Another early morning, the alarm was ringing at 6:30. Not quite a vacation anymore, but real traveling.
Around 7:30 Sylvia and I said our goodbyes, she and Pedro leaving for Argentina and I for breakfast.
Then at 8:15 I was off to the airport and to Porto Alegre. Also said goodbye to Vagner, the much appreciated Caipirinha mixer!
I had a stop in São Paulo for two hours and was slightly stressed when until 20 minutes before departure the flight was only announced as planned. What did they mean by planned? I was booked on it. After torturing the information twice, my flight was finally announced via speaker.
In hindsight there was no need for stress, Porto Alegre is definitely lacking…
I took a cab from the airport and was 15 minutes later in my Hotel Lido.
I got a room on the 10th floor and expected a nice view. Really have to learn not to expect anything, cause I am looking into some kind of back alley.
After checking the wifi and washing some laundry, I left to get a better impression of the city. Downtown looked abandoned, dirty and empty. The few people about seemed to be living on the streets. Not all of them, but the overall impression was one of poverty. Not favela like, but poor nonetheless. I visited the old part of the city and basically saw all the sights the guidebook suggested. The German influence is visible, there are some beautiful houses, but even they have an air of despair surrounding them.
During my stroll around the city I tried to get some cash. I had already tried it at all the ATMs at the airport, no chance. Always the same messages, either they could not read my card or my limit for day was already exceeded. Very strange. I tried it again at the Banco do Brasil in the city, didn’t work there either. Just got a message with a couple of numbers to call.
Around 6pm I found a supermarket and bought some beers and snacks for the night. At least here I could use my credit card, although they wanted to see some identification and right my passport number on the paper slip.
This had also happened to us in Iguaçu. I wonder if they have lots of problems with fraud?
I decided to make it an early night, get some sleep, relax and watch the Academy Awards.
This was not meant to be in the end, my cable tv was not up for it.