Thursday, October 1, 2015

Just a Bit More On Brazil

Because I haven't gone on enough about Brazil... But really because I kinda love this country, and saw a bunch more cool stuff outside of just racing bikes. 
On Sunday, after recovering a bit from the last stage of the race, Spencer and I hiked up the hill from town to check out a rad church with an incredible view of the town of Mariana. 
This is the rad church. It was HUGE and way high up on the top end of town. 
This is the sweet little park we walked through to get to the church. We bought trinkets from a street vendor in the park. 
Sadly the church was closed, but I got my share of awesome sweeping views, and we found a smaller but equally cool church on the way back to town which was open. 
The whole town is basically adorable houses built on the hill side. So so cute!
Inside the church that WAS open. 
was also enamored with every single house on the way up the hill, they reminded me of some communities in California, like SF and Santa Barbara because of the influence of the Missionaries and because they were on a hillside. I took way too many house pictures, but I can't bring myself to delete them from my phone! 
Something about white plaster and colorful window trim gets me going :)
The town was divided by a sweet little river, we got to cross it every time we traveled the 5 minute walk from the race venue to our hotel and back.

And ALL the streets in Mariana were cobblestone, most of which were REAL cobblestone, as in real, average, random rocks in the ground! I kinda loved that about Mariana, that and the cute houses all on the side of a hill... Swoon :)
This is one of the streets we raced up on Friday night. 
On the way back to the venue post church expedition we stopped in an artist's studio and got to see this cool old dude carving cherubs, and another painting pictures of churches. While we were there a tourist from another part of Brazil told us the history of the area, which was pretty fascinating. She was really knowledgable and super friendly!

Free beer and little fried empanadas waiting for the podium ceremony = best day ever :) I even tried to start a dance party by the band, but I think by then the locals thought I was 100% psycho!

On Monday we did a little "recovery" ride on the freeway which was equally beautiful and terrifying. The rules of the road seem to lean towards every man for himself, so it was a bit stressful passing on and off ramps. Even with the onramps and high speed, it was probably much safer to ride on the freeway than in town, where the drivers are equally nutty but there is no shoulder. We did get about 100 friendly honks though, and saw a ton of cars with bikes in or on them drive by :)

And on Tuesday, finally in possession of MY OWN bike, I got to hit some local BH trails with IKE and Spencer. The trails were so so fun, and reminded me a lot of San Juan trail in SoCal, but better. I was pretty slow, so the guys did a lot of waiting for me, but it felt incredible to ride trails on Scalpy, and the views continued to be amazing!

Doesn't that look like San Juan!? Red dirt, and scrub for plant life :)
Tuesday afternoon I explored a local park, where we got an awesome view of the city, saw some monkeys and Brazilian Raccoons, and drank coconut water right out of the coconut!
Most people live in apartments because it is safer, so there are TONS of tall buildings in BH. It's like 100 San Franciscos, and makes for some cool views.  
Seen on my hike in the park. It was basically a hike through the jungle, there were SO many trees and plants!
I approve of Brazilian coconuts! The flesh was soft and easy to scrape out and eat after the water was gone too!

Little monkey dude, just hanging out in a tree :)
And on my last day in Brazil I went to an amazing botanical garden/modern art exhibit called Inhotim but pronounced more like inhoch. I basically walked for 4 hours around this incredible garden which had probably 10 lakes and an orchid house, and went into a few art museums with art I didn't really understand :) the gardens were stunning through, I guess that's a form of art I understand! 

There were tons of flowers I've never seen before, and HUGE benches everywhere made out of single pieces of trees. There were also tons of high schoolers so that was fun, HA. Kids in Brazil act pretty much like kids in the U.S. On field trips, less into the art than the freedom :) 
One piece of wood... Isn't that an incredible bench?!

And after the hour long car ride through the country (which looked so so much like California!) we grabbed the bikes and luggage and headed straight to the airport. 

I was so busy leading up to this trip that I didn't have much time to contemplate what Brazil would be like (Or research the race, find out how long it was, where it was, what the weather would be like... Ha) but I loved every minute, every meal, and (almost) every mile I rode my bike! Thank you IronBiker for giving me such an incredible opportunity, Fred for taking such good care of us while we were there and for keeping me in line when I wanted to go do crazy somewhat dangerous things, and Brazil for being so beautiful and friendly!
 I hope I can race bikes in Brazil again Some day :)

No comments:

Post a Comment