Our last day in Porto Alegre, a bunch of us went to the open-air market at Brique da RedenÃ§ao, which runs every Sunday from 9 or 10 am. The official booths even take Visa, though you have to go to one of a handful of special stands to use it, and ONLY Visa is accepted (this is true of many places in Brazil, as we had found).
It’s a combination of artisans’ fair and flea market, with some very interesting things. I bought a mate cup (cuia), a little wooden carving of a jaguar, a stunning jasper necklace, and something very special for my daughter – all of whichÂ got me grief upon arrival in Australia (they’re very strict about quarantining wood and animal products, to protect their fragile ecosystem). But nothing has been confiscated. Yet.
The night of June 25th, Bruno took Teresa, Lynn and me to see O Teatro MÃ¡gico, a cross between a band and Cirque du Soleil. They were one of many groups in town for FISL because they release their music under a creative commons license – you can download it here.
As you can see in the above clip, there was plenty going on. Our toes kept tapping and our bodies swaying, although we’d already been on our feet most of the day working the Sun booth (my legs were very, very sore the next day).
Of course while we were in Porto Alegre we had to go to a churrascaria. This method of cookingÂ originated with the gauchos of southern Brazil and is mostly about all kinds of very good meat, though there’s also a buffet of salads and vegetables, and you can get grilled cheese (in large, melty chunks, not sandwiches).
Truly some of the best meat I’ve had in my life (there are times I am thankful not to be vegetarian), and the tableside capirinha service helped to wash it all down.
I was delighted to learn that the Fogo de Chao chain is of authentic Brazilian origin and considered good, so there are a few places in the US where I’ll still be able to enjoy churrasca.