Pocos do Caldas

In two days should be a nice flying weather but I am too “overflown” in Andradas. There is a one hour bus drive to Pocos do Caldas where are some nice flight on xcontest paragliding website, so decision is made.

There is some airspace but some recent flights too so I will see. When putting my backpack to storage, the driver asks me if I go to bus station, so I say yes. My answer cause me some trouble later.

In Pocos there are two bus stations and of course, the more remote one is where my bus is going. We communicate with driver through translator and he is not allowed to leave his seat. After a while he offers me that if I can open the storage, pick up backpack and close the storage when he makes extra stop, so I agree. I am alone in bus so maybe it is the reason. All goes fluently and in ten minutes I am checking in my new accomodation.

I booked a cheap airbnb in “like a hostel”. The young lad speaks English, the rest of his family not. All is decent, no aircondition but a fan in the ceiling. I have a lot of time so I explore the city. As I am hungry my host gives me a visit card of “a good reastaurant”. I go there, it is well hidden and little more expensive but food is amazing! I want something light so order Ratatoule and Detox juice. Both magneficient!! I will definetely return to this gem.

Compared to Andradas the city is very nice, and much more crowded. Outside the city center there are tens or hundreds of shops focused on drivers. Motorbikes, Cars, Gas stations, Car repairs, spares shops are majority. In the city center it is similar to Andradas: cosmetics and optics mostly, some pawn shops and restaurants. Only the lift I planned to use do not work because of some maintenance after an accident, at least this is told to me at tourist center.

There is a kitchen so I go to shop to make a salad. Where is the greek cheese? Did not find it. And the olive oil I bought taste not like olive oil. Salad is not good but I am hungry so all is fine. I purchased a wine “Gato Negro” for 25 reals, not bad and helps me with both salad and sleep. I checked my options and will take Uber, in the end it is cheaper than lift.

Flying site is very nice. Some pilots plan a task of 80 km triangle so I put navigation points into my phone and after some waiting we take off. We fly together but headwind is increasing and my friends use weak and backdrifiting thermals despite we have plenty of altitude. So I decide to go little forward, go little lower but find strong thermal, unfortunately do not see my friends anymore. Later I saw them behind me so I made my route little longer but they still do not catched up. Following part is most difficult and time is tight, thermals will weaken soon.

I go alone but in the end I assess situation badly or day is ending too soon and I landed in a small village. There were visible asphalt road so I am not worried. First locals tells me there is no bus stop in a village, bad. One of them takes me to a clinic, a doctor speaks english and travel to Pocos regularly. Unfortunately not today, whatan (un)expecting twist. So they arrange me a taxi, driver wants a lot of money but when he sees my dedication to hitchhike we agree on 60% of original price. He takes me to a nearest city with bus station. Few ladies have real fun of me not speaking portuguese and being in Brazil, in village in middle of nowhere. But I catch the bus and late I am in my room. What an adventure 🙂

Next day I decide its time for Laundry. I take my clothes to closest “levanteria”. Ladies takes my ID, ask for local address and says on Monday it will be. I refuse and we agree on Friday (it is Wednesday). Then they say the price of 50 and I do not accept. In Andradas I paid 20 and it was in the same day. And my next accomodation has a washing machine. Spent some time in a park and rested.

Next day I wanted go for mountain bike but it is way too hot. And I have planned a remote a job interview. So I do some work, arranging things for next comp and try find smooth options how to travel to Peru. I just visit Dos Amores as it is close and along the way to my favourite restaurant. Next day I leave to Pouso Alegre.

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