Blogs from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, South America

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South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul February 3rd 2015

OK, I know I am far behind in my updates. And there is no excuse…. So let’s get on with it with my trip to Gramado and Nova Petropolis, two cities about two hour’s drive from Porto Alegre. And what a different place it was. With Christmas over and done with, and for the first time in over 25 years not celebrated the event with family and friends in Australia, Carla decided that New Year’s Eve should be spend outside Porto Alegre in a small town about two hour’s drive west. So we hired a car and set of early one morning to reach our destination in time to still fit in some sightseeing. Because it was New Year’s Eve we had difficulties in booking a hotel as everything was booked out, but thanks to Carla’s ... read more
Old water mill in German Region
Fountain at the Center of Gramado
Catholic Church in Bento Goncalves, Italian city

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul » Porto Alegre January 15th 2015

Well, it is pretty hard to get this blog updated all the time when travelling to all these wonderful places. And Carla is keeping me busy as hell with her planed approach to sightseeing. It looks like I need a holiday from the backpacking soon. And Porto Alegre was not different with the added bonus that Carla was born and has lived in POA for a long time, so she knew the place pretty well and I was dragged around every place there was to see. Not that I complain as I got a superb tour of the city, but an old man like me needs its rest from time to time. But let’s see what happened in POA. São Paulo was our starting point to get to Porto Alegre and in true backpacking style we, ... read more
Another Cultural Center -  Porto Alegre
Astronomic Observatory of local University -  Porto Alegre
Astronomic Observatory -  Porto Alegre

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul December 15th 2014

Rota das Missões – Jesuit missions roots in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). After a few days at Robson's sister who lives in São Miguel d'Oeste, at the extreme west of Santa Catarina, about 10 Km from Argentina, we decided to go south again. Robson's niece, Stael, came with us and we were soon back in Rio Grande do Sul. We had to cross the river Uruguay (which, much further south gives its name to the country). As there is no bridge, we took the “barca”, I added a few pics. It took us 6 hours to arrive at São Miguel das Missões, a very special place. During the 17th and 18th century, the Society of Jesus, serving the Spanish Crown, founded 30 settlements in territories traditionally occupied by the Guarani Indians in a region that ... read more
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002 Balsa
003 River Uruguay

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul December 11th 2014

Rio Grande do Sul is the southern most state of Brazil. It is about 9 times bigger than Belgium for the same number of inhabitants (11 Million). It was colonized by a mix of Portuguese, Italian and German settlers. The Germans came here in 1830, when a Brazilian/Portuguese princess married a German prince. It was then decided to offer land to German people interested with the idea to develop this huge area, which they did very well. The Italian who started arriving in 1875 planted vines so that there is now a wine production in Brazil, their sparkling wines are of high standards, well... we liked it! We crossed the northern part of the state, close to its neighbour, the sate of Santa Catarina. This part is called Mata Atlantico, it is a “serra”, a high ... read more
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Gameday!!!!!! Well, not only gameday, but also the day I find out what my path to the Final is. My options are to follow Nigeria as 1st or 2nd in the group or Argentina as 1st in case Nigeria was knocked out due to a win by Iran over Bosnia. I had booked flights and hotels based on me following Argentina, and if Nigeria advanced, I’d have to do some extra work. After we woke up, we headed down to the hotel cafeteria for breakfast. The room was full of Argentina fans, no plates, no glasses, and a little bit of juice. The workers were doing their best to replenish the food and plates. We managed to eat a really good breakfast to make sure we had lots of energy for the day. There were a ... read more
The crowd arriving at the stadium
Me outside the stadium
Me and a Nigerian fan


Got up today, packed my stuff and headed to the airport as today was travel day. At the airport, I waited to meet my cousin Luiz, who I hadn’t seen in just over 12 years. I made a joke in passing in an email exchange a few months back inviting him to join me in Porto Alegre for the Argentina vs Nigeria game, amd much to my surprise, he accepted and purchase a ticket on the same flight as me the same day. A few weeks later, he managed to get a ticket to this game, so it all worked out. The flight was very quick, only 40 minutes long. Porto Alegre is the capital of the southernmost state in Brazil. It’s my first time down here. We took a train into the city and then ... read more
Close-up of sign
Arena do Gremio (front)

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul » Porto Alegre March 13th 2014

In Porto Alegre I managed to find quite cheap accommodation (see photo 1). However, the floors sloped slightly and one had to be careful about rolling out of the beds that would be set out at night. An unusual feature of Porto Alegre is the so called Haemorrhoid Monument, a giant futuristic representation of a group of haemorrhoids (see photo 2). It is not widely known that Porto Alegre is where the world's first successful human haemorrhoid transplant was carried out. The monument is a tribute to those pioneering but under-appreciated and misunderstood surgeons. * En Porto Alegre me las arreglé para encontrar un alojamiento bastante barato (ver foto 1). Sin embargo, los suelos con pendiente ligeramente y había que tener cuidado con el despliegue de las camas que se establecen en la noche. Una característica ... read more
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Well after all the horror stories of people being mugged I was witness to a mugging on my bus....or should I more accurate say, there was a mugging that took place but not a single one of us passengers were even aware it took place. 10 mins on the bus and this guy started shouting, to raise the alarm that something he had placed on the overhead shelf had been stolen. Obviously I had no idea what he was saying but it is amazing what body language and facial expressions convey. 2 hours later I was fully aware....as we had 2 policemen check our hand luggage (this reminded me of my Peru search a few years back at least there were no dirty clothes this time just food and electronics) and then we had to wait ... read more
Gasometre factory being converted to a cultural and exhition space
It is amazing what you can do with paper and talent
it had to be done

South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul January 22nd 2014

Argentina is the world's 8th largest country and definitely a step up from Peru and Bolivia, even my stomach seems to think so. Driving in from the mayhem at the border where you're shuffelled here and there and sweating away, A strange feeling after having been on the high plains of the Andes for a couple of weeks, sweating that is. Jujuy for the night, then on to Salta and then maybe the vineyards of Cafayate. Many restaurants in Jujuy were closed due to it being Sunday so I had a crappy meal and half a bottle of decent wine and when I payed that, I realized that Argie is not only big it's expensive as well, may be I should go back to Bolivia. A good night's sleep and a crappy continental breakfast later I ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul October 20th 2012

Rio Grande de Sul: Porto Alegre & Santa Catarina: Florianopolis Once again we found ourselves without a plan. As I mentioned before we were not even supposed to cross into Brazil. We quickly scanned our guidebook and found out some really interesting information about Southern Brazil, the land of Gaucho people. Apparently the Rio Grande de Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana are mostly inhabited by the descendants of German, Italian, Swiss and….surprise, surprise Polish people. This, we have not expected. We decided to break our journey up north in Porto Alegre - not a typical tourist destination but apparently worth a stop. From a border town of Chui there is another 7h on a bus to Porto Alegre. Chui is nothing else but a two lane road dividing the town between two countries and a bunch ... read more
loved this statue
Santa Catalina
Brazilian parrilla being prepared;-)




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