Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jacare Brazil May 2016

We took the train to Joao Passoa to visit the old historical area and to go to the only chandlery we'd heard of around here.  This city is a 40 minute train ride from Jacare where we are anchored in the river.  Jason on the sidewalk in front of one of the old churches in Joao Passoa.
The old buildings are delineated by their change in paint color.

One of the old churches in Joao Passoa.
The colonial architecture stands out, but isn't really cared for very well.
Inside the old church.
Looking down a city street at a church in the distance.
The entrance to the Masonic Temple here.
The big boxy truck is a giant set of rolling speakers blaring out Portuguese.  The decibels were deafening.  The louder the music, the better it must be, eh?
The skinny facade of an old interesting building across the street from the chandlery where some yachties shopped til they dropped.
In the Paraiba River outside the Jacare Marina, we watched a local regatta zoom in among the yachts at anchor and on moorings.
 Another day, the local kids herded a bunch of cattle between the buildings and down the road to a new pasture.  The cows stepped through a workshop where men were trying to make new boat trailers from long pieces of steel.  The cows stepped on the steel and the men tried to shoo them away.
 The cows took the opportunity to try to grab a mouthful of greenery at the end of the dock walkway.
 My shadow and another yacht lady's watching the Zebu cattle get pushed along the road in front of the marina.
 This bull took his own path along the waterfront.  The hump on the back is like a Bramha bull and is a characteristic of the Zebu beef cattle from which tasty meat comes.
 The young boys on their horse as they herded the cattle along the street.  The horses here are small and scrawny, but we see folks running them up and down the street a lot.  Sometimes they have a cart attached and are clip clopping down the road with cars zooming by.
 The backside of the cowboys and their herd passing in front of the Jacare marina building where we used the internet and had BBQs.
The big, multilevel tour boats that circle around the anchorage area playing music and dancing until the Bolero Man starts his saxophone playing of Bolero.
 Jason in the marina lobby with the Honda generator in pieces after his cleaning effort.  He got it all back together and it is working again.  Such a good mechanic!  Why he would wear a clean, white T-shirt to do the job is beyond me, though.
 Bill on Juffa (in the orange shirt) spent weeks with his sewing machine in the lobby area at the marina.  He fixed many sails for many boats and finished my duffel bag for me for a bottle of rum.  He was adding to his cruising kitty and helped lots of folks.
 The marina restaurant/bar area at Jacare Marina Village where we were anchored.
 We took a free bus ride into Joao Passoa to go to the zoo.  The train no longer goes all the way into the city; it ran off the track last month sometime while we were in Rio and it hasn't been fixed yet. So you could take the train part of the way and then transfer to a bus, but we just take the bus all the way since it is free for us old folks.  The zoo cost us R$2 (about 60 cents) and we got what we paid for.  It is a small, old zoo with horrible fenced cages for most of the exhibits. This is a roadside hawk in a cage with over a dozen others.
 You can get an idea of how small the cages here are.
 A zoo employee came in with a tray of meat to feed the hawks and falcons.  He whistled and they came to land on his arm to eat meat from his fist.
 They had some beautiful red and blue macaws in a much bigger caged area, but we couldn't get close enough to get a good photo with the phone camera.
 Looking down the fence at a bunch of turtles huddled together.
 A ramp of different turtle types.
 The jaguar spent his time pacing back and forth in his cage.  The lions next door just slept in the dirt.
 We walked around to the elephant enclosure, next to this paddle boat lagoon.  The homes on the other side of the water back right up to the zoo property.
 Way back in the center is the lone elephant, rubbing his hide on the fence.
 These big lizards reminded me of Gila Monsters.  The climbed all over each other once they woke up and started moving around.  The little one climbed piggyback onto the big one and rode into the next enclosure on him.  The fuzzy gray is scratches on the glass of the tank they are in.
 The zoo in Joao Passoa had quite a collection of snakes.  This is a rainbow boa.
 The tan and brown patterns on this one would hide it well in its natural surroundings.
 This tree snake just draped itself onto a twig and hung there.
 These are red corn snakes.
 This snake laid in the water with just his head up and out.
 This python is hiding in the water under a log.  He stared malevolently at me from his hiding place.
 One of the lizards giving me the eye, too.
 We visited an artist gallery that was free nearby, too.  These different depictions of religious figures were just inside the front door.  Lots of variety in their carved forms.
 Three-dimensional carvings of home life scenes and such lined a whole wall area.  Intricate and interesting.
 Puppets and stuffed cloth dolls in a circle were a colorful sight in one room of the gallery.
 These figures remind me of the Mardi Gras/Carnival type heads that people wear in parades.
 Another wall hanging of miniature stuffed cloth people in a ring.  A lot of work went into creating these tiny people.  The entire circle is only about 18" in diameter.
 Some wooden giraffes got Jason's attention and he mimicked them.
 Pretty simplistic, this one.
 These pottery women reminded me of a bell I once made for my mother.  There was an entire wall of these figures.
 Wicker flowers in a glass stand by the door.  Very pretty.
 Our luch of chicken and port mixed, with rice, spaghetti, potato, salad and a little bowl of hot black beans on the side.  Yummy.  We figured it must be ok as the tables here were filled with teens from a local school eating their lunches.  We've been told food is usually cheap by the schools.
 A cartful of cashew fruit.  You can see the nut still attached to the end of the fruit, but it would need to be dried, peeled and roasted before eating.  The fruit, however, can be eaten and/or juiced.  'Caju' is the local word for cashew and is a favorite flavor here locally.  Even Tang-like powdered drinks come in cashew flavor.  I'm not a big fan of the flavor.  The tubs of little round fruit that looks like cherries is a sour plum.  We made the mistake of tasting one in the Cabedelo market one day and what a pucker!  Wow.  Won't make that mistake again.
 The buses and trains are free for folks over 60, but you can't come in the front door or go through the turnstiles.  You use the side doors.  These turnstiles are meant for skinny people!  We watch big folks or those carrying big bags or backpacks try to smush themselves through this tight space after paying their R$3 (less than a dollar).   The fare is for as far as you want to go for any single ride.  They think I'm old enough to ride for free, so I don't correct them for the sake of a few months.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Olinda, Brazil, May 2016

The view of Recife from a hilltop in Olinda.  Our taxi driver, Sal, took us on a 15-minute detour to see this 'surprise', a gorgeous view of our destination in the distance.  We were on our way to the airport in Recife to fly to Rio de Janeiro.
A couple of old guys playing guitars for the tourists on the hilltop in Olinda.
Olinda has 22 churches that date back hundreds of years.
Quaint architecture is also a mark of Olinda.
The old monastery at the top of the hill was closed when we stopped.
A tourist getting his photo taken with the two street musicians.
The streets here are old, steep, narrow and cobbled with big rocks.
Some of these buildings are hundreds of years old, too.  So colorful.
Sal is pointing out the old buildings and their features as we drive through Olinda on the way to the airport.
San Bento is one of the pretty old churches.
A street scene in Olinda.  These buildings are over 110 years old.
A pretty view of a church in Olinda from the hilltop restaurant where we ate dinner.  It is lit up at night, making it a pretty view anytime.  It is the Church of Carmo.
The front of the building of the market at the top of the hill.The prow-like sculpture carries the theme of the ocean so prevalent here.
I went into the old observatory at night.  The constellations are laid out on the floor of the round tower.
The spiral staircase let up two levels to the slit in the top for astronomers.
The red light inside the observatory helps to prevent night blindness so you can still see better in the dark.  The walls actually had English explanations on it.  Someone had a huge telescope set up in the top and on the ground level with views of the moon and Mercury.
A shop in the market was selling these little clay representations of various occupations.  The gynocologist and proctologist were the main ones here.  Yuck!  Who would want one of these on their desk??
These huge masks were on the wall of a building across the road from the market area.  They are large--about 6 feet tall-- and represent the Carnival that closes the streets here in Olinda for 15 days.
Another of the masks on the wall.  Colorful mosaics make up these faces.  These were taken at night with an iPhone, so you can imagine the color and glittery look these must have in daylight.
A colorful doorway as we drove past.
Churches get the most attention here in Olinda.
Lace tablecloths in the market outside the hilltop church.  I bought one of the square white ones as a gift.  They are made from coconut fibers.  Maybe not heirloom items, but quite pretty and detailed nonetheless.
Ornate building fronts are everywhere here.
Colorful artwork/graffitti along the streets.
The iconic view of the Church of San Francisco, now called Church of Carmo.  It had us confused when we were trying to find the blue and white tiles in the San Francisco Monastery.
Intricate tiles and lots of gilt work inside in the alcoves
Gold, gold and more gold in these churches and cathedrals.
Even the sandstone work at the entry is pretty ornately carved.
I just liked this bright pink buildintg across the road from our pousada/guesthouse/B&B when we stayed the night here.

The following pictures are mostly of the blue and white tiles found on the walls of the Monaster of San Francisco in Olinda.  We'd heard about the nearly 1000 tiles that depicted the scenes from the bible and from the daily lives of the Dutch when they were here in the 1600s.  The tiles are in a part of a church whose origin was 439 years ago!  These tiles aren't that old, but they are hundreds of years old and in need of protection, restoration and repair.  They line several walls of some of the seven chapels in this one building and are pretty amazing to see!
The devil on the left has been defaced, but the colors and details in the majority of the tiles is still quite good.
The cherubs and vases at the top are shaped tiles, not a common occurrence from years ago.
A portion of a wall contains some odd, hodgepodge of scenes.  They were most likely fallen tiles that someone put back on a wall for safekeeping until their proper location could be reestablished.  Makes for unusual viewing now, though, like a jigsaw puzzle with the pieces laid out next to each other.  Now you just have to find where they really belong.
Of course, there are lots of religious scdenes, with angels, devils and people.
St,. Francis, known as the patron saint of fishermen is here with a riverful of fish.
The daily scenes of life during the times of the friars are pretty interesting.  Simple things like drawing water from a well, with a town in the background take dozens of tiles to make the picture complete.
Saving the locals?
This one shows a monk trying to drag a man to his redemption, we think.  The rope or chain has been chisled out of the picture.
Walking on a person's chest is helpful how?
The devil is depicted with horns, hooves for feet, and bat-like wings.
The flames of hell are along the right here.  Not sure if those in the flames are trying to draw the man in or if he is trying to save the ones in the flames.  There wasn't a legend for the scenes for us to follow.
This monk looks like he is flying a God kite.  I don't mean to be blasphemous, but the scenes depicted are very unusual.  I imagine it represents the direct ties to the Lord.
And the sailing ships in the harbor are important for daily life scenes.
A youth carrying goods on a stick.
The Egyptian influence presents itself in the head figure at the bottom of this tile scene.
More ties to the heavenly bodies.
Cool old wooden doors of the church.
The ceiling of one room was covered with paintings like this.
Dark carved rosewood lined one wall of one of the chapels, next to a wall of dislocated tiles.
Some ceiling paintings.
A mother and children of the day.
The daily life of a hunter and his dog.
A shepherd and his flock of sheep.
Fishing from a sailboat.
The golden and tile highlights really shine here.
Figures in the alter alcoves.
A view of a wall of tiles in one of the rooms.  It's a huge mural of 4" tiles creating many pictures.
The baby (Jesus?) being circumcised.
The three wise men bringing their gifts to the newborn Jesus in Mary's arms.
This wall is buckling and the tiles are coming loose.  The place needs some attention soon.
More daily life scenes.
Drawing water from a well with a city in the background and a circle of children playing games.
St. Francis, patron saint of fishermen in a river of fish.
A close up of some of those fish.  Wicked teeth on these fishes!
A banner near one of the doors that explains a little about the place.
Horses in a pit in a street.  Mud or just a pothole?
Lots of devils in this one, many of which have been defaced.
Devils with lightning bolts.
This is a tomb covering in the stone floor.
The sundial out in a corner of the grounds.  It is supposedly 33 minutes fast as it never stopped when the Brazilian government stopped the clocks one day in 1914 to enjoy the cool weather in Rio.
The back side of the monastery.
The grounds out the back.
The history of the convent of St. Francisco of Brazil started in 1577 with the first convent here.
The front of the monastery.
Jason and Sal in front of St. Francisco monastery.
The plaza across the street was full of sleeping dogs.
3-D depictions of Olinda in carved wood, along with paintings of the town scenes.  It's a pretty city, its name means 'pretty'.  Appropriate.
Another shot of the front of the monastery with Jason.
A sign telling is is open for visiting.  Cost R$2 each, about 60 cents.
Another pretty church that Sal took us to.
Gilded alters are the name of the game here.
More of the tiles from the 1600-1800s.
A view of the Franciscan monastery from afar.  The Atlantic Ocean is in the background.
Many of the old buildings are covered in the black moldy growth.
A couple of old bells outside another church.
The church at the top of the hill from where we stayed in Olinda.
Doors up on the wall but no balcony or guard to prevent that first big step.
The steep cobblestone street we walked up to get to the church above.
Colorful Olinda streets.
The old buildings butt right up against each other and the colors tell you the boundaries.
A big, funky pink clown outside this 2nd story window.  The pictures look curved because I took them on the iPhone as we were moving in the car.
San Bento (Saint Benedict) church in Olinda.
A sun-scorched sign of explanation of the church, amazingly in English.
Another view.  Just like a postcard eh?
Not the original tile floor, but pretty cool for a church.
Newly refurbished alter.
The ceiling was a piece of art, too.
I liked the thick wooden doors with cracking wood and paint.
Jason and Sal in front of part of the church to be reconstructed using original colors and materials.
This church is the only one to have a 2nd crucifix for the 2nd level.
Yin and yang in mosaic stones.