Campos do Jordão

Besides experiencing a bit of Carnaval, we wanted to use our long weekend and take the opportunity to see a couple more places on our “Brazil Bucket List”

Campos do Jordão is on that list! It is a city of about 50 000 in Sao Paulo state about 2-3 hours drive from Resende. The city is situated 1,639.2 m above the sea level and it’s the highest city in Brazil. The city’s main economy is tourism, probably due to it’s location in the Mantiqueira mountains and because of the European-looking architecture (buildings are mostly German, Swiss or Italian inspired. Many of the richest people from the state of São Paulo build their winter homes there and in July (the winter season) there is an enormous influx of visitors (more than quadrupling the city’s population) Due to its elevation, Campos do Jordão  is relatively cold for Brazilian standards. The winter is normally the dry season and the colder weather allows for warm cozy fireplaces and winter foods like fondue, hot chocolate and soups. There are hydrangeas blooming all over the city.

So…on a summer day in Brazil we decided to check it out with a couple of German friends. Actually we were told it is a bigger version of the Finnish village of Penedo that is close to us and we wanted to take a look!

Our day started off a bit unusual, we hadn’t gone far on the Dutra when David got pulled over at the Federal Police Road Check. There are usually quite a few police and cars and big guns! We lucked out and had a sweet lady officer ( makeup, jewelery the whole bit) that spoke English. She asked for our documents, took them back to her car and when she came back she had a breathalyzer and asked him if he would please do the breathalyzer test. I don’t know if it was routine because of Carnaval weekend or she thought we were much too happy. I asked her if I could take a picture, she agreed! Not to worry David passed ( no surprise there)!!

When you plug these Brazilian cities in the GPS, it takes you the shortest route. Well sometimes the shortest route is through small towns and back country roads and you wonder where in the world you are going. Quite interesting and beautiful scenery!

And there is ALWAYS stops along the way…

Cutter ants are so cool to watch!
Cutter ants are so cool to watch!

Arriving at Campos do Jordao
Arriving at Campos do Jordao- see the Hydrangeas!
Welcome to Campos do Jordao
Welcome to Campos do Jordao

Bondinho
Bondinho

We put Centro as a point in the GPS, and as happens quite often our lovely GPS miss guided us a bit. It told us we had 650m to Centro so we founded parking and went for a walk…I love walking in new cities because you see so much more! We walked and walked and still didn’t get to the area of Capivari where we wanted to be. It was a nice walk though.

By this time it was getting to be lunch time and we were all hungry so we went back to the car to try and find Capivari. It is famous for it’s restaurants and street cafes. The architecture of the homes and buildings in this city is wonderful probably more Swiss and Finnish then German. Well that is what Mark said. He said this nothing like Germany! We did see a Pousada that was Canadian (supposedly)

Canada Lodge in Brazil!
Canada Lodge in Brazil!

One of the highlights of the day was lunch

Crocodilio Restaurante
Can you guess what we tried?
Crocodile pieces
Crocodile pieces
Crocodile in a cream sauce served with rice
Crocodile in a cream sauce served with rice

It was delicious!! It DOES not taste like chicken…more like fish in taste and texture.

Enjoying a delicious dinner with our German friends Melanie & Mark Faust
Enjoying a delicious lunch with our German friends Melanie & Mark Faust

More exploring and driving, stopping at shops and places of interest. I should have taken a few close up photos at these shops. Winter clothes are coming out now…it is soon Fall here and kids are back to school. We saw winter coats, fur hats and scarves, the big heavy blankets they have in China…I find this so absurd for a tropical country. They don’t know cold!!

We drove to the highest point, Itapeva Peak (Pico do Itapeva). On clear days, you can see the cities of the Paraíba Valley. However today was not clear, and we had to see as much as we could between the pouring rain!

Home Green Home Resort in the mountains
Home Green Home Resort in the mountains on the way to the peak

beautiful lakes in this area
beautiful lakes in this area

We finally made it to Capivari. What a quaint little place. Before we explored the little shops we wanted to  take the teleferico to the top of MorroElefante to see the view. Probably a good choice because when we were on it…it POURED buckets!!!! We waited at the top, at a little cafe and enjoyed a hot coffee and some pie waiting for it to clear…it started to thunder and lightning in typical Brazilian fashion so we waited for a bit of a break and went back to the bottom. Well… no shopping or exploring Capivari this time because it kept raining harder and harder and since we had 3 hours to drive home we figured we better call it a day!

Teleferico to Morro Elefante
Teleferico to Morro Elefante

David pulls out his umbrella! I am too busy taking pictures and trying to keep my flip flops on my feet in the pouring rain!!
David pulls out his umbrella! I am too busy taking pictures and trying to keep my flip flops on my feet in the pouring rain!!

Capivari
Capivari
Mark & Melanie
Mark & Melanie

so wet!!
so wet!!

And now for the long drive home!

It was a great day exploring. Campos do Jordao has so many interesting things and we didn’t see half of all the things on our list! Tomorrow it’s off to another new city. Gotta love these long weekends!

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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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