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Category: Brazil

Explore – Simon Reeve

Explore – 2009 – a new TV series in which Simon and a team of BBC presenters travel to some of the most exotic and extreme locations on earth. Explore blends travel with current affairs to get under the skin of some fascinating countries. Don’t just visit…Explore!

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(Video hosted on Youtube.)
Simon Reeve

rogramme One – EXPLORE: PATAGONIA TO THE PAMPAS – January 25th 9pm BBC2
In the first episode Simon and the team embark on a journey across Argentina, from the foothills of the Andes in Patagonia, through the exotic capital Buenos Aires to the wide open plains of the Pampas.
The team encounters a country in constant economic flux, with massive inequalities, and a recent history of brutal dictatorship. In the stunning wilderness of Patagonia in the south, Simon investigates an historic land dispute between the indigenous Mapuche Indians and the country’s biggest land owner – Italian fashion giants Benetton. Tanya Datta visits the Glaciers National Park and within the awe inspiring ice fields encounters apparently conflicting evidence of climate change. In Buenos Aires Adil Ray enters a notorious shanty town where residents are holding out against rapacious property developers in South America’s most European Capital.
In the lush green Pampas the traditional Gaucho way of life is facing extinction in a farming revolution which is seeing huge tracts of land turned over to the production of Soy for export to China. It’s part of a global phenomenon that has forced up food prices, particularly effecting the world’s poor.
On the way we witness the excitement and tension of one of the world’s great football matches, and a bizarre tale of intrigue among the penguin colonies of the South Atlantic. It’s a portrait of a country that reflects many of the social and political issues facing South America as well as the colour and humour of this vibrant region.

Programme Two – EXPLORE: AFRICA’S RIFT VALLEY – February 1st 9pm BBC2
Simon embarks on an epic journey down the ancient Rift Valley of East Africa, from the little known red sea enclave of Djibouti, through Ethiopia to the wide open plains of Kenya, accompanied by fellow presenters Tanya Datta and Emeka Onono.
Theey encounter landscapes of great beauty and some of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife. Simon discovers that sleepy Djibouti has got some powerful friends as he visits camp Lemonia, America’s only military base in Africa and HQ of Africom – a new front in the war on terror. Tanya visits the mountains of Ethiopia to investigate the boom ing trade in Khat – a narcotic leaf widely chewed in this part of the World. Ethiopia is infamous for one thing – hunger – and even in the fertile Rift Valley in the South, amid farms exporting broccoli to the West, Simon encounters a Medicine Sans Frontier hospital treating hundreds of of malnourished children, victims of the so called green famine. In Kenya, Emeka investigates the aftermath of last years election violence and discovers that the fragile peace in only skin deep.
On the way we visit conservation projects – where crocodiles are farmed for skin and lions are tracked by Masai warriors – and an inspiring project in Nairobi’s slums.

Programme Three – EXPLORE: ISTANBUL TO ANATOLIA – February 8th 9pm BBC2
The team Explores a country which marks the border between East and West, where Islam comes up against the European Union. This is a country of rich culture and great beauty, but a place of huge contradictions. From the metropolitan centre of Istanbul to the border with Iraq Turkey almost defies description.
Simon investigates how a country which cherishes religious freedom in its constitution still crushes freedom of speech through the notorious Article 301, and how the Kurdish region is still locked in tension with government. British Muslim Adil Ray embarks on an unlikely pastime – Wild Boar hunting – and discovers a liberal attitude to Islam unfamiliar in many countries. But is this all changing with the openly Islamic Government in power? Jenny Kleeman Visits the awe inspiring ancient ruins of the Mediterranean coast, but finds that archaeologists are battling against tomb robbers who sell treasures abroad.
Along the way we search for the bears that are threatening Turkey’s huge honey industry and a woman who wears a wig to get round the ban on head scarves in university. And from the ‘fairy chimneys’ of Cappadocia to the vast valley of the Tigris this is a country of richly diverse landscapes.

Programme Four – EXPLORE: MANILA TO MINDANAO – February 15th 9pm BBC2
A vast archipelago of more than 7,000 Islands, this week the Explore team visits the Philippines. The only Christian country in Asia, behind the beautiful rice terraces, the lush jungle and the tropical beaches, this is a country on the edge.
Simon sets off from the North of the Islands, in the spectacular rice terraces of Banaue, a Unesco World Heritage which is threatened by climate change and giant worms and asks why the country is the world’s largest importer of rice. Seyi Rhodes sets out to discover the fate of the Sea Gypsies, nomadic fishermen who have been forced onto land by piracy, and also uncovers the furious debate over contraception in a Catholic country with a rocketing population. Katya Adler visits the volatile island of Mindanao in the south of the country where a Muslim separatist movement is locked in conflict with the Philippines Army.
On the way we uncover Manila, a sprawling and growing metropolis with a passion for cock fighting and nightlife. Here the military has a terrible reputation for disposing with its enemies and Simon meets a man whose life is under threat, as well as a former General, known as ‘The Butcher’ accused of being behind the extra judicial killings.
Vast and vibrant, the Philippines are an exciting backdrop for a journey into some of the problems that plague developing countries around the world.

Tropic of Cancer

After the success of his Tropic of Capricorn and Equator adventures, Simon Reeve completes his trilogy of journeys around the beautiful Tropics region with his greatest, most ambitious challenge yet: the Tropic of Cancer. Starting on the Pacific coast of Mexico, Simon is following the Tropic of Cancer, the northern border of the Tropics region, almost 23,000 miles east on a journey blending travel with current affairs. It is a thrilling adventure with a clear purpose: to explore the northern edge of the Tropics, the most important, turbulent, endangered, violent and biodiverse region of our world. The journey will take Simon through 20 extraordinary countries, ranging from Mexico and Mali, to Bangladesh and the Bahamas. This epic trip, for broadcast as a 6 x 1 hour series, includes mountains, deserts and some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the planet.

Coming soon….. in 2010!

1000 Places to see before you die – Brazil

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(Video hosted on Guba.)

Which is wilder – the jungle or the people?

Brazil is South America’s giant, a dazzling land of pristine beaches, steamy jungles and manic metropolises. Music and dancing are as integral here as eating and sleeping, and you’ll find as many regional styles as there are shades of people, from samba’s sensual rhythms to Bahia’s axé-charged beats.

While it may not be the Eden of popular imagination, Brazil is still a country of staggering beauty. There are stretches of unexplored rainforest, islands with divine tropical beaches, and endless rivers. Then there are the people themselves, who delight visitors with their energy and joy.

The weather is worth considering when planning a trip to Brazil, as it can have a significant bearing on how you enjoy certain regions of the country. For example, the Amazon region is one of the world’s rainiest places, making travel exceedingly difficult between January and May. Similarly, if you plan to go to the Pantanal, do so during the dry season. The rest of the year, roads are washed out and travel is a nightmare. The south has the most extreme temperatures and during the coldest winter months snow is even possible – but rare.

During summer (December-February) many Brazilians are on vacation, making travel expensive and frequently booked out, and, from Rio to the south, the humidity can be oppressive. However, summer is also the most festive time of year, as Brazilians take to the beaches and streets. School holidays begin in mid-December and go through to Carnaval, usually held in late February.

Brazil’s low season corresponds to its winter. Rio temperatures hover around 23°C (73°F), with a mix of both rainy and superb days. With the exception of July, which is also a school-holiday month, this is the cheapest and least-crowded time to visit the country.

Packed with recommendations of the world’s best places to visit, on and off the beaten path, 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE is a joyous, passionate gift for travelers, an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. There’s Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the covered souks of Aleppo, the Tuscan hills surrounding San Gimignano, Canyon de Chelly, the Hassler hotel in Rome, Ipanema Beach, the backwaters of Kerala, Oaxaca’s Saturday market, the Buddhas of Borobudur, Ballybunion golf club-all the places guaranteed to give you the shivers.

The prose is gorgeous, seizing on exactly what makes each entry worthy of inclusion. And, following the romance, the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone and fax numbers, web sites, costs, and best times to visit.

This hefty volume reminds vacationers that hot tourist spots are small percentage of what’s worth seeing out there. A quick sampling: Venice’s Cipriani Hotel; California’s Monterey Peninsula; the Lewis and Clark Trail in Oregon; the Great Wall of China; Robert Louis Stevenson’s home in Western Samoa; and the Alhambra in Andalusia, Spain. Veteran travel guide writer Schultz divides the book geographically, presenting a little less than a page on each location. Each entry lists exactly where to find the spot (e.g. Moorea is located “12 miles/19 km northwest of Tahiti; 10 minutes by air, 1 hour by boat”) and when to go (e.g., if you want to check out The Complete Fly Fisher hotel in Montana, “May and Sept.-Oct. offer productive angling in a solitary setting”). This is an excellent resource for the intrepid traveler. (Sept. 23) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

The Secret of El Dorado

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Note: This video is hosted on Google.

New evidence that advanced societies flourished in the Amazon Basin before the arrival of Europeans.It was the most notorious wild-goose chase in history: the Conquistadors’ search for El Dorado, a fabulous kingdom of gold that Indians said lay hidden in the jungles of the Amazon Basin. But now, at last, archaeologists have uncovered the truth behind that myth. They have found evidence of a huge society, as advanced as the Egyptians or the Incas, right in the heart of the rainforest. And this is more than the story of a lost world rediscovered. For it seems that the people of the real El Dorado possessed a secret with the power to transform our world and their secret in the soil could be the solution to solving famine in the thrid world and other nations once and for all…

The Amazon Basin culture area is defined by the Amazon River Basin, which contains the world’s largest tropical rain forest. Covering an estimated 7 million sq km (2.7 million sq mi), this area accounts for slightly more than 40 percent of the South American continent’s landmass. With temperatures that rarely go below 27°C (80°F) and heavy rains throughout the year, the Amazon Basin is a hothouse of animal and plant species. For example, there are 3,000 fish species, more than 100 species of New World monkeys, and 5,000 species of trees. The Amazon River, measuring 6,400 km (4,000 mi) long, is the second longest river in the world, and together with its principal tributaries—the Xing, Tapajs, Negro, Madeira, Napo, and Ucayali rivers it accounts for one-fifth of all the fresh water that flows into the oceans.


homõtsi is an Ashaninka Indian living on the border of Brazil and Peru. The movie is a report on his day to day life and his journey to the neighbouring city to get his pension as well as a portait of Valdete's hard-headed and witty uncle. A typical day of Shomõtsi, an Ashaninka Indian living on the border between Brazil and Peru. Valdete, the village film-maker, tells about his uncle’s everyday life, set between tradition and modernity. From the myth of cocaine’s birth, which justifies its use, to the distorted use the gringos made of it. The flute sound of the natives alternates with modern music, played by a tape-recorder. The monthly visit to town for the retirement cheque, insecurity and prejudice in the white’s world, the desire to go back home. Valdete, young native Ashaninka of the river Juruà, in the state of Acre, is the teacher, designer and cameraman of his community. Besides Shomotsi he made the video No tempo das Chuvas (“When it rains”) and is finishing another one on the sustainable exploitation of natural resources by the Ashaninka native communities.
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