Brasilia/ Pirenopolis and Anti Government Demonstrations


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South America » Brazil » Distrito Federal » Brasília
January 5th 2016
Published: January 5th 2016
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Ok, here is another update. I have to admit that I am sitting here in Brasilia again, writing this update about my last time here in this place. About 6 months late, but better late than never as they say. I know I am tooooo bloody late with my updates, but a lot has happened, and I promise you not all was good. Got majorly screwed over by a so called friend. But the full juicy story will be made public in my next update about my time in Sydney. Anyway, here we go with my stay in Brasilia….

So after my 3 month enforced exile from Brazil (well, if you read the previous stories you should know the deal, but to explain in in short with a German passport you are only allowed to stay 90 in 180 days in Brazil. An allowance that I overstayed by a while, making me an illegal. Bucket list = Tick) I was on my way back to Brasilia. I had a fantastic time on the road and met some incredible people, but I was also looking forward to be together with Carla again. I know it sound s stupid, but if you love somebody that is where you want to be.

The flight was pretty uneventful, except that you realise how remote Brasilia really is from all the other cities in South America. While it is the capital of Brazil, hardly any airlines fly direct from any other South American capital or city to this place. I did a bit of research and as a matter of fact the only international flights to Brasilia are coming from Buenos Aires, Panama City, Miami and Paris. That’s it. So every time you want to fly to Brasilia from a non-Brazilian city you have to fly to either Sao Paulo or Rio, wait a while and then get the flight to Brasilia. Pain in the ass. But then I also know that Canberra, the capital of Australia, doesn’t even have an international airport.

When I arrived at 7 am in the morning Carla was waiting for me to give me a lift back to her apartment, which was pretty nice. And what a welcome it was, but that’s not something I want to write here about……..

Carla’s mother has arranged for Carla, Carla’s aunt and me to go away the weekend after I arrived back to go to a place called Pirenopolis, a city about 120 km outside Brasilia, and is located in the state of Golas.. Pirenopolis was founded in 1727 by the Portuguese who came for the gold (what else) but when that dried up it became a pretty isolated town, until Brasilia was created in the 1960 and then it became a major tourist attraction. A tourist attraction not only because of the old buildings, but the amazing waterfalls all around town. And yes, the hippies also discovered the place a while ago, so the artisan crafts you can find around town are pretty amazing. Pirenopolis is also known all over Brazil for the Cavalhadas festival, a recreation of the battle fought by Charlemagne. At the annual recreation you have locals dressed up as Moors and Christians battle it out over and over every year since 1826. Guess who is winning every time?

Not only did Carla’s mother arrange the hotel, but a driver as well. So on the day we were picked up and drove the 120 km in about 3 hours. And I have to say that it was rather interesting to leave the heart of Brasilia for the first time since I was here. You see, Brasilia was built for 500 000 max, but nowadays you have about 2.2 million people living here. So all around Brasilia satellite cities sprung up the house the influx of people. And these places are not as safe and as clean as Brasilia. And as soon as you are beyond the satellite cities you are in the Brazilian bush. Now somebody told me what ecosystem it is, but I can’t remember what it is called. But it is pretty green and lush.

After we arrived in Pirenopolis we dumped out luggage in the hotel and explored the town. And I have to say it was pretty nice and had a homely feeling. The old buildings mixed with the artisan shops and restaurants gave it a bit of a touristy feeling, but not too much to be overboard. So all good….. And at night we visited a local music performance which was pretty good.

The next two days we visited the local waterfalls and I have to say they were pretty cool. Nothing compared to the Iguazu Falls, but they had they own charm.

Back in Brasilia Carla and I had to prepare for our trip back to Australia. My former boss had rung me up in March and told me that he wanted me back and we had arranged for me to start in August. Carla and I had long discussions about that move and we thought that this would be a good start for us back in Australia. It was also a good opportunity to improve her already excellent English by attending a English course, which of course had to be bought. We also arranged our papers for the wedding which is a nightmare to be honest. The Brazilian authorities are pretty strict and want a mountain of documents. To top it all off the first lawyer we engaged was pretty hopeless (he told us he put the papers into the courts, but told us two months later he didn’t do it) so we had to get another one. Well we managed, with the help of friends in Germany and Australia, to do it all just before we had to go. That was a but stressful for us, but such is life.

Between all the running around for the legal stuff we also saw some pretty big demos here against the current president and the ruling socialist/communist government. The demo I attended here in Brasilia had about 50 000 participants, but in Sao Paulo over 1 million people went to the streets. Pretty impressive. One has to admire the passion of the Brazilians.

And of course I did a couple of Hash House Harrier runs. Unfortunately, the group here in Brasilia is not very big and the organisers change a lot due to the fact that many of them are in the diplomatic service and get moved around a lot. But it is still a lot of fun and you meet some great people. I can only recommend that you try to hook up with the Hashers wherever you go.

I had a pretty good birthday here as well. Carla made sure about that one. She had organised the birthday with military precision, starting with a nice lunch and a private motorboat cruise around the lake in Brasilia. That was really something I didn't expect. One I will never forget. One year older, still feeling like I am 20, but a bit wiser.

Another highlight was that I caught up with an old friend again that I didn't see for over 20 years. Wolfgang and I used to be members of the same party when we were young and we did a lot of shit together. Talk about being idealists, but it was a time I never will forget or regret. I learned a lot during this wild time and it made me what I am today. So catching up with him was awesome. Wolfgang now lives in the north of Brazil and when he heard that I am in Brasilia he took a 24 bus ride to see me again. I don't think I have to mention that countless beers where sunk and harder stuff as well. It proof that real friendship never dies..... Thank you Wolfgang.

Well, and then it was time to leave. Carla had all her two bags filled to the hilt and I was worried that she would have to pay a fortune in overweight fees, but it turns out that her airline allowed 2 bags of 32 kg each. Lucky us. We had two different flight as I had rerouted my ticket and she bought her ticket on points. That meant she left a couple of days earlier to stay in Sao Paulo to catch up with some friends and after two days on my own it was my turn to say good by to this great place.

Well, that’s it for my Brasilia update. The next one will be about our time in Sydney and I can tell you now that it was one of the biggest letdowns and betrayal I ever encountered in my life. So stay tuned for that one.



Wherever you are, I wish you a happy 2016, enjoy life and do something extraordinary. Life is too short to waste it.


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5th January 2016

See you in Sydney
Hi Welf Sounds like life with Carla is going well - fantastic congratulations. Hope we can catch up with you in Sydney. Paulie & I have just returned from Malaysia, Laos & Vietnam. We will be off again in July for 2 months in Greenland, Svalbard & Norway. The Antarctic whetted Paulie's appetite for the Arctic area. There is a big gap before we go so I hope we can catch up. Our phone No is 9594 4579 & we live in Oatley. Regards Geoff & Pauline

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