The Kaiser examines trickery and soccer

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‘The Kaiser’: film debates malandragem (trickery) and soccer in Rio de Janeiro

The British-made documentary looks at the formation of the Rio trickster by way of Carlos Kaiser

Kaiser is a nickname that, for some – including Carlos Henrique Raposo, owner of the honorary title – traces a parallel with that of German Franz Beckenbauer, a world champion that played for Germany. There are those who point out a less pompous comparison, comparing the physical form of the guy with the nickname to a bottle of beer.

It is a fact that the trajectory of the Brazilian Kaiser, who played for the four big clubs in Rio and also played in Europe without ever being a football player, underscores the trickster’s ambiguity. And if Brazilians still try to decide between fascination and embarrassment, foreign aid will soon arrive via the big screen: the documentary “The Kaiser”, by British director Louis Myles.


Louis Myles, director of the documentary, kicks a ball with Eduardo Lara, an actor who plays Kaiser

The documentary immerses itself in the story of Carlos “Kaiser”, a character who made a career in football forging an image of a player that had little (or no) basis in technical quality. Kaiser, who started at Botafogo, got contracts through friendships with other players, or simply selling snake oil to club officials – and then using tricks to avoid being discovered.

When he signed with Bangu in the 1980s, he had a fight with fans and was sent off when he was warming up to take the field. He alleged that he heard trash talk about Castor de Andrade, then-president of the club. Instead of being punished, he ended up winning a contract extension for apparently proving his loyalty.

The interest in the unusual trajectory united Myles and a group of producers from the UK. None of them had come to Brazil before preparations for the 2014 World Cup. It was a time when the economic boom and international attention seemed to lead to renewed customs that, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, had created a romantic image of the country, although not always positive.

“When I talked to Tim Vickery (BBC correspondent in Brazil), he told me it was the best story he had ever heard from Brazil, not just in sports. There are other cases of players who have cheated clubs for some time, but with Kaiser they lasted 26 years”, notes Myles. “For a gringo, it’s harder to understand that sort of thing. People in Brazil are very receptive and friendly, except when someone from the outside begins to ask lots of questions about cheating. Kaiser himself asked not to be called ‘171’ (a trickster).


Today, at 54 years old and far from football, Kaiser was interviewed for the documentary, whose filming began in 2015. The director himself admits that he couldn’t trust everything he heard. The former player, however, became more than mere character to Myles and his team, with whom he developed a relationship of complicity. Not surprising: it was Kaiser’s good relationship with then-football stars like Bebeto and Renato Gaucho, which opened a few doors for him.


Kaiser in the famous photo next to Renato Gaucho, in the 90’s

“Almost everyone we spoke to showed a lot of affection for Kaiser. Everyone likes these romantic characters, full of personality. These are stories that could happen anywhere, provided there is a certain context. Kaiser is from a time when the great Brazilian players did not go to Europe, but played in Rio. The stadiums filled up more, there was a passionate atmosphere around football”, says Tom Markham, a football finance expert who, drawn by Kaiser’s story, became the documentary’s producer.

To get close to Kaiser, Myles learned to speak Portuguese and also adapted to the carioca way. The director stresses that the focus of his film is the player’s story – including, he guarantees, unprecedented details – but he estimates that it would be impossible to present it without understanding the Brazilian context.

Myles recalls that back when Kaiser played, with an unstable currency and political turmoil, the gulf between rich and poor was seen as more insurmountable than it seemed at the beginning of the present decade. After traveling to Brazil several times since the 2014 World Cup, he says a regression of expectations and “erosion of confidence” is visible.

“I don’t see it as a problem solely in Brazil, but here it is felt differently due to the expectation that had arisen,” Myles says. “Until the filming began, I had no idea that malandragem was something typical of Rio. Personally, I like the trickster’s celebration. In the UK, for example, there is a fascination with the anarchy of the punk movement. It’s as if people have to have something like that to deal with the difficult day-to-day. But there are consequences in doing so.

In addition to interviews, “The Kaiser” will feature some staged parts. Kaiser, for example, will be played by actor Eduardo Lara. The film is in the final stages of shooting, and due to be completed in early May. The forecast is to launch in September, with versions narrated in English and Portuguese.

“I had to dramatize some things because basically there is no footage of Kaiser,” says the director. “On the other hand, I think if I delivered a totally re-enacted movie, no one would believe the story. – Source (PT)

As I was translating the Brazilian version, an English article about the film came out.

The human cost of Rio’s growth


“I would come back to live here if I could,” said Altair Guimarães, plucking a guava from a fruit tree that survived the re-development of Rio de Janeiro’s once-thriving Vila Autodromo community, all but razed by the 2016 Olympics project.

Guimarães, 61, was evicted from his home two years ago and today the trees, a church and two rows of small white houses are all that remain of the neighbourhood on Rio’s western fringe.

City authorities allowed just seven families of more than 500 to stay on in Vila Autodromo in the run-up to the Rio Games, a decision that ended a decades-long, sometimes bloody struggle between residents and the police sent to evict them.

For Guimarães, the forced move from Vila Autódromo was the final, bitter chapter in a life-long quest to put down roots in the city of his birth.

Evicted three times over three decades from different parts of Rio, his life illustrates how the re-development and gentrification of Brazil’s second biggest city has pushed many of its poorest residents to the edges, mirroring a global pattern. – Source (read more)

In the video made by place, you’ll hear about Rio’s different waves of removals, which you can learn more about by reading through the posts in Deep Rio’s favela category.

The video needs one small correction, though. CDD (City of God) wasn’t built for the removals, but rather to house government employees, as mentioned in my recent Etymology of Rio post.

National Choro Day


Choro (“cry” or “lament”), also popularly called chorinho, is an instrumental Brazilian popular music genre which originated in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. Despite its name, the music often has a fast and happy rhythm. It is characterized by virtuosity, improvisation and subtle modulations, and is full of syncopation and counterpoint. Choro is considered the first characteristically Brazilian genre of urban popular music. The serenaders who play choros are known as chorões. – Wikipedia


Celebrated on Sunday (April 23rd), National Choro Day coincides, not by chance, with the birthday of Pixinguinha (1897-1973). To revere the master, who would’ve turned 120 years old on the date, more than eighty musicians presented themselves for free in five points throughout the city. The spree was idealized by the Instituto Casa do Choro. – Source (PT)

The History of Choro – Chorinho’s origin: The 30-min video above covers more than 100 years of Brazil’s most genuine musical genre and its most important exponents from Joaquim Calado to Altamiro Carrilho and recalling Chiquinha Gonzaga, Pixinguinha and Jacob do Bandolim. The life of the composers who wrote the history of choro is told through the group Choro na Praça, presenting representative works from the 16 most important composers of the genre.

The album above features 36 compositions from Brazil’s most famous choro musicians, from 1906 to 1947. The video description on Youtube shows the songs, musicians and time stamps of each composition.

The video above is the 2005 documentary Brasileirinho, about choro in Rio de Janeiro.

The Etymology of Rio


Below, I went through the etymology of many names that will be familiar to those that know Rio de Janeiro. You’ll find that, where possible, they adhere to the format below and, in some cases, they include other details. The list below is not all-inclusive.

Current: Portuguese (English)
Original: Portuguese (English)


Arpoador (Harpooner)

Note: It was once a place for harpooning whales

Bangu (Black Shield, Big darkened wall)
unknown/part of Campo Grande

Note: The Tupi word bangu’u likely references the shadow of the Pedra Branca Massif. Another possible origin is the African term banguê, a place on the sugarcane mill where slaves stored bagasse, for feeding the cows. The latter term then began to be used to describe a primative transportation device, like a stretcher, for sugarcane and construction material

Copacabana (Luminous place / Blue Beach, View of the Lake)
Sacopenapã (Path of tiger herons)

Note: Current name is perhaps Quechuan, or of Bolivian indigenous origin. Original name is the same as the Lagoon, related to old parish delimitations) [1]

Flamengo (Flemish)
Uruçumirim (Small Bee)

Note: Current name either due to Dutch invasion, Dutch prisoners, or sightings of flamingos. Also called Aguada dos Marinheiros (Sailor’s fresh water supply), and Praia do Sapateiro (Cobbler Beach) in the interim

Humaitá (Black Stone)
Praia da Piaçava (Piassava Beach)

Ilha do Governador (Governor’s Island)
Ilha de Paranapuã / Ilha dos Maracajás (Seaside Hill Island / Margay Island)

Note: It was a sesmaria and sugar mill owned by Rio’s first governor, Salvador Correia de Sá

Ipanema (Bad Water)

Note: The name also references the second Baron of Ipanema, from inland São Paulo, who invested his capital from a metal processing plant into what would become Rio’s Ipanema

Madureira (from tentant and cattle drover Lourenço Madureira)

Penha (either from Our Lady of Peñafrancia or from the word for cliff) [2]

Recreio dos Bandeirantes (Fortune-hunters Playground)

Note: The company which originally sold lots of land there had the same name

Tijuca (Rotten Water)

Note: Tijuca got its name because it was on the way to Tijuca Lagoon, in Barra da Tijuca


Cidade de Deus (City of God)

Note: Dom Hélder Câmara, a Roman Catholic Archbishop, suggested the name to Carlos Lacerda, then-governor of the state of then-Guanabara. The housing complex was actually supposed to be inhabited by government employees, but due to 1966 floods, residents of favelas in the Zona Sul were moved there instead [3]

Complexo do Alemão (German’s Complex)
Unknown/part of the parish of Inhaúma (Black Bird, ie Horned screamer)

Note: The “German” in this case, was actually a Polish immigrant, WWI refugee and land owner. Before it was a Complex, it was simply known as Morro do Alemão (German’s Hill)

Complexo do Maré (Tide Complex)
Comunidade Morro do Timbau (Timbau Hill Community)

Note: The name Maré is due to the swampy area there and the tide that would eventually come in, which gave way to the construction of stilt houses

Morro da Mangueira (Mangueira Hill)

Note: The Mangueira Hat Factory was located on a street at one of the entrances to the favela. The factory “lent” its name to another favela, in Leme, called Chapéu-Mangueira

Morro da Providência (Providence Hill) [4]
Favela (Weed)

Note: It took on the current name in the 1940s with the installation of the Divina Providência chapel there

Morro do Salgueiro (Salgueiro Hill)

Note: Portuguese immigrant Domingos Alves Salgueiro had 30 shacks in the favela and became a point of reference for those going there

Rocinha (small farm) [5]

Santa Marta / Dona Marta (Saint Martha / Lady Martha)

Note: Priest Clemente Martins de Matos bought lands in current-day Botafogo and denominated the hill with his mother’s name

Vidigal (named after Major Vidigal) [6]


Corcovado (Hunchbacked)
Pináculo / Pico da Tentação (Pinnacle / Temptation Peak)

Note: The original name references the Mount of Temptation, showing that religious connotations existed there prior to the Christ statue

Cristo o Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)
Mirante do Chapéu do Sol (Sun Hat Viewpoint) [7]

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon) [8]
Piraguá or Praguá / Sacopenapã / Capôpenypau (Fish Cove / Path of tiger herons / Lagoon of shallow roots)

Note: Also called Lagoa de Amorim Soares / do Fagundes (due to other owners), in the interim

Maracanã (parrot)

Pedra da Gávea (Topsail Rock)
Metaracanga (Decorated/Crowned head)

Keeping pollution at bay

Rio_de_Janeiro_view_from_Guanabara_bay 2.jpg

We always get excited about the aerial view of Guanabara Bay. Every time we return to Rio de Janeiro through Santos Dumont Airport, we are amazed by its beauty and size. The harmonious design of the mountains makes Guanabara Bay the essence of the most beautiful postcard in the city.

Seen from above, the Bay is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. That is why the two main tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, Corcovado and Sugarloaf, together receive more than 3 million visitors every year. The main reason for this movement of people is the view, which includes – of course – Guanabara Bay.

Even so, those that govern the state and the city of Rio de Janeiro were not educated on the vital importance of decontaminating the bay. And worse, they wasted the moment before the Olympics to do that work. To imagine the dimension of pollutants, such as the oil from large vessels that are launched daily in Guanabara Bay, just look at the surrounding areas.

Guanabara Bay is home to the second largest industrial region, the second largest port in Brazil, two airports, two refineries, naval services, shipyards and an intense movement of land and sea transportation. “The Bay offers a world of services without there being a single fee that is reverted to its care,” says David Zee, an oceanographer at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). “Nature is doing slave labor.”

Its hydrographic basin of almost 4 thousand km squared reaches areas of 15 municipalities – Rio de Janeiro, Duque de Caxias, São Gonçalo, Magé, Guapimirim, Itaboraí, Tanguá, Niterói, Nova Iguaçu, Cachoeiras de Macacu, Rio Bonito, São João de Meriti, Mosque, Nilopolis and even a small part of Petropolis. With so many actors involved, articulating common policies, such as basic sanitation itself, is a huge dilemma.

Lack of articulation, projects impossible to execute and difficulties in taking responsibility made the proposal to cleanse the Bay an entanglement of difficulties and procrastination. The biggest problem pointed out by oceanographer David Zee bumps up against a delicate issue, the favelas. The occupation of the coastal zone in a disorderly and irregular way degrades the banks of the Bay, increases the violence in the region and makes sanitation projects even more difficult.

“It is not possible to think of the decontamination of Guanabara Bay by means of basic sanitation when half of the population that throws sewage in the bay is in favelas and not in formal cities,” says Zee. “If it is already difficult to carry out this work in a normal situation, it’s almost impossible in militia-controlled locations.”

For Zee, the way out would be to place treatment units in the rivers [1] that empty into the bay, bringing with them tons of garbage. “But there’s another problem: who’s going to take on the job?” [2]

But the bay’s health has not always been so critical. In 1818, the French naturalist Joseph Paul Gaimard, who was dedicated to the discovery of new species in Rio de Janeiro, confessed to his friends that he did not like to sail through the waters of Guanabara Bay. Not because of the trash, inexistant at the time. The naturalist feared something greater! The movement of whales that swam in the region was so intense that he feared that cetaceans could sink his boat. And, until the 1950s, it was still possible to spot some whales in the bay. [3]


Today, the only marine mammal that inhabits the waters of Guanabara Bay is the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) [4], and even so, in very small numbers. In 1985, researchers noted the presence of about 400 individuals inhabiting the bay. Today, this group would be no more than 34. The latest victim, known to researchers as Acerola, was found dead by Comlurb officials on June 15, 2016. At UERJ, which maintains the Laboratory of Aquatic Mammals and Bioindicators (MAQUA), Professor Izabel Gurgel nicknamed this group, which declines annually in size, as the “heroes of resistance.”

According to Maqua researchers, the boto (river dolphin) happens to live in the same place where it is born. The researchers identified that the boto uses an echolocation strategy that allows the animal to detect objects that are at sea. The ability to recognize locations and detect danger allows the species to continue to exist in impacted environments. In this way, porpoises can choose a less polluted place to survive. This is the case of the dolphins that live in the 20 km squared area of the Guanabara Ecological Station, which, next to the APA Guapimirim, is one of the few places where fishing nets are not allowed and there are few humans.

Maqua researchers also identified the death of green turtles in Guanabara Bay. Garbage, chemical pollution and trampling by boats are the main causes of the disappearance of the turtles that dare to venture through the waters of Rio de Janeiro. The species is also considered to be endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Measuring up to 1 meter in length and weighing almost 200 kilos, the green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) come from afar. They come from oceanic islands like Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco, Trindade, Espirito Santo, Atol das Rocas, Rio Grande do Norte, and even some Brazilian coastal regions. Guanabara Bay is part of the migration route and a potential safe harbor for juvenile turtles during their growth and reproduction. – Source (PT)


1 – My post on the history of the Carioca River

2 – Up until the mid-1800s, slaves known as tigres – due to the stripes made from waste spilling onto their backs – would carry buckets of sewage to dump into the sea.

3 – An aside: The etymology of Arpoador means “harpoon-thrower”, from arpoar (to harpoon), as the rocky outcropping was originally a place where whales were killed.

4 – The Guiana dolphin, or boto-cinza, is a symbol of Rio, depicted on its flag for the last 120 years. Baby Acerola was found in pieces, showing signs of being caught in a fishing net. Researchers suspect it was done by someone not native to the region, since local fishermen know the species is endangered and thus killing one is a crime.

Royal Portuguese Reading Room


Considered by Architecture & Design in 2015 to be the world’s third most majestic library, and by TIME magazine in 2014 to be the fourth most beautiful, the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura (Royal Portuguese Reading Room) can be found in downtown Rio. The latter magazine described it as such:

“A group of far-from-home Portuguese immigrants banded together to create a Portuguese library in 1837, although construction on the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura didn’t get going until 1880. The neo-Manueline building’s limestone façade showcases Portuguese explorers like Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, and Pedro Álvares Cabral in sculpture. The cathedral-like reading room has a stained-glass dome and wooden galleries. Its ornate bookshelves hold the largest collection of Portuguese literature” outside of Portugal.

It is even said that Dom Pedro II set the cornerstone and that Princesa Isabel inaugurated the location.


Open to the public since 1900, the library has a collection of around 350,000 volumes. In addition to its collection of books, the institution acts as a kind of curator of Portuguese-Brazilian cultural and social relations, developing activities through the Centro Cultural, Centro de Estudos, and the Pólo de Pesquisa Sobre as Relações Luso-brasileiras (Research Center on Portuguese-Brazilian Relations). And via the Artistic Collection that it preserves, like its façade, works of art and the furniture that composes the space. You’ll also catch the library in the Brazilian films like O Xangô de Baker Street and O Primo Basílio. The library itself has a website and can be located near Campo de Santana Park at: R. Luís de Camões, 30 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20051-020, Brazil.

Check out the video (PT) below, and its synopsis below that, to learn more, or some beautiful images here.

“The imposing building of the Royal Portuguese Reading Room hides among its rooms and its corridors a wealth of rich and diverse literary treasures. “They say that there are also ghosts …”, warns director Gilda Santos, with whom we go through the library. In an enveloping atmosphere of historical mystery, we discover the secrets off limits to the public: old manuscripts such as “Amor de Perdição” by Camilo Castelo Branco and “Tu, só tu, puro amor” by Machado de Assis, as well as paintings by great classic Portuguese painters and even a first edition of the Lusíadas from 1572.” (14 min)

Rio’s little known lookout points


Since the end of February, RJTV has been showing a series of short reports called “Rio invisível”, revealing the Cidade Maravilhosa from a special angle: up on high. Reporter Marina Araújo and cinematographer Júnior Alves explore trails, lookout points and other places less visited by Cariocas and tourists. Click here to see them all.

Dois Irmãos, four lookout points, in Leblon (image above)


Catacumba Park trail, with view of Lagoa [1]


Penna Church, in Jacarepaguá (not to be confused with Penha Church)


Pasmado Lookout Point: in front of Sugarloaf [2]

Transport apps on the rise in Rio


Behind the deadlocked scuffle between taxi drivers and private drivers using apps, is the dispute for a million-dollar market. An estimate made by the coordinator of the Center for Business Studies at Insper, Paulo Furquim de Azevedo, shows that, in just the two largest cities in the country – São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro -, drivers with apps, whose rides are much more affordable than those of taxis, already turn over between R$1.5 to R$3 million (US$480 – 961 million) per day. Considering taxis and apps, this amount reaches close to R$10 million (US$3.2 million) a day.

“The markets of Rio and São Paulo are very similar. Although the population of Rio is smaller, the use of taxis and private cars, via applications, is more intense due to the high price of parking lots and the lack of empty spots. We made our estimates based on the average daily movement of taxis,” explains Furquim.

In the professor’s estimations, app drivers in São Paulo and Rio number 50K in each city, already surpassing the number of taxi drivers, which is 38K and 32K, respectively. He used as a basis the growth rate of the number of drivers of these companies in recent years. Furquim recalls, however, that many drivers are on several platforms at the same time, which may distort the data a bit:

– The growth of unemployment has led many people to these applications.

In addition to the loss of passengers, the apps caused another type of problem for taxi drivers. The entry of these platforms into the market has lowered the value of city-issued licenses (medallions) for taxi drivers, which have always been negotiated in the secondary market for very high amounts.

“The licenses lost about 50% of their value with the entry of apps. Our estimate indicates that the stock for these authorizations had a value of R$23 billion (US$7.3 billion) in São Paulo, two years ago. In Rio, this stock was worth R$29 billion (US$9.29 billion), says Furquim.

According to the Insper professor, there is still no survey that indicates the potential of private transportation throughout Brazil. He notes that the more cities grow, the greater the demand for this type of service is because of traffic jams and a lack of parking spaces. In smaller cities, where there is no traffic, the passenger who doesn’t use public transport opts for their own car or a taxi.

Projects recently announced by the app companies for the country show that the market can still grow a lot. Just at the beginning of the year, investments announced by two of these companies in Brazil – Cabify and 99 – reached US$300 million.

Uber, which already operates in 40 Brazilian cities, had a 13-fold increase in the number of passengers in just two years. The platform has been operating in the country since 2014. According to the company, there are 13 million active users, people who have used the application at least once in the last three months. The number of drivers has already surpassed the 50-thousand mark in the country. – Source (PT)

Interesting to note that in both markets (Rio and SP), Uber users are becoming entrepreneurs by renting out a fleet of cars to new drivers who don’t have cars of their own. 

Hiking for Selfies in Guaratiba


Selfie scene at Pedra do Telégrafo suffers from bad tourists
October 1, 2016

It became a fever on social networks. In October 2015, Vasco’s midfielder, Nenê, created a stir among fans by posting a picture on Instagram where he appears hanging off a rock, on a cliff, kissing his wife, with a beautiful scene that mixes sea and mountain as the backdrop. He wasn’t the only one. Selfies at Pedra do Telégrafo, in Barra de Guaratiba, in the West Zone of Rio, simulate a radical effect, which is nothing more than an optical illusion, but they have become the new trend for Cariocas and tourists who like adventure. But the city’s ecological paradise, little known until recently, began to suffer from depredation, garbage and even graffiti. Thanks to bad tourists who leave behind a trail of destruction and disrespect of nature.

The 354-meter mountain, in Pedra Branca State Park, started to become popular a little over a year ago. Today, it receives thousands of visitors, most of them looking for amazing photos to impress friends and followers online. On Friday, the site was host to a Summer Operation, promoted by the State Environmental Institute (Inea), which manages the park, with the support of Mosaico Carioca, a group of administrators of ‘conservation units’ in Rio.

“Only locals and mountaineers knew the place. Now the average is 1,000 to 1,500 people per weekend. The vast majority are bothered by the vandalism,” says Andrei Veiga, head of the park. The agents began installing educational and directional signs, with guidelines on the most appropriate conduct in protected areas, as well as railroad sleepers and [cantoneiras?] to prevent motorcycle access, in addition to removing graffiti from rocks and maintaining the trails.

“With the sharing of photos on social networks, tourism has greatly changed the region. Now another kind of group is coming, those that like trails, some more for the trendy photo than for the spirit of hiking,” says environmentalist Pedro Felipe Carvalho, 26, a resident of Guaratiba and a tour guide.

“It’s possible they’ll open their minds to this idea of nature and healthy living and look for other trails, but unfortunately most don’t know how to respect things. They leave trash and graffiti. It looks ugly and spoils the photo,” he adds.

Camping and illegal commerce of food and drinks and other articles on Praia do Perigoso, which is part of the neighboring Municipal Natural Park of Grumari, were also the target of the recent public order. “We want to promote adequate visitation, without prejudice to the biodiversity and natural attractions of the park,” said Andrei Veiga. According to him, from now on, on weekends, teams from Inea and the two parks will be present on the beaches of Meio and Perigoso and at Pedra do Telégrafo.

Residents unite to save the wild beaches

In December, the NGO Amigos do Perigoso removed half a ton of garbage from the beach and the trail. Eighty tree seedlings native to the Atlantic Forest were planted. “We are always demanding, making a group effort, bringing seedlings and plants to try to make people aware. But city hall and the park should have already been playing this role for a long time. With this inspection and the operation, now it will get better”, bets Pedro Felipe, a Tourism graduate from UERJ.

He and his friends, Rafael Klein, 35, and Wilton Maral, 31, joined together a year ago to create Trilha Guaratiba, which organizes walks to Pedra do Telégrafo and Tartaruga and to the so-called Wild Beaches (Perigoso, Búzios, Meio, Funda and Inferno).


Pedra do Cavalo is the most famous point at Morro do Telégrafo. It was named after a photo taken over 20 years ago by Victor Klein, Rafael’s father, in which a horse appears, as if contemplating the breathtaking landscape. It is there that the busiest selfies on the tour are taken. Lines of up to two hours form for the desired photo. – Source (PT)

Ipê – Rio’s flowering tree


One of Brazil’s national trees, the Ipê (of the genus handroanthus), as the image above demonstrates, can be found in Rio de Janeiro. Two places in particular they can more easily be seen are in Flamengo Park and the Botanical Gardens. There are many native species of the tree, which loses its leaves during its flowering period, in winter and early spring. The Ipê comes in other bright colors as well, such as pink/purple and white.

Thus, “handroanthus is widely used as ornamental tree in the tropics in landscaping gardens, public squares, and boulevards…” [1] According to Rio’s Parks & Gardens Foundation, as reported by Globo, the types of Ipês described below count amongst the most planted trees in the city [2] (though I’m doubtful of that figure since anyone who’s been to Rio can tell you there are other more abundant species around).



Quite abundant in the Amazon, the yellow Ipê prefers well-drained soil, situated on embankments. Its height varies between 8 – 20 meters. It can be easily recognized by its color, which appears between August and November.


The purple Ipê calls attention to itself due to its beautiful color, size and easy adaptation when cultivated. It’s used a lot in urban forestation, with its flowers appearing with the falling of its leaves, between June and September. It can reach 20 meters high.


The white Ipê is of a medium size, at around 7 – 16 meters high. Its white flowers are its most marked characteristic. Due to its high capacity to adapt to dry soil, it’s used a lot in reforestation, but also in the forestation of cities, due to its beauty. It flowers between August and October.


A few months back, Globo Rural did a 12-minute piece on the Ipê, which you can see here (PT). Interesting to note how the wood makes up New York’s Highline and Coney Island’s promenade.