Monday, 29 October 2012

Brazil, A holiday from a holiday – Oktoberfest

Peter Griffin is alive and well in Blumenau

I’ve been to Brazil before, and seen quite a few places out here, but this time round I am coming for a break from Spanish speaking countries and I have not been to the southern states before so thought I would have a bit of a holiday here and find the beaches.  To begin though, my fast progress thorough the lower part of Brazil was because I was trying to get to Blumenau in Santa Catalina for the Oktoberfest festival.  Its not as big as the one in Munich, I thought it was the second largest, but randomly there is one bigger in China apparently.  So this one is in fact the 3rd largest, still 1 million people visit every year.   

Southern Brazil is a bit different from the rest of Brazil and has been populated mainly by people of European decent, many of which originated from Germany.  Blumenau is the same and was started by German immigrants in the 19th century.  In fact in many homes today German is still the 1st language spoken and there are German style homes all over the place.  

I spent the 23rd and 24th October in Porto Alegre, recovering from the hellish ride through the Cyclone and then set off for Florianopolis on the 25th.  This again was in bad weather and spent the whole day with the rain chasing me.  The road to Florianopolis follows the ocean so there was some something to stare at on the journey, I even saw Dolphins at one point while crossing a bridge.  I was lucky this day though as I literally arrived in Floripa as the rain came down.  Plenty of time for the beaches later, I just slept the night and then set off the next morning – 26th for Blumenau, in yet again a full storm.  I was soaked through in wet clothes upon arriving and I knew they smelt bad after being wet and then dried several times without being washed.  A nice surprise for my Couchsurf host Millah, however she is either too polite or has no sense of smell as she didn’t mention it once.  

Port Alegre, even the mannequins have the famous Brazilian arse
The latest addition to my wet proof gear, doesn't work mind.
Oktoberfest is one big beer and dance festival.  I guess you could say its the same as the one in Munich with a Brazilian flavour – less tables and more dancing.  I’d like to say the next 3 nights were a cultural insight to Germans in Brazil but that would be a blatent lie.  In reality along with Millahs friends we spent the whole weekend either drinking beer or nursing a hangover, maybe that is the cultural insight.  I think I will just post the pics as there is not much more I can say about the town, but I will say it was strange meeting so many full on Germans here though.  I don’t think political correctness means much either as there were some dressed as Nazi’s doing the hitler salutes, but if its ok for Prince Harry it must ok for everyone right?  But really on the whole everyone else was dressed in traditional clothes, knew the dance moves and really got into it.  After 3 nights of drinking though I was dead to the world and couldn’t go out another night, but some people I met had been out drinking every night for a month - Tatiana this is you, seriously I'm impressed!  There easily has to be a liver transplant issue in Brazil, the amounts being consumed is impressive, but then again with traditional music laced with europop songs like '99 Luftballons' playing on a loop, you need copious amount of beer too.  Oktoberfest, strange and surreal, but a massive laugh.

Thigh slapping and other things are the norm
These guys are a famous german band who come out here every year and apparently have the pick of all the hottest Brazilian German girls, no really its true
Not a f'king clue to the dance moves
Nope still no idea
The girl in the middle was the singer in the headline band.  The conversation went, Hables Espanol? No. You speak English? No.  Ok nice to meet you

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