In the morning we packed up our stuff and headed off toward Brazil, it was a short drive by design from Punta del Diablo to the border. We didn’t have much trouble crossing except that we missed the customs building on the Uruguayan border, not much inspection getting out of the country. Once we got to the Brazilian border the agents could not have been much nicer, we got our temporary import permit for the car without any hassle and we were on our way. Our first stop was Gramado for one night before heading to Florianopolis for Easter. Once we crossed the border and the rolling country side with ranches and cows of Uruguay was replaced by forests, palm trees and industrial areas, but biggest difference is the Portuguese! After three month in Spanish speaking countries Maddy and I have become at least passable in travelers Spanish and can usually understand most people. We figured that Portuguese since it is so similar would not be that difficult… we were wrong. We can’t understand anything, we might as well be listening to Swahili. Time to rely on Google translate.
Our first stop in Brazil was Gramado a very quaint beautiful town with tons of German influence, and lots of Easter decorations; bunnies and eggs galore. The town seemed like it should have been a ski resort town in the german alps, but no snow and the mountains were not that high. We go into town late 7ish and checked into our apartment for the night, then walked around town and took in all the decorations, the kids were getting very excited about Easter. They have been imagining what differences Easter would bring in Brazil and were looking forward to the chocolate. They have been off sugar for a while due to bad behavior but have been getting better especially Julie. We had a late dinner in town and we all crashed pretty hard after battling mosquitoes the last two nights and the long drive to Gramado.
In the morning we got tickets to this interesting miniature city call Mini Mundo, it was an amusement park made up of German and South American building built in miniature. The kids loved it, we spend over a couple of hours perusing the buildings before heading out of town. It was close to noon before we headed off down off the mountain back toward the coast, the views were beautiful and we had lunch at this Brazilian buffet our first! Lots of meats and rice and beans, fried bananas, polenta and a little shot of coffee for the road. The kids liked the food and liked choosing their own food from the buffet. The beach awaits!