Interesting stats about Brazil that we've heard while we are down here (not sure how true they are)
1% of the population owns 43% of the land
3% of the population accounts for 97% of national spending
70% of the population has a mobile phone
There isn't really any middle ground here, people are either crazy rich, or dirt poor. Only 5-10% of the population is considered middle class. The homeless here are super friendly, and amazingly happy. It's quite neat to see.
Brazil was the first Country in the world to put in place Alternate Fuels for cars in the 80's. Their new cars use a technology called Flex Fuel, and can run on both Sugar Cane alcohol, and Gasoline (or any combination of the two). They've had this fully renewable fuel for over 25 years, and are now working on a Soy based Diesel for larger trucks. Sugar Cane Alcohol is about 1/2 the price of Gasoline, burns 1000x cleaner, and apparently the cars have quite a bit more power when they are running on Alcohol.
So far our impressions of the South East coast are very good. The food is simply amazing. They have something called Rodicio (pronounced ho-jeez-you) which is basically a buffet but way better. We had a pizza one where they brought 47 different kinds of pizza around and hand out slices, and then afterwards there are 20 different dessert pizzas. We also had one with japanese (California rolls here have mango instead of avacado), and one with meat and a full salad bar (the average price is about $10 cdn). The meat down here is simply stunning, all bbq meat has never been frozen and it melts in your mouth.
The average man will eat 1 kilo of meat at a bbq, and a woman will eat 0.5 kilos.
Another plus about Brazil is that they donate all the unused food to the homeless so you don't feel guilty not finishing your meal.
1 litre of beer about the same price as a can of pop. You can also get beer with your combo at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants. As a result I've drank a lot more beer than I had expected :)
Speaking of McDonalds, we highly recommend visiting them on a daily basis, especially in the smaller towns. Not a lot of the bathrooms in South America (minus Brazil) are stocked with toilet paper, or toilet seats. McDonalds has both, and their bathrooms are usually clean.
That is about all I can think of off the top of my head.. we have over 3 gigs of pictures to sort through when we get home.. stay tuned!
p.s we will be having a Caipirinha party when we get home. They are very strong, but really good. Similar to a Pisco Sour (Chile) or a Margarita. When it says 2 ounces, its more like 4.