After visiting Florianopolis I stopped for 2 days in Porto Alegre. There’s not much to say about the city. The center in nice, there are some interesting historical buildings. It’s very commercial, there are stores everywhere and many people shopping. They turned the old gas station into a community center, but actually it’s still semi-abandoned. It’s nice to walk along the river, but the landscape looks very wild and it can be dangerous.
My CS hosts made my stay really special! They took me to the graduation party of one of their friends. When I heard it I thought it was a students’ party, but I’ve learned that it’s actually more like a wedding where you invite all the family members and everybody dresses up. I was wearing my jeans and T-shirt, of course. It was a good opportunity to try some local recipes and to witness this kind of party. There’s always something new going on on this trip.
My last stop in Brazil was Pelotas. I only had a few hours, but again my CS hosts made it worth the stay. I found out that Pelotas is a city known for the sweets industry, so I realized I was in the right place. I also went to a street party with live music and visited the city center.
In the evening we went for dinner at a small restaurant close to the lagoon, with a very worm friendly atmosphere and live music.
Pelotas is a students’ city. I tried the mate for the first time and I learned about the gauchos (inhabitants of the pampas). The great people I met here gave me the taste of the atmosphere in Uruguay.
The trip from Rio to Montevideo has been exhausting. It was really hard finding hosts on Couch Surfing, staying in touch with them and getting to their homes. It was really hard making myself feel comfortable in the house of foreigners and starting to socialize and eventually to become friends. It was hard to carry my backpack everywhere and to ask for directions.
But it was definitely worth it! I met many interesting people and I’ve visited beautiful places. I found myself in new situations and I was able to handle all of them. I was really tired by the time I got to Uruguay, but I arrived here with more experience and more stories to tell!