Friday, April 11, 2014

A SWEET Goodbye to Brazil

Hey all,

Thanks so much for all the ideas on how to get the news.  Came at a great time, too.  I was able to read up on what happened in Washington state when the mudslides hit last month.  Thirty-three people dead.  That was so scary!!!!

Down here we are getting ready for our move to Cordoba, Argentina.  It's a big move, crossing into another country, so we have to deal with packing lists, customs and airports.  I truly hate that part of our life.  And the next few moves after Buenos Aires (which is after Cordoba) will each be country to country.  *sigh*

To make our hotel room a home, I've got a lot of ~stuff~.  Makes it wonderful to live in, but a PITA to move.  Frustrating, but a choice we've made.

Anyway, I'll try and keep the blog up, but I'm not sure how the internet will be in Argentina.  We usually have good hotels, but I never expect much until we're there.  Even the best hotel can have sucky internet.

This last weekend we said goodbye to the Rio Sul area.  Rio Sul in the state where Porto Alegre is.  We love it here.  And it's one of the places we'd come back to if we ever did another tour with Cirque to South America.

We took a long weekend to the mountain town of Gramado and Canela.  Two sister towns that are heavily influenced by their German ancestors.  Beautiful architecture and some really fun things to do.  We visited Lago Negro (Black Lake) where you can laze away a Sunday afternoon riding swan boats. 

We visited a wonderful zoo where you an walk among the animals.  The Gramado Zoo has only Brazilian critters in it, and has extensive breeding programs for endangered species.  A small zoo, but worth it.  We loved the places where you could be nose to nose with the birds.

Another interesting place was the Parque Gaúcho where they show you all the history and fun surrounding this culture.  They had dioramas of the men and women who rode horses, herded cattle and lived the land.  It was fascinating.  Unfortunately we went on a weekday, so they didn't have any of the presentations of skill we were looking forward to, but since Argentina is another place we can see the Gaúcho culture, we'll look for another place there.

We also went to one of the prettiest national parks we've seen in Brazil.  The Parque do Caracol (Snail Park) has a tall waterfall (130 meters - that about 426 feet for us Americans) and lovely walking trails.  It also had another waterfall (see fourth pic below), which I thought was even prettier.  Remember my pics of Iguazu falls?  This was similar, but much smaller.  Still, better, IMHO than the tall cascade which gives the park it's name.
 At the base of the Caracol cascade.

831 steps down to the base of the cascade.  831 steps up.  Whew!!!!

A beautiful set of falls, it's called the Corredeiras, which means rapids.  And many of them, too!!!

One of the prettiest churches I've seen in Brazil was in Canela. Stone inside and out, and the stain glass windows were gorgeous.  Absolutely visit worthy if you're ever around the area.

These stain glass windows were in the stone church in Gramado.  Absolutely beautiful!!!

And best of all???  Guess what we fell into?  On Sunday when we arrived, we happened to be in town at the beginning of CHOCOFEST!!!!!!  That's right.  A chocolate festival!  Just in time for Easter, these people go CRAZY!  Chocolate and bunnies everywhere you look.  So many rabbits, I think I've got a phobia now.  But the chocolate made up for it.  I made myself sick, I did.  Nibbles all day long and ending with Swiss style fondue and you guessed it, chocolate fondue for dessert.


So, a great way to end my Brazilian experience.  We'll be happy to adventure on to the next tour site, tucking away some truly great memories of an awesome country.  Tchau, Brazil!

And see you next week, in Argentina!!!  WooHoo!!!!!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams

1 comment:

Phylis said...

CHOCOLATE!!!! Yummy! lol Gorgeous pictures CJ! Thank you for sharing them. Seeing your pictures fires up my desire to go out and take pictures! lol Safe trip!