on the ground ...

Time to go away ... under the supervision of a statue of an ancient Mexican divinity “dedicated” to plants and flowers (sorry can’t remember its actual name!)

I slowly move along the impressive “Imperial Palm Alley” toward the exit: what a view ...

Rio de Janeiro is – among the rest - the city of sightseeing (Dois hermaos and Ipanema/Leblon beaches):

And with this in mind I can’t refrain from mentioning what you get from the top of Santa Teresa (in the Santa Teresa district itself).  You go to the top with a small, yellow, old fashioned train (locally known as Bundinho) ...

Pictured above is the “captain's deck” and below the whole “train” ... 21st Century technical stuff is millions of miles away!!!

It’s small and a bit noisy – and the picture is a bit too dark - but it’s amusing and colorfull ! Brazilians love it a lot, too ...

Pictured here is a “large scale” model – my son could almost get in - shown in a souvenir shop along the actual track. Once on top (following pictures were taken from the windows of the house of a friend in Rio) the “overall view” is like this ...

Not bad isn’t it ? Lots of really nice (see below) houses are hidden among the gorgeous vegetation of Santa Teresa District.

A LITTLE OVERVIEW – TO FINISH UP! – ON BRAZILIAN MOST KNOWN COCKTAIL ...

It’s Caipirinha: highly alcoholic, but tasty! Simply looking at the picture makes me thirsty ...

When enjoying it, BE CAREFULL!!! But – all the same – do not miss it for whatever reason!!! Caipirinha will be one of the main “topics” when the annual MCH will again take place in Italy ... it’s a promise! If you want to give Caipirinha a try on your own ... here comes the recipe (just a bit of help to you !):

            INGREDIENTS:

·         2 ice cubes (some say crushed, other say not ... I prefer crushed ice)

·         1 Lime (local fruit, similar – but NOT equal – to lemon)

·         2 tablespoons of sugar

·         Cachaca (sugarcane spirit)

DIRECTIONS: Wash the lime and squeeze out juices. Cut the lime into pieces and put them in a glass. Add sugar and crush the pieces (pulp side up) with a pestle. Add, finally, the Cachaça and stir to mix. Add the ice and stir again.

OTHERS: This summer drink is better served (details are equally important.. ) in old fashioned glasses, decorated with a lime slice. It’s better drunk before eating, and is an excellent way to accompany the famous Brazilian barbecues.

Needless to say – to end this short story – my usual team-mates did their best – to allow me to fully enjoy those further Brazilian sensations after the office duties..

Tchau Brasil!!! It’s been – once more – great to be here ...

And I hope to be back again!!!

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