Travel Journal

Still another week in Ilha

(Sunday 2 August 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Hello to you all,
What has been happening with you all, School holidays are about = way through I think? The weather sounds by all accounts to be changeable, but warm. :-\

Let’s tell you what has been happening here, again quite a lot for our small place!!
Last Saturday…25th July was still cold, so we decided to visit the Zoo complete with camera. It is free to enter, and has some of the animals found in Brasil, it also re-housing some of the animals that were disturbed when the dam was built….as this was about 17yrs ago, I do suspect poetic licence was used with the wording and some of the animals have either reproduced or been replaced when they died.

So onward we went into the woods, the first things we saw were the birds- Macaws and parrots. There were also some little birds like grouse, and others like small peacocks- but drab brown coloured. Following the path we came to the puma’s, two types one was what we know as a jaguar; the other was completely beige with beige eyes….. Guess what the camera battery ran out!!
Blinking typical !! >:-)

As we walked around we saw a small capybara running across our path and diving into the undergrowth. We also saw wild monkeys, sitting in the trees over the caged ones. I wondered if they were teasing the caged ones or if they felt safer there with company. There were Rhea’s (small Emu’s) and a full size capybara. Some wild pigs… gosh they are ugly!! The best thing I think was the ant eater.. certainly looks prehistoric to me… It has such a bushy tail !!

There was supposed to be a wolf, now we had seen a dead one 4 years ago at the side of the road. The zoo one has dug a hole under its wooden chalet and was hiding.
It is the strangest looking thing, its legs are at least 1 metre high then it’s body on top, so it is roughly 1.5m high..... it looks like a fox on stilts !!!! It has HUGE ears and the colour is a brown/red colour but not as hairy as the ones in Europe and the Americas. It was a pongy enclosure so I hate to think what t would be like in the heat!! :-x
We will return with a full battery and hopefully get some photos for you… I don’t imagine the wolf though!!

Sunday we were invited for lunch… Mikes favourite dish here.. Feijao He loathes it really!! :-|
It is a winter dish here and VERY popular.
It is a pot of stew made from pig skin….. yes you read that correctly. Dried fatty pork, garlic sausage, cheap cuts of beef and black beans. It is boiled together for hours, until everything is soft and it all turns a red/ dark purple colour… so even the look is not that appealing!!
The stew is eaten with rice. The side dishes are cabbage cut really thinly and fried with onion and garlic; and Farofa this is ground cassava root with onion and garlic fried together. There are also cut and peeled oranges.
The biggest problem is dipping into the stew, you hope that you get more than the pork skin…. Yes they it is eaten and not just for seasoning. 8-O
You can see mike was really looking forward to the experience!!!
I took my own food… Potatoes and homemade English style beans…. I enjoyed my lunch… Mike however had a small plateful; while the others went back for second and third helpings!! When we left, we went to the cafi and Mike filled up with Lemon tart. ;-)
I was in the Uni on Monday, and the dashed internet went down on me again… I get so mad as Mike seems not to have a problem!!

Shhh it has started to get warmer again…. 23c today!!

It has been decided we are having a get together on Friday night for about 10 people, we were feeling bad as it really was our turn to reciprocate the meals.
have decided on Italian… English style. That sounds a little odd, let me explain. The three times we have been given lasagne at others houses it has always been cheese and sliced ham between the lasagne sheets, a little odd but ok. I decided they needed another 2 options to try so have decided to make a beef lasagne and a chicken, bacon and mushroom one.
The pizzas here are barely cooked, or at least not how people in the U.K. are used to. Here they use no tomato sauce on the base, just loads of cheese and because it is not cooked long enough to roast it, the result is greasy. :-\
I have decided on 4 cheese and ham with sun dried tomatoes and olives. Also will do a chilli beef and pepper one…. Just because they will have never experienced this type of one before.
I am going to try making a chocolate cake recipe my mum sent through… she says it is lovely and rich. The other one will be the favourite of all who tastes it… Toffee nut meringue.

During the week we went out again to the fish and chip restaurant…. That was a photo of Mikes portion you saw last week, here you take little nibbles then add a little more to your plate. It means you don’t know how much you’ve eaten, but also you can pick if you want to and nobody notices !! ;-)

Time went quickly until Friday, The internet was sporadic and I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, still hopefully next week everything will be back to normal. We have heard the dreaded swine flu has arrived here, 3 suspected cases. The state of Sao Paulo has decided all schools and Universities are to stay closed for a further 2 weeks after the holidays… It seems to us a daft idea, as the cases will rise in that time and it is more likely to spread… A better idea would be if a student had any symptoms to stay away.

Well the Italian party went well, although I had a panic about the amount of gas I had… 8-O8-O
The food seemed to take ages to cook, probably the quantities were much larger than normal. We ate Brazilian style at 10-30pm !! All the food was eaten though including the chilli beef pizza. The puddings were loved as well.
I tried making honeycomb and covering it with Choc. It was a little like crunchies….however a moment in the mouth and you were chewing for ages …. It melted into a toffee like consistency and really worked the jaws!!
I got 10/10 for the food. Mike started washing the dishes …0:-) yes you read that bit correctly as well however the ladies decided he was not doing it well enough… that was because he had no bubbles on his washing up cloth – methinks a ploy so they would take over!! :o):o)

Well on Saturday we went back to the zoo, this time temp 28c. Some of the animals were hiding from the sun, but we got one of the wolf, infact there were two wolves out lolling in the sun. I was so pleased to see them..... It does make me sad to see the animals in cages though. :-\ Sounds a bit of an oxymoron!!

After doing the animal photography bit….
We then went to the Graveyard… You all know we are a little odd; we like to look at graveyards abroad as sometimes there can be very interesting monuments. :-^
We had never visited the one here; it deals with Ilha Solteira and the poor town just over the dam… Silveria. Most of the people who live there are on minimum wage, working either in the fields or, if a woman as maids for us in Ilha Solteira.

Well I was shocked. There were lots of small graves for babies, mostly either living 1 day or still born…. Mike thought probably the effect of a developing country, and the graves went back to 1970’s. :-| :-(

Then the adult graves were as shocking, there were only a few people that had made it over 80 before they died, the grave of the oldest person we saw was 86yrs. The graveyard seemed filled with people born after us!! :-\
They either died around 47- 52yrs old or 17-30yrs. We both were quite stunned, I blame the food- too much fat/salt for the people around 50ish. The ones 17-30 I thought were vehicle crashes… only because they had all died from 1990 onwards.
There were new ones being dug, the graves are lined with bricks so take a while to get ready… I wondered if they were getting ready for the swine flu??? (A lot of people have died in Brasil from the effects of the flu.) ….. Mike thinks I have an over enthusiastic imagination. :-\

Well after such an exciting day, I think it will be difficult to find anything to match it!!
Next week we are off to Bonito. Will let you know what happens there!!


Sorry about all the messages coming through... have tried 5 times to load everything.... There are two lots of photo albums called Zoo, Feijoa and Italian.
I am frazzled and exhausted now... time for up toes's!!

Love to you all
Laur x

  • Zoo by Babs
  • Great photos by Sheila
  • Mum by Mum

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