For those who are wondering what happened to us, let me inform you, we are still in Porto Alegre, South Brazil, with our friend Beatriz.
We needed some time out from travelling and after Beatriz offered us to stay a little while we welcomed this break. For sure we didn't spend all the time in the city, after some bicycle trips we also went to the country side with our host.
She showed us around and did some hiking with us. One weekend we drove to San Francisco de Paula and stayed in a cute lodge. We had a traditional dinner with a lot of chicken and pasta before we went to bed.
The next morning we prepared for a small hiking tour at the Parque das 8 Cachoeiras (8 waterfalls) and explored the wonderful surrounding. The cascades gave us great opportunity to try our new/old camera a bit. Remember, after we got robbed we had to order a new camera and we have to get used to the other lense a bit.
In the afternoon we dedicated our trip to the cities with German heritage. First we walked around Canela and had a glance into the Church - Igreja da Pedra. At some houses you could see the German origin, typically style from the Black Forest, the southern part of Germany. The city was very busy since it is very popular for tourists.
The third most visited tourist destination is Gramado, only 120 km away from Porto Alegre and a couple of kilometers from Canela. So we looked around this so called "Switzerland of Brazil" but decided against a coffee break due to the Switzerland prices.
In Nova Petrópolis we walked around the Parque Aldeia Do Imigrante which still has the old German town with those beautiful small houses. It felt weired to see all those German roots and they even played Bavarian music in Lederhosn. This town has several dance festivals and groups with traditional clothes (Trachten) which compete yearly. How funny is this?
It is interesting to see how the old traditions are kept alive and we could even speak with some people in German. Their German is quite old and it seems to be like a time travel in an older part of Germany. So we bought some real German bread and had a Berliner (a German donut), which the Brazilians call Sohno (dream). We seemed to be the only foreign tourists in this area. It was a great experience and we are happy that we had the opportunity to see this part of Brazil.
Now we think it's time to travel on. Uruguay and Argentina are waiting for us. But thanks to our friend Beatriz and people we have met in Porto Alegre we will not forget our trip to Rio Grande do Sul. Thank you all for this special time!
Accommodation: Saochico Pousada - Eco Village, Rua das Valquirias, 288, Sao Francisco de Paula, RS
Price: R-$ 180 private room, own bathroom, WiFi, incl. intercontinal breakfast
Comment: Brazilian run, great breakfast, room little moldy.