The Uber from the airport on the 1st March to our hotel took us via many ‘Blocos’ or block housing apartments typical of Brasilia city. These blocos form a large square and are open at the base so that anyone can walk through one bloco to the next and they all used to have a newsagent at the corner of the bloco. Everything looked very clean and orderly.
Brasilia became the third capital of Brasil after Rio de Janeiro and Salvador because the president thought it should be in the centre of the country.

Brasilia is shaped like an aeroplane as a homage to Corbusier who was enchanted by aeroplanes and it was created in 1960. The man made lake is enormous and there is a smaller lake in one of their many large parks. The city is filled with green areas and parks.
We discovered that our ‘Camelo’ 3hour Bike tour was just around the corner from our Melia Brasil 21 hotel found in The SHS hotel sector in Quadro 6. It was an adventuresome ride (sans helmets) crossing major and minor roads and through the large park where Duda our guide showed us a couple of native bee hives in a couple of trees. She is an architecture student and enthusiastically showed us the impressive buildings and monuments in the centre of the city. Brasilia is famous for its particular shaped structures and they were an interesting mix from the Don Bosco church and the JK Memorial to the Art Gallery and Congress buildings. The most peculiar was the tall structure which is a pigeon house which was erected for the then presidents wife who requested it. There are pigeons everywhere but not in great numbers.

We covered quite a considerable amount of one side of the city by bike. The architecture was very varied and interesting and showcased Niemeyer and other architects individual works.

From ‘Get your local guides’ we chose Alberto who took us for the day from Brasilia and into the countryside and past the old Spanish frontier. The Corumba waterfall was beautiful and although we could have swum at it’s base we didn’t. The walk to the waterfall and back took about 2hours at a leisurely pace.

We passed many VW Combis which are very popular, given the number used in Brasil for excurions by tour companies as well as transporting goods.

From Corumba we went on the Perinopolis in the Pireneus region (supposedly like the Pyrennes) but not as high. The town is Unesco heritage listed as is the Federal city of Brasilia. The earth in Brasilia was very red like found in the north of Western Australia however it was more a clay consistency. I was not expecting that colour there.

Pirenopolis which sounded more Greek to me but had nothing to do with Greece was a quaint town with many comical looking humans with large colourful masks with horns. These depicted the black people who were not supposed to take part in Carneval many years ago. Instead they made these masks so that they could join in and not be identified. Alberto brought us to an excellent local restaurant where the buffet was excellent with a huge variety of foods to try. The day trip was very worthwhile and it was in great contrast to the city of Brasilia. No new buildings were allowed in the Unesco heritage city so several outer suburbs of high rise buildings were created as satellite towns.

On the 4th march we revisited some of the monuments,museums and galleries on foot and caught a taxi down to the enormous lake where we ate lunch and returned to the Melia Brasil 21 hotel in the business district. we left Brasilia the following morning on the 5th March for the 2hour flight down to Iguazu falls.

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