Farewell Flori and Bye Bye Brazil
Trip Start Feb 22, 2007
25Trip End Oct 05, 2007
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Once dried off I head down the road to Gramado - mountain retreat for wealthy Cariocas, Paulistas and Portenos. The town was developed by German and Swiss immigrants to Brazil and has a distinctly Alpine flavour. The Lonely Planet says "pretty swiss chalets and manicured lawns, although attimes verging on kitch the overall effect is pleasing". Well, and not for the first time, the LP and I are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one! I found the whole place utterly nauseating (and not just because the only food available was fondue... fondue, when itīs 30 degrees, these Brazilians just donīt get cheese). Perhaps my tollerence was somewhat lowered by the fact that in a town that reeks so much of wealth there is a bank n every corner I spend half the afternoon trudging around trying to find a cash machine that would take my card, fearing that without it (as I didnīt even have my bus fare out of town) I would be stuck in the world of fake snow, fluffy bunnies and fiberglass statues of fat German men drinking beer FOREVER! On returning to my hostel who should I meet but a German with designs of drinking beer, oh the irony!
This morning I got up at stupid oīclock to take the only daily bus to the local waterfalls. It turns out that this is the bus used by the employees of the national park to get to work, and on arrival I was the only visitor (could it be that only the Brits are daft enough to go to a place like that in the pouring rain?)
And now I am back in Porto Alegre, as far as I can tell a city with nothing to recommend in unless you like you cities busy, dirty, smelly and full of beggars or people selling fake trainers, for me it is all a little too like London, so like the proverbial foetus, I am heading out. Following an overnight bus, tomorrow morning I should wake up in Punta del Esta, the St Tropez of South America! My first new and Spanish speaking country of the trip... . should be interesting..... Itīs wit a heavy heart that I bid farewell to Brazil, but Iīve said it before, and Iīll sayit again, Iīll be back!
ps no piccies this time as canīt find a computer that will do it, and just got an electric shock trying!!!