Doing the Gaucho Dance
Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
159Trip End Jun 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Palace Hotel Frederico Westphalen Brazil
Up to this point we have traveled 1,500kms .
We're at a temporary standstill at this stage, holed up in the Palace Hotel in Frederico Westphalen or Fred West as the locals call it. It’s a nice place to be but I’m so looking forward to hopping on the bike and riding on, but that won’t be happening for a few weeks yet.
It’s a lovely quiet little town, except when the cars with loud speakers come down the road advertising their specials and events. On Saturday there were fire crackers being set off on the hour because of some feast or another. It sounded like a war zone. There must be no babies in this town, or else they’re used to it
Close by is the beautiful St Anthony’s Cathedral, visible from our window, painted in 3 shades of pink. It’s a magnificent structure. I’m going to have a look inside it, I’ve got time on my hands.
Last night we were invited to Claudia’s home again (one of my interpreters at the hospital). Claudia made us our first Mate drink called shimmerhow. It’s like a load of green herbal tea packed into a large cup, which you keep adding boiling water to. We all shared the same cup and bong (which have special names that I can’t remember). The cup was the colours of the families’ favourite soccer team. I liked the drink, I like tea anyway, but I think I could get used to drinking Mate in this unusual way. In Uruguay we saw men walking down the street with a cup of Mate in one hand and a thermos under their arm for top-ups. Des kept saying "There’s more than tea in that cup!"
Rosiina (Hosa), the families’ Finish exchange student, also made a special drink later in the evening. It consisted of limes crushed with a pestle 11 drops of sweetener and about 3 fingers (or so) of Vodka
When Claudia picked us up at 5pm, we thought we would be going to her place for drinks, but Claudio and Nilva, Claudia’s parents, whipped up a storm in the kitchen after 9pm and served up a delicious meal for us and their four kids, and Claudia’s friend George. I think it was the best chicken and rice I’ve tasted, served with fresh green salad. During the meal a Gaucho show was put on and all the family members took turns at dancing. Eight year old Gee is the best dancer, so free and supple.
Before long it was nearly midnight, so with full tummies and dizzy heads, Claudia dropped us back to our hotel.
We can’t thank the Martins enough for welcoming us into their home the way they did. We had a wonderful evening, and got a feel for the Brazillian culture.