Friday, May 30, 2008
Long weekend getaway in the mountains
Boa Esperança is a tiny mountain town near Lumiar, a somewhat larger – and better known - tiny town made famous by singer Beto Guedes in a song by the same name. Another 40 minutes down the mountain is the city of Nova Friburgo. This area of Rio de Janeiro state was settled about 190 years ago by Swiss immigrants. You can occasionally see the Swiss influence in the curious mixture of Brazilian and Swiss home construction style (among those who can afford the extra distinctive wood trim.)
Our fun/party social group includes Sergio and Dora who have rented a little house in Boa Esperança for the entire year as their own little special getaway. And on this long Corpus Christi holiday weekend (coinciding with Memorial Day in the US) we all got to join them, sleeping cheek to jowl covering nearly all the floor space.
Not yet owning a car we loaded our suitcases and bedding onto an inter-municipal bus at 5:00 a.m. and took off for the mountains. The driver was kind enough to drop us, some two plus hours later, at the turnoff to Boa Esperança (not a regular stop). We waited there for the local bus to take us further up into the mountains to our host's modest cottage.
Gotta love these stripped down, no-nonsense, made-to-take-anything local busses. The 30 minute ride to Boa Esperança was over a dirt road. The bus was filled with school kids, folks going to work and families returning home from who knows where. And us. Hold on – the bus barreled ahead with confidence and determination.
The weekend was a ‘10’ as they say here. Great hiking, super friends, good song, lazy days and a blow-out BBQ where many of the locals joined in. Truth be told – Luiz and I came for the weekend, and stayed for a week! Sergio gave us the keys and we soaked up the quiet for a couple days after our group went home (read: back to work.)
Ready for the next visit to Boa Esperança.