By Kate Romero
As you may have heard, the summer break is a long one, so last weekend we decided to get out of town to break up the monotony. We’ve been at post a year and a half, and had never been to Pirenópolis, plus, the weather looked good, so off we went. We’d tried to find a pousada or hotel, but couldn’t find anything available on such short notice, so we decided on just a day trip. Friends have said that it’s best to spend the night, so we would have time to enjoy a visit to both the town and the waterfalls, but since there are practically waterfalls on every street corner here (heck, I even had one coming from the ceiling inside my house for two months), we decided we would be fine just checking out the town.
We were joined by another embassy family, so our kids had friends to hang out with, my husband had someone to drink a beer with, and I had a partner in shopping crime. I’m really glad I had been living in Brazil for a while before we went, because if we’d gone to Pirenópolis when we’d first arrived, I would have hated it. Three hour lunch? Are you flipping kidding me? I have things to do, places to go, STUFF TO BUY . And why are all these people crowding me? It’s a testament to how much Brazil has grown on me that the three hour lunch was my favorite part. The cervejas were plentiful, the owner of the restaurant (Deli Deli: recommended-it’s easy to find, just go down the cobblestone roads and you’ll eventually run into it. Or ask someone, but where’s the fun in that?) spoke pretty decent English, and the company was good. And I say that even including the seven kids we had with us. We were surrounded by shops, so the kids popped in and out of them, played around the restaurant, and generally were lovely little people. Being surrounded by shops also meant that it turned out to be a pretty expensive three hour lunch, but let’s not dwell on that.
Pirenópolis was packed with people, but it didn’t bother me (did I mention I have agoraphobic tendencies?), as everyone seemed to have adopted the wonderful relaxed attitude of the Brazilian people. We walked around, saw some gaúchos clip clopping on the cobblestone streets, ate some sorvete, bought some stuff (including a giant ring for me that cost $5 and promptly turned my finger green), took some photos, and that was it. It was a lovely, low-key day.
On the way back to Brasilia, we noticed a waterfall (See? One on every streetcorner)and decided to stop. We hiked on a pretty decent path to reach it. It was Salto Corumbá, and there was a campground (for people who aren’t me), pousada (more likely), river rafting (over my dead body), restaurante (always, except on days I’ve already spent three hours in one), and sorveteria (duh). We didn’t spend very much time there, as the sky was growing ominously dark with a raincloud, plus it was nearing dinner time and I think one three hour meal per day is my limit. Also, the guy at the gate said he would have to charge us if we stayed too long, and the dads in our group weren’t about to get charged for looking at a waterfall.
There’s not a lot to do but shop in Pirenópolis, but it’s a lovely city with quaint buildings and wonderful people. I would totally go again, but I’m not so sure my kids would, because when I asked how she liked it, my daughter replied, “Well, we drove for two hours, had a three hour lunch, you wouldn’t let us go tubing, and then went home, but it was better than going to school, I guess.” So, yeah, maybe not as fun as Rio Quente for kids, but still a nice day out.
This phrase from my menu at Deli Deli pretty much summed up our day:
“The hurry does not combine with the perfection.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
For more practical information on Pirenópolis, click here.