20 Jan Brazil, almost A-Z
It’s been more than 6 weeks since I returned from Brazil. I wanted to write some (useful) details here before I move on to my next trip ?
Brazil is South America’s biggest country – you can imagine that distances are huge. Now if you don’t have six months to explore the country covering almost 8.500.000 square meters and that has four time zones, you will want to squeeze the most out of every minute you spend there.
Domestic Flights in Brazil
To save some precious daytime hours, night buses are your best option for “shorter” distances. By shorter, I mean up to 14 hours of drive ? Before buying a ticket be sure that to get to know Brazil’s bus categories. For only a few bucks more (ok, Reals) you can get a lot more of comfort. No matter which class you take, buses make stops approximately every three hours. Socicam can be very helpful when scouting for your options.
Several cities have more than one rodoviaria (long-distance bus stations), so check carefully which is your departing and/or arriving station.
To sum up – before you buy a bus ticket, be sure to compare the prices, travel time, bus category and departure/arriving bus station.
Brazil uses 2-pins plug sockets, so make sure you bring adapters if needed.
If you don’t speak Portuguese or Spanish, I highly recommend downloading an offline dictionary to your smart device, so you will be able to use it at any time. I carried this one around and it came in handy a few times. But before you reach in your pocket for your phone (just a phrase, don’t actually carry your phone in a pocket!), try to communicate with the locals on your own. Even if you look like you are dancing when you’re using sign language. Brazilians are kind and open, so they will be happy to help you once they figure out what is it that you need. Use your portable dictionary only in a matter of urgency ?
(Gluten-free) Food in Brazil
Hungry souls, beware! Restaurants close during the day and reopen in the evening. If you’re like me and you’re used to having lunch at around 4 p.m., plan ahead and eat even if you’re not hungry. Otherwise, you will end up with an empty stomach or will have to be satisfied with a sandwich. Or Pão de queijo... Or tapiocas… Hmmm, skipping lunch doesn’t sound so bad anymore, huh? ? Especially when the last two are naturally gluten-free.
Speaking of gluten… all packed goods (even water) need to be labeled with “contem gluten” or “nao contem gluten“. I’m sure you will understand it, even if you don’t speak Portuguese. This makes grocery shopping pretty simple for those, who do not tolerate gluten. In case you need to double-check, remember the word trigo, which translates to “wheat”. In my experiences, Brazilians have good knowledge about gluten. For me, it was actually easier to arrange a gluten-free meal in Brazil in Portuguese (a language I basically don’t speak) than it is sometimes in my own country.
“Some paths can’t get discovered without getting lost”
Not really about Brazil, but more like a general travel tip… use offline maps. Aka life savior. Seriously, there should be a holy grail for this! I cannot imagine my travel life without Google’s offline maps. Simple to use, reliable and the best of all – they are there for you, even if you don’t have an internet connection. If you haven’t used offline maps yet, here are some quick instructions, so you will always know where you are. But then again – some paths can’t get discovered without getting lost…
Before I finish off, here’s a 2-minute video from my trip:
Happy travels & thank you so much for reading!
One of my best friends often says someday a series will be written and shot based on my life's story. This is probably not going to happen but her joke was definitely an inspiration for today's title. Every story has a beginning, so let me start with my "official traveling release" 🙂23 November, 2015