Monday, November 28, 2011

Caldas Novas

Happy late Thanksgiving!  What? You're all going on about Christmas now? Whatevs, I can't get into the Christmas spirit when it's 85 degrees outside.  We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal with many new friends this year, then hit the road for some resort time. Caldas Novas is the the largest hydro-thermal resort in the world.  It's about a four hour drive from Brasilia, unless you go the long, circuitous route because the lady inside your GPS is an evil, evil witch. We had a great time and the kids want to go back soon. We were joined by another embassy family with similarly-aged kids, so our boys weren't "forced" to hang out together.

Jack and Henry couldn't get enough ziplining off of a high cliff into the warm waters. There were  huge fish lurking about which would scatter as soon as the kids hit the water.  Grace didn't even attempt it, but I paid for Olivia to try and she burst into tears on the way up to the platform, so Henry gladly took her spot:

Jack's at an awkward angle because I told him if he didn't protect his head, I'd kill him.

On our way to the swim-up bar.

The bartender refused to give me my caipirinha until she was satisfied I could pronounce it properly. Every time I messed up, she would pull the drink farther away from me. The water in every pool was like a bathtub, which came in handy when the skies opened up in the afternoon.

Our hotel had four pools which were geo-thermally heated. Brazilians are pretty relaxed about rules. There were people eating and boozing it up all around the edges of the pools, but we steered clear of the "booze pool", which was full of basically naked people drinking from 8am on.  The first ten minutes or so after our arrival, the kids noticed all the thongs and speedos and teeny, tiny bikinis, but after that, it was no big deal. As Henry said, "you seen one bumpy butt, you seen 'em all." Even grandmas wear thongs here.
 The long climb up to the slide in the rain.

 Guarana Girls

Every time my little drama queen struggled to get out of the pool, there happened to be a Brazilian adult to help pull her out. I'll have to do a post on how much Brazilians love children here. Grace didn't really care for this bit of familiarity, as you can see on her face. She's calculating how to get out fast enough so the lady next to her didn't give her a boost.

At our hotel, we met the author of this book, who happens to live in the hotel. He gave us a signed copy of the book, and was an incredibly gracious, welcoming man.  I read it on the way home and highly recommend it for travelling or living in Brazil. It's full of many useful tips that most phrasebooks don't tell you.  Osmar De Almedia-Santos is also a physician and advised us to avoid the booze pool as well. You don't have to tell me twice, mister.

The drive home was quick and the countryside was gorgeous. The tiny little towns along the way were fascinating and we saw a side of Brazil we don't normally see in Brasilia.

 'Boa Viagem'~Safe Travels
 Tiny kid on a tiny horse

Fairly deserted on a Sunday afternoon

After all that resting and relaxing, we were exhausted by the time we got home and happy to lounge outside with a glass of wine in our hands and our dog (who had his own adventure at some new friends' house) at our feet.


Kim said...

Nice cleavage.

Lynda said...

this sounds like my kind of Thanksgiving weekend...happy for you!