This might come as a shock after all the amazingness so far, but believe it or not something in Brazil didn’t live up to my expectations! And that place was Blumenau, aka Alemanha Tropical (“Tropical Germany”).
Now I admit that my expectations were very high, since after watching the Michael Palin series on Brazil, and allowing my imagination to get carried away, I expected Blumenau to be full of Giselle Bundchen-like supermodels strutting their stuff along streets lined with bierkellers and bratwurst stalls , with oompah music being performed on every corner. No such luck. It’s just a nice town with some German-looking buildings. And surprisingly an English Pub, which is where I ended up going for a couple of (German) beers and (a Brazilian version of) fish & chips to pass the evening.
Things didn’t start well as during my cycle from Guabiruba to Blumenau I experienced the worst roads and drivers of the tour so far, and then at the edge of town I passed the local football ground so cycled up to the gate and asked if I could take a quick photo inside, but the answer was no and I was pointed to the outside of the fence for my photo. On the plus side, the guy at tourist information over the road was friendly, spoke some English and phoned a pousada (b&b) in the centre of town to book me a room.
But having decided to alter my route and do a shortened cycling day (54km) in order to stop in Blumenau, I was disappointed that it just didn’t deliver the German-ness I was hoping for. No doubt if I came here for their legendary Oktoberfest celebrations then I’d love it, but not on a Monday in mid-Jan.
Today I covered my usual 100km and am now in Joinville couchsurfing with Samuel and his family. Tomorrow it’s onward to Curitiba!