image Lonely Planet touts the wildness of Ilha Bela, something that young Flavio didn’t appear that interested in. Too much “sacrifice” is how he described trying to reach the island’s mountain trails and isolated beaches. Instead today he drove me around to bars, restaurants, and central beaches, where he assured me the most beautiful women in Brazil arrive every summer. His preference appeared to be blonds as he seemed to think the really striking women came from southern Brazil, which was settled to a large degree by Germans. Interestingly, tonight I met his girlfriend, a beautiful well-educated woman, who seemed to get along very well with his mother but clearly descended from Mediterranean stock. I shared a couple drinks with both mother and girlfriend who had arrived for the weekend.

Drinks were definitely not in short supply during my stay at the Vento Sul. With the laptop humming Umberto was churning out the Caipirinhas like we were counting down to Armageddon. imageCaipirinha is a combination sugarcane alcohol (the same stuff they use to drive their cars) sugar and lime. It’s a national drink of sorts and a good deal better tasting than most of the beer sold in Brazil. Despite that one temptation distractions were minimal at the Vento Sul and I was able to finish up and e-mail off my write ups of sustainable Tanzanian agriculture, colonial sharp shooting, and the habits of restricted range canopy avians. When it was all done, Umberto took both Flavio and I out for drinks, where, due to his connections with the local associations of bar owners we met plenty of Umberto’s friends, had some fine draft (chopp in Brazil), and never paid a centavo.

Posted by patrickj on 07/05 at 01:54 PM
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