Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend at the river in Rio Pardo - Porto Ferreira

27 November 2011

Back from a wonderful weekend with friends in Rio Pardo, near the river at a place known as Porto Ferreira.  A huge OBRIGADA to everyone for a terrific time!

The countryside on the way there is hilly wooded farmland, just like many parts of the USA.
This was pointed out to me as a famous old brothel from years gone by. The mural on the wall says "Forno's" (furnace).  Hawt.
Shopping with ten hungry people is an experience - we ended up with two entire shopping carts full of food.  the silly guys put all the heavy items on top of the bread and fruit.   >.<
On the road again... just can't wait to get on the road again... The boat belongs to our host who generously invited everyone to spend time at his vacation house by the river..
More farmland, with horsies.
An old ruined church which was not identified.  Can someone please post the name of this church in the comments?
Off the pavement, we must be getting close now!
Yay, we're here!
The front of the house.  It was small for so many people, but everyone got along great, except for a couple of anxious moments waiting in line for the bathroom.
Important first thing to do when arriving somewhere new: make chimarrao!

After the chimarrao, we went down to the river.  This must be around 6pm or so.
The boat launch - one could bring the boat down by car or have this guy do it with a tractor.
It floats!
Sending the boat on a test drive before taking passengers.
Testing the water too - it was cool and quite nice.
Test run complete, back for passengers.
The boat had four seats so space was limited.  I went out in the first rotation.
Photo: Juliane Mai
Photo: Juliane Mai
Let's go!
Cool shades.
The boat had a massive stereo system, Brazilian style, and the music was blasting.  Unfortunately, I did not protect the microphone from the wind so the sound in this video is beyond horrible (I suggest that you turn your volume down before you watch it).

To my surprise (as apparently I hadn't understood the conversation right) everyone just hopped right out of the boat without even anchoring it.  I didn't have my bathing suit so I just relaxed in the boat.

While we were there, three more friends swam out to the boat to join the fun. :)

Here is the second rotation going out in the boat, I think that they didn't swim.
This barge passed by while we were sitting in beach chairs relaxing.  It was the only commercial vehicle I saw - but there were all kinds of passenger vehicles, from dinghy to speedboat to jetski.
They're baaaaaack!
Next it was group photo time.  Here are the guys.  Look everyone back home, not all Brazilians are super tan, at least here in the interior.
Girls' turn for a photo.  I didn't get the memo about the dress code...
Now everyone together, woohoo!
A beautiful sunset and time to walk back to the house.
We had a late dinner around ten, during which time we were watched by Miss Creepy Watermelon.
The watermelon became somewhat of a running joke over the course of the weekend.
Photo: Juliane Mai
After dinner, everyone went out onto the back deck behind the house for a casual all-night music jam.

Photo: Juliane Mai
I swear this sounded better in person... it must be the fault of my camera, or possibly the caipirinhas... anyway, it was loads of fun. ;)

I really enjoyed the gaucho folk songs - everyone knew them and I could understand quite a lot of the words.  It would be nice if I could find a CD of some of these folk songs so that I could learn them too.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!  The music zombies attack!  Don't look them in the eyes or you will fall under the mind control!

Photo: Juliane Mai
By the end things were getting a little crazy - if I understood things right they were singing about not wearing panties... This CD is bound to go platinum!

More cuteness!
I gave up and went to sleep around 4:30am, neither the first nor the last to go to sleep.  We had seven in the bedrooms and three in the living room.

We got up around 11:30am and had breakfast - cold cuts, cheese, bread and bananas.  Man, can this group ever eat a lot of bananas!  We had to ask someone coming in to bring more. :)
After breakfast, chimarrao on the deck.  It was hot and everyone was tired so we relaxed pretty much all day.

Caipirinhas (a drink made with lime, sugar and cachaca) were also de rigeur.
What technique!
And there was another impromptu music session inside the house...
Photo: Juliane Mai
this time with an all-girl band.
Or, it WAS an all-girl band...
Huckleberry Finn gets funky.
By 4pm or so the traditional Sunday afternoon churrasco preparations began.
Everyone not cooking just relaxed more and anticipated the feast to come.  Kind of like Thanksgiving every Sunday here in gaucho country!

Brazilians ALWAYS have music.  There was music next door, music down the street, music from the guitars, and music on the mini-radio.
And the meat goes onto the fire to roast.  Mmmmm...  Note the BBQ is basically a chimney attached onto the outside of the house in the carport.  Very convenient in all weather!

Photo: Juliane Mai
Fire and motors... like bees to honey.

The first thing off the grill is the chicken hearts, served as an appetizer.  (No, those are not my hands!)
I couldn't help but think of Bill Cosby's routine "Chicken Heart".  Go, chicken heart, go!
The rest of the meat is ready, yummmmmmmmmm....
Mealtime: come and get it!
OMG, there is a man washing the dishes - caught on FILM!
After the churrasco, it was time to head out to the river again for more boating and swimming.  Yay!
Photo: Juliane Mai

Photo: J. Mai

Photo: J. Mai
Back at the beach, and of course, more photos.
Photo: J. Mai
Photo: J. Mai
Photo: J. Mai
Synchronized swimming practice, aren't they lovely?
Photo: J. Mai
We stayed at the river until dusk again, and after dark we packed up for the trip home.  What a great weekend!
Photo: J. Mai