The fourth country of my South American trip is Brazil, and this is a really special country because my parents are going to join me for three weeks and after that my girlfriend will for two weeks. I have traveled now for more than four months and I am really looking forward to speaking Dutch again and discover Rio de Janeiro with them, some people claim it as one of the most wonderful cities in the world.
From the border cross between Uruguay and Rio de Janeiro, is a gap 2000km and three different regions, from south to north; Rio Grande Do Sul, Parana and Sao Paulo, consecutively. and this blog is about the first region called Rio Grande Do Sul.
The first big city that I stopped in was Rio Grande, I needed fuel for my car and thank god Brazil is way cheaper than Uruguay. But one of the first things that was something strange for me was that they didn’t have Super95 in the gas station. In Brazil it is called Gasolina, and I was not sure if it was good for my car but after some googling and asking more people, most of them said it is the same as Super95. After fixing some stuff in Rio Grande, I decided to look for a place where I could have Wi-Fi because Ajax was going to play an important football match the following day and I wanted to watch that so bad. Hundred kilometers before Porto Alegre, I found a lot of campsites, some with bad Wi-Fi and other with less bad. Thank god it worked during the match between Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur. I watched the game with some Brazilians but unfortunately, they lost it. A Brazilian player scored three times and killed Ajax and whole the country with that. The Brazilians who I was watching with didn't know about this player and that shows exactly for me how big the country is. It is massive. After the Ajax game, we watched a game of the local football team called Gremio, the club where football legend Ronaldinho started his career and the club of Porto Alegre.
After a bad night because of the loss of Ajax, I took my stuff and entered Porto Alegre; a big city but not safe. I decided to fly with my drone in the biggest park of the city but that was not really smart, people were coming to me, but I acted as if I was with a big group and my friends were coming in few minutes, which made them more scared. I booked a house in the city; I think the people were the best hosts I ever had. A boy my age with his mom, and they really did everything. The mom cooked delicious food and I had a lot of fun there. Unfortunately, is was also the place where my laptop broke and that was sad because I wanted to keep my family up to date and I use it to learn my Spanish. I hope I can fix it later or I will find a solution for it. I told the hosts about my trip and they highly recommended me their favorite place called Gramado/Canela two cities next to each other and they said I needed to go there. I really like getting tips from locals and these cities weren’t on my list.
After a week, I left Porto Alegre and drove 150 km more to the north between the mountains, and the road to my destination was amazing and I loved the city when I arrived. It looked like Germany/Italy a little bit and a friend of mine called the place later that evening ' you are in Santa Claus City' and that is spot on. Not because it is cold but because it feels cozy like Christmas time with good restaurants, it had a safe and calm feeling. During my trip, I use the android application IOverlander a lot of times to get camping spots or wild camping spots and so, I found a camping in Gramado and this one was pretty good because they said I could sleep for six euro per night in my tent but for seven euros a night I could sleep in a cabin; a little house with only a two-person bed and a seat and I thought “let's do it” try new things maybe I like it and to be honest I really liked it. First, I told the man to stay only two nights, but I ended up spending five nights there, it was really relaxed, and I had a nice time over there.
Next to the vibe that I got from the city, I wanted to see two things. First, the famous waterfall, called Caracol Falls and the second, the best zoo of South America is in Gramado and I would love it to see that too. The waterfall is in a national park and I arrived around four o’clock and stayed until after the sunset because it was too wonderful that I decided to come back the day after to see how it looked like when the sun is shining from the east side. I flew with my drone and took awesome shots, a wonderful and peaceful place to be.
The official name of the zoo is “Zoo De Gramado” and contains beautiful animals. When you enter the zoo, you open a door and you see a dark room, like a tunnel with a small light. When you walk to the light, you are instantly in a bird place, the most wonderful birds are flying around you and the dark place makes you act calm and peaceful to the animals. After some minutes I found my bird, the Toucan, which is a symbol and logo of my trip. My favorite animal is a puma or tiger, family of a big cat and this zoo has them, it was really impressive to see.
After some days it is time to go and leave the south region of Brazil and move up to the bigger cities and the more dangerous ones.