We’ve arrived into Porto Alegre! No bus dramas and warmly welcomed by Leo, another of the SEGs from Red Hat.
Leo helped us buy our bus tickets to Uruguay for later, and then get to our accommodation in Porto Alegre - this time an AirBnB apartment, as there are very few hostels with double rooms available. We sorted out all of the important stuff then headed for a walk into Cidade Baixa, a suburb near the centre of town which co-incidentally also has Porto Alegre’s bar strip. We were given a local tour of the attractions along the way, passing parliament, the theatre, the Catholic Cathedral and a couple of very ornate governmental buildings. As we had arrived in fairly late it was time for us to get some dinner, and of course try some of the local beers. We had a few espitinhas (charcoal barbecued kebabs), polenta chips, and some beer and then walked a little further only to stumble upon a pizza place. We ordered simple pizzas this time around; sans catuipiry or whatever the terrible cream cheese is called, and enjoyed conversations and probably a few too many beers/caipirinhas.
Brasil, running on Brasilian time also means that things don’t happen at sparrow’s fart in the morning. Both of us are finally getting to a point of sleeping in, in the mornings and going to bed a little later than the normal 8:30pm for Dee and 10pm for James. On Saturday morning we rolled ourselves out of bed around 8:00am or so, and got ourselves together enough for a coffee, then a day-time city tour from Leo. We were shown around the old buildings, the view across the river/lake thing (no-one can seem to agree which it is), the boob statue and then taken to a Churrascaria for more meat than either of us could eat! The churrascaria had a massive buffet of vegetables and some meats, then people walking around with more meat, cheese, breads and a couple of more cuts of meat. Unfortunately we were too full to try all of the different kinds of meat, but we did give it a fair go! During our meal the churrascaria held a Gaucho style dance show and traditional style music, it was a lot of fun. After eating our weight in meat we decided to walk to the market place to take a look around at the local produce and collectables. Unfortunately we were a little too full to try anything there, but it was definitely tempting. Heading back to our unit we decided it was time to take a little rest and let our poor stomachs come to terms with how much they needed to digest.
Later in the evening we met up with Leo again and made our way to the supermarket, and then over to João and Mari’s place (another Red Hat team member), being joined by one of RH’s kernel developers. We chatted about our trip so far and where we were heading to next… over some beers of course. The view from their apartment is amazing! By the end of the evening, with a little pizza and a few more beers, we were both exhausted, it was definitely time for us to hit the hay – realising that we needed to be up less than five hours later to pack and make our way to the airport for a few days at the Iguaçu Falls.