Porto Alegre for Travellers

What’s on and what’s going on.

  • Get ye to freaking Porto Alegre, it's where absolutely everything in the world goes on, like uh...the World Social Forum, and uhm, yes, other great stuff. Rio de Janeiro has its Christ the Redemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and wonderful beaches (NOT!) BUT, go there and you'll get KILLED! In PoA you'll just get robbed at gun point.

Enchanted Forest

Posted by apfear on April 8, 2007

Within a couple hour’s drive from PoA there’s the Atlantic Forest, not yer Amazonic Lung of the World but a threatened eco system nontheless.  Eco tourism is the gubbins to do here (HELLO HELLO HELLO!  TOURISM TOURISM TOURISM!), there are a few places where you (PAY) can take forest trails, jump into waterfalls and lakes and make a barbie at specially designated barbie areas.  Grandpa Rangel’s Enchanted Forest is one such place, costs about 3 britquid per adult to spend the day and about 30 bq for a cabin per night.  Unfortunately Grandpa Rangel’s Enchanted Lake has greatly diminished, Global Warming according to Grandma Rangel, so instead of taking a full body spludunk off Grandpa Rangel’s Floating Pier you can only dip up’t’knees in luke warm murky water.  Barbie pits and picnic tables are under the trees so plenty of shade. Grandma Rangel doesn’t allow you to take your own pop or beer so she can make huge profits with inflated bar prices, but you can usually get away with sneaking in your cans  in a cool box and buying just a three or four at the bar to keep her happy.

It’s a great day out for kids, along forest trails there are several ‘theme’ houses – the witch’s house, Snow White’s house (complete with seven mini-beds).  Somewhere up in the canopy there’s also a famiy of howler monkeys, keep looking up and you’ll see them.

From PoA go to the end of Avenida Ipiranga, then follow the signs for Viamão on the RS040, keep on this road.  About ten mins the other side of Viamão you go through a toll gate (cost about 1.30 britquid) after the toll gate pay attention to the bus stops on the right, they are numbered, another 15 minutes or so and you’ll reach number 90, here turn right onto a dirt road and go on for about 2.5miles (4km) there you’ll find the entrance to the Enchanted Forest.  Okay maybe you won’t recognise it because it’s in Portuguese – Floresta Encantada Vô Rangel.

Have a nice time!


Posted in Things to do on a HOT DAY | 2 Comments »

A Word or Two about Brazilian Culture 2: Barbie

Posted by apfear on February 9, 2007

Not the cute doll with tits, but SLABS of DEAD BOVINE ANIMAL roast over raging coals, (they rage rage against the dying of the light.)

Barbie in PoA is big.  Barbie restaurants, churrascarias, serve espeto corrido, which means something like “running spit”, you pay one price, 3 – 6 britquid, depending on the quality, and stuff yerself, if you’re a veggie, don’t go (though they usually have a good selection of salads).  The spits come around (they don’t run by the way) and keep serving until you wave a white flag or explode.  There are a couple of touristy churrascarias in town, good meat, gaúcho folk dancing, HIGH price.

Alternatively come to my place, good meat, good conversation, sunset view.  After a few beers I can zing up a Gaúcho folk dance or two, Irish jigs are my fave though, but for that I need Guinness.  Reasonable price.  Let’s say 4 britquid per person.  Sunsets are best ‘coz during the day it’s blasted hot.

After a slab or two of beer we

Do not go gentle into that good night

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A Word or Two about Brazilian Culture 1: Motels

Posted by apfear on February 8, 2007

If you’re travelling by car with your family, including kids, and see a sign “MOTEL” and think you’ll have a stop over for the night with a nice breakfast in the morning, NO WAY! A motel here is for SEX! By all means if you’re travelling as a couple with no kids then you can stay the night or just for a couple of hours, any time during the day or night.

Yes motels are for SEX, the rooms have jacuzzis, round beds, small fridge with drinks (though I recommend take yer own, it’s cheaper), mirrors all round and on the ceiling and big tv with porn channel. Some of them even have some kind of wierd multi-gym type contraption for tying people up in various possitions if that’s yer ilk. The motels offer a variety of suites from very basic, with no hot tub, to more elaborate with mini heated swimming pool and solarium for exposing yer naked flesh to harmful rays. Prices of the motels vary and prices of the suite vary depending if you want to soak in a hot tub after or before a good shag or whether you just want a good shag with no frills attached (frills can be itchy sometimes)

Here are some good ones in PoA:

The Sherwood: won’t find Robin Hood lurking here but the hot tubs are HOT and the beds are round.

Athenas: Take yer toga and a few friends, this one advertises a “Top Suite, for up to 15 people” YEEHAR!

Botafogo: Quite literally means “set on fire”

Ooooooh I could just go on forever.  There are loads, just AVOYYYYD the grubby ones.  How do you know a grubby one?  Well, it’s kind of like, grubby you know.

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More Culture in the Guise of Lectures

Posted by apfear on February 8, 2007

Copesul, whoever they are, ‘sgot some fun lectures from March to December, every Tuesday at the Federal University and Catholic University. Check here for the homepage, here for the list of lecturers and here for the schedule. The whole whabash costs around R$450, that’s about 100 quidsterling and you get a university “extension” course certificate at the end. Lots of nice people on the list including Peter Greenaway the Brit film director and that Asne lady who wrote “The Bookseller of Kabul”.

If you’re coming AFAR speak no Portuguese, check out my services.

Come to Porto Alegre and watch famous people speak!

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Posted by apfear on January 21, 2007

Give me loads of dosh and I can:

Pick you up from the airport or central bus station or guide you in by road if arriving by motorcycle, bicycle, pogo-stick or Space Hopper;

Book hotel / hostel or accommodation according to requirements;

Conduct short city tours and / or longer excursions to areas within a few hours drive of the city (beaches, mountain area, canyons);

Accompany / interpret during business or social meetings in the city or nearby;

Translations and Portuguese-for-getting-around classes;

Do a genuine Gaúcho barbecue on the terrace of my humble apartment.

For further details and prices click on where it says “No Comments” below and leave your e-mail address.

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Blow Me! If there’s not some Culture going on!

Posted by apfear on January 21, 2007

PortoVerãoAlegre . (uhm…Port Summer Happy?) IS going on right now, oodles of theatre and music shows and spatterings of Art House films not usually seen at the POSH Shlopping Centre cinemas. Tickets are between R$12 and R$15 (Brazilian Reals), that’s around 3 quid Brit Money. Make sure you have a student card and you COULD get discount (not a cert).

‘Tiz perhaps a vain attempt by the local council to keep people in the City during the Summer months, as the average Porto Alegrian with a wee bit of money and sense gets the figgin’s outa here and heads for them thar beaches. SO IN FACT it makes it the best time to visit PoA! NO traffic jams, NO crowded Shlopping Centres (Horrible Places at the best of times anyway). ON T’Other hand the weather can be a slight pisser as it tends towards a zillion centigrade with The Deluge every four or five days or so. Nothing that a chilled Fine Brazilian Ale cannot cope with.

The Sea Breezes are not without their appeals too, the nearest beaches being an hour or so’s drive and the nearest GOOD beaches being 5 hours or so’s drive. Take the BR116 and BR101, drive North from PoA for about 6 hours and you’ll come across a good beach. Take an ice box full of beer.

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Posted by apfear on January 8, 2007

Cidade Baixa at night is where you want to be drinking beer.

AVOYYYYD Moinhos de Vento unless you got LOADSA DOSH and / or a BMW, you won’t be allowed in with your pogo-stick or Space Hopper, and best leave the rucksack in the hostel. Oh, if yer a biker, Harleys are quite acceptable but they don’t take to kindly to oily greasy jeans. Corporate Management bikers are fine, the Hairy Arsed variety NOT, (though I believe that Corporate Managers also have Hairy Arses)

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Posted by apfear on January 8, 2007

Cooling down, Winter is a-coming in.  Dig out yer woolies.

Still got a few weeks yet though, don’t panic.

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Posted by apfear on January 4, 2007

Given unlimited funds, buy: GUINNESS in cans from the supermarket.

Given limited funds, buy: Heineken, Bavaria Premium or Polar. Bottles only.

AVOYYYD : Antartica, Brahma, Kaiser, Schincariol. In all forms. Do not be fooled by the advertizing of beautiful girls in bikinis, these beers taste like the piss of someone who has had a lifetime diet of cabbages.

Posted in Shopping for Beer | 1 Comment »

Posted by apfear on January 4, 2007

If you haven’t died in your unairconditioned hostel room, at the end of the day check out the PoA sunset at one of these places:

Gasômetro, large ugly building now used as “culture space”, has an expansive terrace upa de stairs for viewing the sun gently slipping over the hills behind the lake. They did a pretty dumb thing though, they put the bar on the wrong side. From the bar terrace you see: a busy road, some high rise apartment blocks, bums living under the monorail.

Floating Bar, next to the Gasô, this is basically a double decked floating platform with a bar. It has the potential to be something really nice, but it’s actually quite dirty, neglected and well…. just CRAP.

Beira Rio promenade, long walk starting from the Gasô, take deck chairs and cool box. Occasionally nearer town you’ll come across someone selling cold drinks from an ice box. A little further on you’ll find a wonderfully expensive barbecue restaurant owned by two tacky country music singers, I’m not sure if they have a deck to observe the SS, I can’t afford to go there.

Ipanema promenade, out of town, a few miles to the south. Don’t hitchhike. Lots of bars along the river front here, sunset views usually attract lots of people so arrive early to get the best seats.

My terrace. Buy a slab or two of GOOD beer and a piece of dead bovine creature and come on over, I’ll barbie it for us.

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