Brasil 2022-23 Diary/Photo Journal

Weeks 013-015 of November 05, 2022 - November 26, 2022

We began this week with the focus of getting Cindy on the road and tying up loose ends.  Of course, this did not mean we did not have a little fun before we headed west.

Gerson tempting the locals
with a banana.
The Curitiba Feira.  Always fun.
Fresh sugar cane juice and popcorn cooked with bacon.
Standing at a circa 1800's horse trough
Buying shoes for my friend, Sheri, as we have done for 15+ years.
Same man that makes the shoes.

Westward Ho wagon!  We are off and running and happy we are leaving the rain of Curitiba in the rearview mirror. 

Last minute flight check and Cindy cleared for take off
Christmas meets World Cup
We are so ready!
Leaving Cassio's

Beautiful countryside
A favorite tree - the Pineiro

First stop was to be Entre Rios and watch the first Brasil World Cup game with Ernesto, a friend of Gerson's from his University days.  Cindy had other ideas - well, it was not entirely her fault.  We had replaced Cindy's alternator with an 'upgraded' one and apparently the mechanic used an improper belt.  We were just up the hill from a little town called Virmond and Cindy started to sound a bit odd.  Knowing Cindy as we do (and why we prefer to renovate our vehicles so we know their peccadilloes), we cruised downhill and into a mechanic. 

It was not long before we found the culprit as the belt was threads away from breaking apart.  It took a little time to repair and tweak the electrical system and we were back on the road.  I have to mention, that although we knew we were going to miss the game (Brasil's 1st World Cup match - rather important), we had a very nice experience.  As we pulled Cindy into the shop just before lunch, we asked where we could eat while Cindy was being repaired.  Not only did the shop manager give us the tip of a good local eatery, he drove us there.  When we were finished and paying the $6 lunch (for both of us and quite good), we were offered a ride back.  It was an easy walk so we declined the ride and took in the town a bit.

And, after that kind treatment, with the Brasil game ready to begin, the manager and other mechanics all left and the mechanic working on Cindy stayed behind to not only finish the belt replacement, but to also check the 12volt system to make certain we were good to go and safe as well. 

Cindy barely fit her big ole butt in the shop
Picturesque church on the walk back to the shop
Our favorite mechanic
Brasil agriculture belt

Cindy's first camp

Walter (owner of camp/property), Ernesto
and us sharing a cold beer and laughs


Quick story: we were driving along, not too far from Entre Rios, and we felt we were being followed a bit closely by a red truck (basically, he would not pass us when we were obviously going slower than the pickup truck). Then, a man in a Honda passes us and waves as though he knows us. We were not sure what was
going on and when the Honda man again waves out his window and points to the side of the road, Gerson immediately pulls into a small driveway entrance area and we both wonder if something was wrong.
The man in the Honda gets out of his car and comes up to Gerson asking if we were looking for a place to camp. At the same time, the red truck pulled over on the road and the gentleman also came over to us. We explained to the man with the Honda that we had already chosen a place in Entre Rios due to a visit with a friend nearby and the Honda man explained that he had just built a 'campground' and he wanted to make us aware. As we were relieved the 'waving' was not because there was something wrong, we still were not appreciative of having to abruptly pull over when there is no road shoulder and a very small driveway entrance.
It was at this time that the man in the truck said to Gerson that he knew where the Entre Rios camp was and he could take us right to it. We politely said tchau to the other man and proceeded to follow the red truck to a nice little camp that was built in the front part of a large property.
It wasn't until we parked did we realize the man in the red truck had parked his vehicle near the house at the top of the property and there was obviously more to him than just knowing where the property was - he was the owner.
It didn't take long for Walter to explain he was finishing the build on his home (he was very proud to take us on a tour of his beautiful home), and he just finished the camping spots. For a whopping cost of $15Reais per person (about $3 each), we had full hookups and hot showers, along with a very nice place for the night.
Within minutes of Gerson contacting his friend Ernesto and announcing our arrival, he was there to help us settle in and enjoy a beer with Walter. And, we found out that Ernesto, when checking out the camp for us, sent photos of Cindy to Walter and he recognized us on the road, hence his 'following' us. Nice to know we were being taken care of.
Dinner with Ernesto, his wife, Stela and Grandson, Luka
This dessert, wow -
Kaiserschmarrn - bread pudding meets
apple sauce or berry sauce
Entre Rios light show

Unfortunately, we only had the one night in Entre Rios, but what we saw of the agricultural community was quite impressive.  Ernesto's family were German immigrants and they, along with fellow immigrants, developed the farmland into a beautiful farming cooperative community.  Ernesto owns hundreds of acres that produce barley and wheat and are either planting or harvesting year-round.  We had a wonderful dinner at a brewery (don't get me started on the dessert) and spent a too-short time in their beautiful home.  We would like to return someday.

We continued onto another agricultural community, Toledo, to stay with another of Gerson's longtime friends, this time from his surfing days.  Denis and family live in their impressive home on their own golf course so we enjoyed catching up, bbq-ing, watching World Cup and a round of golf.  Well, we did not really golf as we both are not 'golfers'; however we did have fun riding in the carts and taking in the camaraderie.

Quite the home with a
salt-water pool
and it's own private golf course

Just a few views of this lovely home

And Gerson enjoying pool time

Denis and his wife, Ariane, had already set up a game of golf with their friends so we tagged along in our respective golf carts. It was a beautiful day and the course, designed by an American, was very nice.  No scores were kept, just logged a good time.

Gerson and Denis heading out to golf
Ariane in good form
Everyone on the green
(f-b) Elessandra, Ariane, Carla, Luciana and Anelise

Some locals helping to aerate the grass (Quero Quero birds)

Other golf observers came along
for the ride - Kira and Philip

I was quite impressed with how the women played, not only individually, but how they supported each other.  Some quite good shots were made and applauded and we stayed ahead of the men.

Gerson crusing nearby
Gerson takes a few swings
Caught the men at a nearby hole
The men: Sergio, Milton, Daison, Denis and Norton

Carla readying a drive
Ariane hoping to clear the water
Nice course
Definitely 'green'

We finished the 9-hole course just in time to return to the clubhouse and enjoy a BBQ and watch the World Cup games. 

Just some color here and there along the golf course
Gerson and Daison enjoying the view from the clubhouse

I was enjoying the view of my caipirinha and the game

The next day was another round of golf and another BBQ, more World Cup and no complaints other than the tightening of the clothing.

Elessandra, Luciana and Ariane preparing some
delicious side dishes

Gerson in his happy place

Milton, Norton, Denis, Gerson, Daison, Jean and Sergio

Cyntia, Luciana, Elessandra, Valentina (Denis and Ariane's daughter),
Elessandra's daughter, Anelise

It was time for us to move on and head to our next stop, one of my favorite places in the world, Foz do Igua
u.  We had such a nice time with Denis and Ariane and we realized although we all hear about the Brazilian beaches, the interior of the country is quite beautiful too.

Saying goodbye to Denis and daughter, Valentina.




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