Foz de Iguaçu temporarily dries up

(normal vs current)

“CURITIBA – The prolonged drought in the interior of the state of Paraná already affected one of the most well-known postal cards around. On Tuesday, the water volume at the Iguaçu waterfalls, in the western region of the state, was five times less than normal. During normal days, the water volume can be registered at 1,500 cubic meters per second, which is a much larger output than this Tuesday’s measurements of 310 cubic meters per second.”

(O Globo loves to provide better pictures as thumbnails only)

One commentor on the article states that this drying up is perfectly normal as Southern Brazil enters it’s Winter season. Then she states “the sky (currently) is blue”.

The Diamond Cliffs of Bahia

The Chapada Diamantina National Park (Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina in Portuguese) is a 1,520 km² national park in the Chapada Diamantina region of Bahia state in the Northeast of Brazil. The park is located approximately 400 kilometres inland from Salvador, the capital city of Bahia.

Chapada means a region of steep cliffs, usually at the edge of a plateau. Diamantina refers to the diamonds found there by Germans in the mid 1800s.

Chapada Diamantina earns its place on the list of ecotourism musts in Brazil, as it holds numerous natural records and monuments. Lapão Cave is the largest quartzite cave in the Americas, excellent for experienced rappellers. In addition, there are excellent cave-lakes, some of the best being Poço Encantado and Poço Azul. If you are an experienced cave diver, in search of an adventure, Chapada da Diamantina should be high on your list. Fumaça Waterfall, at 1,020 feet, is one of the highest in Brazil…”

– taken from Brazil Tourism Office (although links within the paragraph above are pictures from PBase by an amazing Brazilian photographer Alex Uchôa)

Borrachudo – Flying Under the Radar

In conjunction with my recent posts on Brazilian bugs, here’s the Borrachudo (aka Black Fly in English).

A black fly (sometimes also called pium in Brazil) is an annoying little bug, much like the mosquito, although more silent. There are over 40-50 known species of black flies in Brazil. The majority of species belong to the immense genus Simulium. Like mosquitoes, to which they are related, most black flies gain nourishment by sucking the blood of other animals, although the males feed mainly on nectar. They are usually small, black or gray, with short legs and antennae. They are a common nuisance for humans, and many U.S. states have programs to suppress the black fly population. They are able to spread several diseases, including river blindness in Africa and the Americas. 

They generally fly close to the ground, therefore biting your ankles or hands, assuming they are at your side. The bite mark is bigger than that of a mosquito and in my experience, usually only itches (and it itches a lot) days after instead of the moment after they bite. For this reason, its hard to notice them when they do bite. In Brazil, they stick to wetter areas such as forested regions and especially near waterfalls.