Monday, April 23, 2012

A Perfect Day in Brazil

Yesterday we woke the kids up early and hauled them off to Itiquira Falls, the highest accessible waterfall in Brazil.  It was about 90 minutes outside of Brasilia, if you didn't stop to get lost, like we did. We made a wrong turn in a little town near the falls, but had a great time asking the locals how to get to the falls in our lame portuguese. We just kept following their pointed fingers until we eventually made it back onto the right road. They were having a market day or festival of some sort, and it was all I could do to keep Mitch from buying a few chickens:
Our one regret of the day was not having enough time to explore the market, as we had to get back to Brasilia to attend a bbq and Jack still had a lot of weekend homework. Eventually we made it to the falls:

 The boys wanted to swim in the pool at the top, so we climbed all the way up, getting completely drenched from the spray, and found a trio of Brazilian, um, couples.  Having some private time in the water. Henry saw a boob.

So, we traipsed back down to the next level. Only Jack was brave enough for this icy cold, churning pool. See his little head in there?

The next level down proved to be the best for families.  The kids had a blast swimming and trying to keep pace with the current.

Jack challenged Henry to jump off the rocks:

And with a little boost from these lovely Brazilians, he made it up to the platform.


The girls wanted to try, of course, but the Brazilians wouldn't hear of it. Because they're girls. Despite the fact that Olivia is twice as strong a swimmer as Henry.  They still had fun jumping off the lower rocks and getting swept into the calm pool, though.

See that cliff? This crazy guy spent the day swan diving off it. He was there with his grandkids. Loco!

We stopped to eat at a local restaurant recommended by some of the embassy families and had just as lovely a time there as we had at the waterfall. There were beautiful gardens to hang out in, a guy singing and playing guitar (and he was good!), and a playground for kiddos to play on in view of the dining patio so parents could enjoy a leisurely meal. That is one of the things that makes me adore Brazil. They love children and will go out of their way to make them happy.

The gardens at the restaurant boasted two of these hammock gazebos, so if you got tired after your leisurely lunch, you could take a little sesta.

 This is Kevin and Miguel. They hung out with our kids while Mitch and I were finishing our lunch.  They knew a few words in English, but they were patient and slow and were able to have whole conversations with our kids in portuguese. They were so adorable and charming and funny, I wanted to take them home. Especially when Kevin pantomimed the word for "twins" in portuguese, which consisted of a lady pulling two babies out of her, um, ladyparts.

A vine-covered dome to hide in.

Most restaurants in Brazil have a little 'cafezinho' station where you can get a tiny cup of coffee after your meal.  This wonderful place also had a Cachaça station, which is the fermented sugarcane liquor used in making caipirinhas (the national cocktail of Brazil). 

It also had a cafezinho station and a station for the kids which was some kind of hot, liquid dulce de leche. It was well-received.

Just look at this adorable blurry enamel cup!

As we were going out to the car from our two-hour lunch (which, by the way, is a typical Brazilian 'lunch hour'), we discovered that the restaurant was giving kids free pony rides. I KNOW!!


Bfiles said...

ok that sounds like the best family outing ever. I am totally bidding Brasilia.

Heather Dray said...

What an awesome day!!! FREE PONY RIDES! Get.Out. :-)