Brazil by Michael PalinMichael Palin, the No. 1 bestselling author, explores an exotic country now a global superpower.
Brazil is one of the four new global super powers with its vast natural resources and burgeoning industries. Half a continent in size and a potent mix of races, religions and cultures, of unexplored wildernesses and bustling modern cities, it is also one of the few countries Michael Palin has never fully travelled.
In a new series for BBC1 - his first for five years - he explores in his inimitable way this vast and disparate nation. From the Venezuelan border and the forests of the Lost World where he encounters the Yanomami and their ongoing territorial war with the gold miners, he follows Teddy Roosevelts disastrous expedition of 1914.
Journeys by river to the headwaters of the Xingu, by plane over huge tracts of forest, by steam train and by road along the Trans-Amazonica allow him to reach a kaleidoscopic mix of peoples: the indigenous hunter-gatherers of the interior, the descendents of African slaves with their vibrant culture of rituals and festivals and music, the large community of German descent who celebrate their patrimony at the biggest beer festival outside Munich, and the wealthy guachas of the Pantanal amongst them. His journey ends at the border with Uruguay and the spectacular Iguacu Falls.
Brazil with Michael Palin
The former Monty Python star reveals all about his latest travel adventure in South America. Michael Palin is standing in the luxurious white suite of a Love Hotel in Rio. There is a hot tub, an indoor swimming pool and a bed the size of a football pitch. Hugh Hefner would love it, but Palin is examining the room-service menu with horror. I meet the former Python in altogether more sedate circumstances at a restaurant near BBC Broadcasting House in London, where the food is good but not orgasmic although he does persuade me to have a glass of wine when I had sworn not to drink at lunchtime. Palin in real life is exactly like Palin on TV: warm, modest and equable.
Once a thriving port town during the booming gold trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, Paraty is a bright, colonial town, which can appear a tad sleepy on the surface but comes alive during the evenings and weekends. The town is littered with historical architecture including a number of Baroque-style churches as well as cosy bars and restaurants which are popular with tourists and locals. The Costa Verde, where Paraty is found, is home to a number of private villas, which are perfect for families and honeymooners. The crystal-clear water in the area is perfect for snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding, boat rides and fishing. Although not as well known as the Amazon, this huge seasonal wetland covers much of southern Brazil as well as Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay and attracts a huge variety of bird species particularly during the dry season, May to August , as well as larger animals, including anacondas, caiman, capybaras and even jaguar. Iguassu Falls are without doubt one of the most spectacular sites in the whole of Latin America. Bordering Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, the falls are in fact made up of separate waterfalls, which have come together to make a truly awe-inspiring sight.
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Fotos Videos. Michael Palin travels from Brazil's northern border with Venezuela along the Rivers Branco, Negro, Amazon, Tapajos and Xingu, through the very heart of the Amazonia, before ending up at the capital Brasilia. He visits indigenous tribes like the Yanomami, and talks to their shaman and chief spokesperson Davi about the threats to their traditional way of life. On the Rio Negro he encounters Elias, one of the last seringueiros, or rubber tappers, and watches the Amazon Philharmonic Orchestra rehearse in the magnificent Manaus Opera House. Travelling by river boat he heads up the Tapajos river to Fordlandia, to seek out what remains of Henry Ford's bold but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to build a rubber plantation the size of Wales in the middle of the rainforest. Travelling ever southwards to the upper reaches of the Xingu river he is welcomed to the Wauja tribe, one of the most colourful of all the Brazilian indigenous peoples.