Natal and Recife

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Brazil


At the airport we got picked up from two sons of the family, we were planning to stay. The mother cooked some nice, traditional food and everyone was so excited. With the family we shared the excitement in the game Brazil contra Kameron. So far we always had been lucky with our families via Airbnb. The people are so helpful and affectionate, we love the atmosphere. 

The next day we explored Natal but there is not so much to see than beaches and Punta Negra. After the FIFA Fan Fest and the overwhelming game Italy versus Uruguay we followed the coastline towards Punta Negra. Behind a big hotel there had been a massive landslide, over 20 houses got lost. It looked terrible. 

We passed a lot of Military Police again. Everywhere we had been so far it feels intimidating but also safe. With the bus we drove to the touristy area of Punta Negra to have a bit of the World Cup atmosphere. After cheap and strong Caipirinhas and a bad Pizza we headed back to Natal center with the bus. 

Since it was already late we three – Mike, Micha and I – decided to take a cab back to the house. Unfortunately the driver had no clue about the Lagoa Azul area and we ended up in the deepest Favela (slums). The road was a dirt road with bumps and deep puddles of mud and the car hit the ground several times. 

Until we got out of this maze the taximeter was already on 70 instead of 50. We found some people who helped and called the family which explained how to get back to the house. The mother was already so worried and happy to have us back safely. What an adventure. I better skip the part where Michael and Mike went for a Brazilian Fest here. Both where happy that I didn’t come. I really wanted to write on my reports for ours website. 

With one of the taxi drivers – for sure not the one which got lost the night before – we agreed on a price to bring us to Recife. The only available busses where leaving at 3 or 6 o’clock in the night. The three of us decided on a cab since the guy picked us up and dropped us off at the houses. Since our driver was more cruising than driving we ended up with 8 hours ride instead of 4. 

But again we found a very nice family in Recife. Since the couple and the daughter spoke only a strong Portuguese dialect we spoke mainly with google translater. Mike is living close by with friends but his area is a bit safer. So our hosts brought us to the big intersection out of the Favela.

Via internet we found someone who agreed to sell us two tickets for the Germany – USA game and wanted to meet us at the stadium. The heavy rain the next morning made the roads in our neighborhood nearly impassable. It took us 3 hours to get to the stadium. We had contact with the guy just half an hour before we reached the stadium but he must have decided to sell the tickets for much more. A lot of Americans offered crazy prices. 

Without tickets and soaking wet we returned to the FIFA Fan Fest in the old town. The rain flooded the roads so Michael was standing in the bus, his feet submerged in brown flood water.

Drenched and only with a couple of fans we observed the game. Luckily after the game a lot of fans from the stadium arrived in old town to party a little. We met up with Mike who has tickets for all the German games. After being soaked and standing in the cold I got a little cold. 

Due to the flooded roads the taxis didn’t go into our neighborhood and we ended up walking back. But a nice woman showed us the way back when we took the wrong turn. 

And than it was about time to board again. This time to Rio de Janeiro and without our interpreter Mike. Thanks Mike for your support. Made some things so much easier. 

Airbnb - 

Room: Avenida Cidade Praia Natal, Rio Grande do Norte Brasilien 

Contact: Rodrigo Costa (/users/show/13408990) +55 84 8788 7363 / +55 87 8873 63 +55 36 6173 33, 
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Comment: a room with a stock bed or a room with a double bed. Shared bathroom. Super nice family. Unfortunately the house is not close to the center. You can communicate in a mix of Portugues, Spanish and English.


Fortaleza and the German Match

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Brazil


With three stop-overs in the middle of the night our flight was pretty tiring but our Airbnb-Apartment was close to the airport and the stadium. For our Germany-Ghana game we can just walk to the stadium, how cool is this? 

Maya's plane (USA) arrived at 6pm whereas Mike (Germany) got to Fortaleza at 8pm. Since we received four tickets for the same game we put the information on the internet and Maya and Mike wanted to come with us. We also organized the apartment for the four of us and were looking forward for some fan party. Michael booked all our accommodation via Airbnb means we stay with local families in urban areas of the towns, which gives us the opportunity to learn more about the culture and the people. We also met really cool travelers from different countries so we communicated with a mix of Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and German. 

We all got the same impression, the atmosphere is a bit mixed since the election is coming up in October. More money was spent for the World Cup than promised - money which is needed for education and infrastructure. We heard about a lot of demonstrations in the country against Fifa and the Government. For sure the poor people never benefit from such big events.

The day of the game we arrived early and 2 km around the stadium was completely blocked by Military Police. People from the Favelas (slums) tried to sell some drinks or offered a bike ride to the stadium in order to some money. Thousands of German fans were moving towards the stadium. In the stadium the atmosphere was amazing and when the game started no one could stay in the seats. Somehow we ended up in the fan area of some Ghanaian but the cheering and screaming of the German fans was overwhelming. When the Fifa tried to take off banners from German fans the mass went crazy. Everyone was yelling "Fifa go home, Fifa go home!". 

Too bad that the outcoming of the game was a bit different than expected but Ghana was a strong opponent. The second half was troubling, not only for the teams. After the match we drove downtown to celebrate some more with German fans and at the beach it was packed with people. You can say German fans know how to celebrate.

After only three hours of sleep we got up for a day trip. Daniel organized this trip a week ago so we had no idea what the trip was about. Daniel is Dagmar's brother with whom I was AuPair in America in 1997. Before we got to Brazil she wrote me that here brother is living with his Brazilian wife in Sao Paolo and if we need anything we just should drop them a line. Since Daniel and his wife Camile also went to the game in Fortaleza, we met up for the day trip. And we also plan to visit them in Sao Paolo.

The five of us - Micha, Mike, Daniel, Camile and I (Maya was too tired) - drove 160 km by bus to Canoa Quebrada. What a beautiful surrounding with dunes and cliffs and a nice little town. With a buggy we drove around the dunes and the spectacular scenery and in the afternoon we ate a huge seafood platter. Once in a while you have to treat yourself. And this was just the day for it.

Back in Fortaleza we went to the Fan Fest again despite our fatigue. The last evening we just had to party some more before we are heading for Natal. We had a great time in Fortaleza.

Airbnb -

Apartment: 489 R. Torres de Melo Fortaleza, CE 60860-370 Brasilien

Contact: Mauricio Diogenes (/users/show/6962826) +55 85 9929 6838This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Comment: nice and clean apartment in a good neighborhood. The family is really helpful and
                 Mauricio speaks German.


Manaus - a big city at the Amazonas

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Brazil


To get to our apartment the taxi driver drove some extra rounds, so we ended up with $ 29 expect of $ 10. Since we didn’t know how close the apartment would be and no information of the price we couldn’t say anything even if we had the feeling he was driving in loops.

The apartment was super and you could tell the western influence of the owner. He is from Finland and normally lives in Texas, USA. With the bus it is only 30 minutes away from Ponta Negra where they had the Fan Fest. But first we went shopping for food and cooked some pasta. After the shower we watched the game on TV and relaxed. It was just nice being in a normal bed again after such a long time in a hammock.

The next day we drove to the Fan Fest but with only about 40 people it lacked on atmosphere. That was the moment when we wanted to go back on our Amazonas boat since we had so much fun and action during the games. After the second game we drove back to our apartment.

We stopped by at this beautifully decorated street with Brazil banners where we have met an older man this morning. And there he was again and totally excited to see us. So he invited us in and we met his family. Luckily the daughter spoke Spanish since we have a hard time to understand Portuguese. The family was so sweet they even gave me a little present.

With this great experience we left Manaus pretty early. Our flight was at 3 o’clock in the night and we had two stop overs. Very nice from the owner to let us stay in the apartment till 11 o’clock before he drove us to the airport and picked up his new clients. Let’s go to Fortaleza.

Airbnb -

Apartment: Rua Doze Casa 15, Lirio Do Vale 2 Manaus, Amazonas Brazil

Contact: Terho Tamminen (/users/show/2450478) +1 817 366 7876 +55 92 8121 9210 
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Comment: Very clean and nice apartment, close to the beach of Ponta Negra.