31 Jan 2008

Ouro Preto, Mariana, Viçosa, Night of Evil in Ervália and a place called Piranga

Posted by walterheck

My weekend went a little different than planned. Things I do always go a little different than planned, I am used to it :) First, let me tell you what was planned.

On Saturday, I was going to go to this metal festival in Ervália, about 300Km from Belo Horizonte. During last week I found some people on Orkut (the number 1 Brasilian social network) that were going to Ervália also and I arranged to go with them in a van. I was gonna come back during the night and then go trekking (in Holland we call it hiking 😉 ) in the hills outside Belo Horizonte on Sunday. I could have known that this was not the way it was going to be :)

Here’s what really happened:

I didn’t manage to seal the deal on getting a seat in that van, so on Friday night my friend Felipe came up with an alternative: we could hire a car and go there ourselves. He is not into metal, but he has a good friend living in a town close to Ervália called Viçosa that he could visit. Along the way, we could visit famous colonial towns Ouro Preto and Mariana. It would also gain us ultimate flexibility and we would have a lot of fun. Also, it wouldn’t be much more expensive than taking a bus and not being able to come back when we wanted to.

So, after some looking around we found an affordable place to rent a car and decided to meet up the next day at 8am. We picked up the car and got a nice surprise: because the car renting shop was not open on Sunday, they told us we could keep the car until Monday and just pay two days of insurance but not two days of rent. We arranged everything we needed to and then we set off to visit Ouro Preto. I of course slept most of the way, while Felipe was driving. We had a walk around Ouro Preto and visited some churches. We didn’t stay that long as Felipe wanted to go see his friend and 300Km is a long way :)

Next stop on the road: Mariana. Less famous than Ouro Preto, it has some churches of equal beauty. But it has a lot less tourists and thus we liked it better :) After seeing the churches there we continued our way to Viçosa.

In Viçosa we bought some beers to not show up empty handed at Felipe’s friend’s place and made our way over there. We dropped off our stuff, went out for a quick bite to eat and then headed off to Ervalia. When we got to the venue at 17:30 (the gig was supposed to start at 17:00) the bands were not even there yet so we went to the center of Ervalia (a 5 minute walk, it has 20.000 inhabitants) and sat down at what appeared to be the main square. A lot of metalheads were hanging around there, but I was the only _very_ obvious gringo. Apart from that we were also a strange bunch because Felipe’s friend and her boyfriend were wearing pink shirts, not exactly metal :)

We quickly made some friends and when they found out I was from Holland I instantly turned into a tourist attraction. The festival was very local, so I was the only person from more than 50 km away, let alone from outside Brasil. I was lucky enough to hook up with seemingly the main guy in Ervalia. He took me everywhere and translated for me when necessary.

We went to the festival (Felipe and his friends went back to Viçosa to come and pick me up after the festival) and it was great! It felt so good to finally do some headbanging again, and Brasilian metalheads are crazy! From the first song by the first band they start going wild, while in Europe it usually takes a while for the crowd to warm up. We banged, talked and moshed the whole night long until Felipe came to pick me up.

During the festival I met a guy who came from a really poor area in Ponte Nova (approx. 40 km away) The remarkable thing was that he spoke very good English, without anyone to practice on. We talked quite a lot and he was very nice. He didn´t have any money to spend, so when we went home we took him with us as far as we were going in the same direction.

We didn’t want to spend the night in Viçosa, and Felipe was feeling quite good so we decided to go directly home (it was 4:30 by then) to BH. This turned out not to be our best idea ever :)

It started rainign quite soon and a I dozed off half drunk and half exhausted, I left Felipe on his own to do the driving, find the way home and stay awake. This proved to be too much. He put the car to the side of the road to get some sleep after getting lost trying to get out of Viçosa. He slept for a bit (I missed this whole thing but he told me later :) ) and then continued on some back road. When I woke up there was a strange man getting into the car. I asked Felipe and he told me he found this completely drunk man wandering in the middle of the road n the middle of nowhere. The man was too drunk to say anything coherent, except for the fact that he was abut 1,5 hours walking from his home. Because it was raining so hard Felipe decided to give the man a lift down the road.

Another time I woke up (as I said, I was sleeping almost the whole time :) ) we passed a sign saying that the road ahead was closed. We continued anyway (in the pooring rain having no exact idea where we were :) ) There was a huge gap in the road but we managed to pass it safely. Along the way we also passed some small towns that even Felipe had neve heard of. In the end we arrived home around 10.00 in the morning, Felipe completely exhausted and me just tired and half drunk. Just when I wanted to message Juliana that we were not joining the hiking trip on sunday she messaged me saying she was sick. It turned out that Bruno also had other stuff to do, so we quickly went to bed and slept most of the day.

All in all an exhausting weekend, but definitely worth all the hassle!

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3 Responses to “Ouro Preto, Mariana, Viçosa, Night of Evil in Ervália and a place called Piranga”

  1. http://www.geenstijl.nl/mt/archieven/1184791.html

    now that put’s your extended stay there into a whole new perspective…

    Gr
    Ruud

     

    Ruud

  2. Heya – hoe is de carnaval daar? Hier is t als vanouds: lachen, lol, muziek, gezellig, dansen… mij hoor je niet klagen! Vandaag nog ff en dan is het alweer gedaan helaas.
    Ben benieuwd naar jouw avonturen!

     

    Eef

  3. He, ja ik wil ook wel weten of je de carnaval overleefd hebt. Maar dat festival klinkt wel relaxed. Maar mooi dat metalheads ook in Brazilie aardige gasten zijn. Ik vraag me alleen af of jullie die dronken gast wel een lift in de juiste richting hebben gegeven, gezien het feit dat hij zich niet meer echt bewust leek te zijn van de plaats waar hij woonde. In ieder geval veel plezier verder!
    Groeten,
    Branco

     

    Branco

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