We’ve been to Brazil several times the last 4 years, and we’ve also paid Carnielli a visit twice! Carnielli is a coffee plantation in the area of Pedra Azul in Espirito Santo. From our place in Brazil we drive approx 2 hours further north and into the countryside. The area is influenced by German immigrants and I was quite surprised to meet Brazilians with dark hair, pale skin and green eyes. Houses and buildings are of German architecture, and you can visit many small localmade-liqueur stores along the road, where you get to taste the different types. My favourite is the chocolate and pistachio liqueur.
This time at the Carnielli‘s, I bought bags of whole beans to take home and use in my coffee machine. A strong taste, and I think it taste best with a little cream in it. First time at the Carnielli’s I got to meet and talk to the owner who gave us a taste of unburned coffee beans . They are green and taste is sweet. Last time we went there they finished up for the season, and the last coffee was burned that day. Now, this place is almost a must for me to visit when I’m in Brazil. Such a cozy and welcoming place, not to forget the warm and pleasant people who you will meet there.
In the same area, 10 min drive away, we found a hotel which took my breath away. We drove up a narrow brick road, and at the end of the road, we saw a huge hotel surrounded by flowers and palms, and with the direct view to the blue mountain. The hotel is Aroso Paco and you can visit here: http://www.aroso.com.br I’d absolutely love to stay here one day! And this swimmingpool and outside area was absolutely amazing.
On our way home, we flew to Rio de Janeiro, where we spent a whole day. This time we visited the favela and the Maze. Most of you have never heard about the Maze, but it’s a jazzclub and the owners home, and it’s open for the public every last Friday of the month. We came there on a Sunday in the middle of the month, just curious if we could find the place. I’d googled the place and saw that Sylvester Stallone just had been there days prior to us. It is a place where all kinds of people visit, but it’s in the middle of the favela (slum). The owner was home when we walked in…he looked at us and we looked at him.. and we stumled out a “Hi, is this the….Maze?” The owner, Bob Nadkarni, a well grown up British and earlier news reporter sat in the middle of the room with his kids, watching cartoons. He didn’t mind us there and welcomed us in and told us to walk upstairs and take a look. The view was absolutely amazing. Below us there was a whole world of people living together in shelters, but peacefully and with a view I’ll never forget.
So if you’re in Rio, I would recommend to walk thru the favela where Bob lives. It has no drug traffic or police visiting, so it’s safe. At least that was what Bob told us, and I believe him!
Picture from the balcony belonging to Bob Nadkarni