Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Image of the Day- Grutas in Sete Lagoa

I share this for not really this image but to remind me of a trip I took out to Sete Lagoa. While I was visiting Belo Horizonte I was staying with a friend I had met and since she was working during the week, I had all day to go explore different areas around the city as well as some hidden gems by myself. Now usually I would be one to not travel alone but when I visited Brazil this trip, I realized how much I like to travel on my own because I felt like I was able to challenge myself more. I decided one day to go see some grutas also known as caves or caverns. I had read about them in my lonely planet book and decided it seemed like something that might be good inspiration for my work sooooooo I went to the bus station and found what bus would drop my approximately in the right area. I ended up asking the motorista (driver) where I would need to get off and when I had arrived he got my attention and I jumped off. Kind of strange because I was on the side of a highway. Was my portuguese that bad? Confused and a little worried I began to walk and noticed right across the traffic there was a huge sign for the grutas and a deserted parking lot in the backdrop. I quickly crossed the street and walked towards a small building that I assumed was the entrance. As I got closer a young girl greeted me and in my usual fashion I attempted to explain to her why I was there. She quickly realized I couldn't speak extremely well Portuguese but I reassured her I could understand and I did..for the most part. We had a few moments when I would be explaining something to her and mix up some word with another. We would laugh about once we figured it out. She was a really geniunly nice person and she was good company while I was waiting for the tour to begin. It was reccomended that I ate lunch before heading up the hill so I sat and ate a snack and drank fresh water right from the coconut. Once it was time to head up the hill, I met my guide who was another girl. Since it was the beginning of the week, I was the only visitor so I got my own guided tour in all Portuguese... I attempted to comprehend and she attempted to explain to me how the caves were formed and I understood bits and pieces..just a little too fast but I tried my best and even asked a few questions :) Portguese is such a pretty language! at times when I can't even understand I am just blown away by how beautiful it sounds.

When I returned back to the office, the first girl I had met was nice enough to help me find a bus back to Belo. Since I was dropped on the side of the road,I assumed that was were I would catch a bus but still was a little unsure about it. She offered to wait with my on the side of the road and it was the first time in a few weeks where I had this moment when I felt like I needed to be pinched because it didn't seem like I was really there and this was really happening. We were sitting on the side of the road and a little old woman was hobbled over a little juice stand that was shaped like a giant orange and inside for two heis she was selling the most delicious homemade juice I had ever had. Every few minutes a car or bus would pull up to buy some from her. The nice girl who was waiting with me told me I had to try some and I much obliged to the offer. It was abaxaci (pineapple) juice and sooooooo good. It was ice cold and thick with pieces of pineapple in it. There is nothing like fresh fruit juice and having a conversation with a complete stranger. Even if you can only communicate in simple forms. We talked a little about Rio and also more about the caverns. It made for a perfect day and I began to realize how kind people are in Minas. They have a lot of pride for their country and are welcoming to all people.

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