A quick blog note: I revamped the blog a little in an attempt to clean up the side bar, which had been overwhelmed with links. If you check out the top, you can see the new link setup, as well as an "about me and my blog" page that I wrote. :) If you're reading this in Google Reader, clickity-click on the entry to see the actual blog. I hope it's easier to look at!
So on my friend Jamie's last day visiting us in Brazil, we all drove out to a town called Piracicaba. According to Google maps, it's just over 2 hours from São Paulo, but I think it's more. It's also a short way's away from the in-laws' house. The in-laws recommended it as something to do for the day, explaining that it had a big river with little food and drink stands, and pretty views. Nature and street food? I was totally in.
The Piracicaba River is wide and powerful, and seems to be a sanctuary for a lot of wildlife and locals alike. We saw neotropical cormorants lounging on the rocks and playing in the strong streams that met the main body of water. We saw flying fish, and families fishing for them.
Around the river, there are little trails and vista points. There were a lot of families walking around like we were, taking pictures like we were, and enjoying their time together, like we were. It seems like a beautiful and safe place to let your kids run around and get tired.
There's also a waterfall:
And giant ancient trees:
And as I mentioned, there are lots of little food stands selling the always flavorful Brazilian street food, like pamonha, churros, and candy apples. Alexandre was extra pleased to find a booth selling Bahia treats, including acarajé and tapioca desserts. If you're more in the mood for an actual meal, there are lots of casual riverfront restaurants that specialize in seafood. Unfortunately, we ate lunch before we went, so we stuck to the snacks. My treat of choice was suco de milho-- corn juice. So thick and delicious! I've decided that one of my goals for the month is to figure out how to make it.
If all that isn't enough to entertain you, there's also an abandoned sugar factory on one side of the river. The name of this factory place is The Engenho Central. It's super interesting because it's all dilapidated and open, and you can see how nature has just totally taken over in the 40 years or so since it was abandoned.
So if you live in the greater São Paulo area, I recommend this little place as a pleasant, relaxing, and aesthetically pleasing day trip. It has a really peaceful vibe to it.
I'd really like to go back soon. Next time, we'll go on empty stomachs in order to eat at a restaurant. Also, as we were leaving, I saw swan boats, like these:
And I am so totally going to ride in one.
You can check out the rest of my pictures from the day here. Also, I went ahead and uploaded all my bird pictures from the week to my bird folder on my Flickr. You can click here to see it, if you care (Tracy).
Jamie's gone now. :( And tomorrow we leave the in-laws' house and go back home. I may or may not be working this month. Everything with this residency and military stuff is still up in the air, and it's moderately stressful. Just trying to enjoy pleasant days like these until we know what's going on. :)