Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Sunny Saturday in BH

The rainy season is really starting to taper off and we are getting some absolutely gorgeous days now. While a thunderstorm may roll in once or twice per week in the evenings, the sunny days are out numbering the overcast ones. The end of rainy season brings some absolutely gorgeous landscapes too. (With plenty of soil moisture and now some sun, everything is lush, green, and blooming. Unfortunately, by the end of the dry season, everything will be brown and crunchy...so we have to soak this stuff up while we can!)

Saturday was one of the more gorgeous days. It started off a little cloudy but the clouds broke and we had a beautiful blue sky for most of the day. So after running some errands in the morning, we decided to get out and take advantage out the great weather.

Well, actually, the morning started with Eric getting up early to go for a jog. We had the pleasure of some construction work happening on the street outside our building, so sleeping in was difficult (of course, I managed, somehow, since running isn't really my thing...)

Eric really liked that they were using a Case backhoe...and the number of guys in the "swing zone" (is that what it's called?) of said backhoe. I watched for a while too, but mostly I was thinking that the backhoe might bump the truck and send the guy in red standing on stop of the dump truck falling down in to the exceptionally deep hole they were digging in my street! In the end, not too much excitement...except that the gushing sewage that had been running down the street all week is now confined to the replacement pipe. And I must admit, that's a nice change.

After his run, Eric fixed a beautifully presented breakfast for us and had bought lots of chocolate for me. I wasn't sure why he went to such lengths, but I figured that he was just being sweet (or he was trying to get out of the trouble that I didn't yet know he was supposed to be in!) As it turns out, Saturday was a holiday: March 8, International Day of Women. For some reason, despite it being an international holiday, the US hasn't picked up on this one yet. And shame on Hallmark, florists, and the jewelry stores for that one! Seriously, another day of the year we women could be getting presents and the leading card manufacturer hasn't advertised it? I am severely disappointed in them. But very, very impressed how that ol' hubby of mine decided to celebrate a holiday I didn't even know about! And that he bought me chocolate. I do love chocolate.

After breakfast and then our errands, we decided to head across the street to Minas Tênis Clube and spend a couple hours out at the pool. After getting good and waterlogged and feeling like we'd had enough sun for the day, we returned home to change clothes and go do some hiking for the afternoon.

On the 1/2 block walk home, I suddenly remembered one of the warnings on the antibiotics I was taking: Você deve evitar exposição prolongada ou excessiva à luz solar. In English, that means keep your butt out of the sun! And if I had thought of that warning before going to the club, instead of on my way home, I probably would have used a higher SPF or spent a little more time in the shade. But instead I am now sporting a lovely shade of pinky-red over most of my body, spending my days smelling like aloe gel, and really, really upsetting the dermatologists of the world. On the bright side, I am terrified of wrinkles and so my face is always slathered with a high SPF sunscreen, therefore at least my face doesn't have that reverse raccoon crossed with lobster look going on! :)

After covering my body with SPF 30, we decided to head on over to Minas Country for the rest of the afternoon since they have hiking trails (and lots of shade.) We got some great views of the city and the club and stayed until just before sunset.

This was taken from an outlook on the hiking trail with an incredible panoramic view! (It was a little hazy, but that is the city in the background.)

The view straight ahead from the outlook (looking at a favela - although it did look like a nicer favela - that seemed to stretch on forever over the hillsides!)

More of the view from the outlook

Eric hanging out at the outlook as I crouched in the shade

On the trail (notice how nice and pink I am already here? Ugh!)

Coming back down from the trail there are some nice views of the club and the incredible mountain setting.

We are totally obsessed with rubber trees. They are such an interesting species! And this one is quite small even, as far as rubber trees go.

We had a nice quiet Saturday night. We ate supper at a small restaurant just a couple blocks from our apartment (and totally fell in love with the place! We will be returning very soon!) And then, we settled in on the couch to watch a movie.


Jeremy Sarber said...

Wow. It looks great down there. I bet it's beautiful.

By the way, it was kind of neat to see your comments on my blog. I remember hearing about you from my cousin Josh Hall long ago. I had to call and ask if you were the same Emily he used to talk about.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, definately more beautiful than I imagined.

wondering ego said...

Hmmm... about "favelas" and poor neighborhoods:
What "seemed to stretch on forever over the hillsides", if they have like paved street, electricity, sort of planed streets, its probably a poor neighborhood. Thats why it looked "nicer" to you.
A favela is an illegal settlement, very chaotic and very very poor. Albeit some very old favelas (like 30 y.old ones) are now becoming "neighborhoods"/bairros with some legalized services, property and so on.

Anyway, both a sad reality in our country. I wonder how long it will take for us to promote better living conditions for our people. One thing I noticed recently, in poor neighborhoods, there is a tinny middle class! They have cars, gadgets, computer, internet, cable TV/satellite, and small children even go to private nursery schools as their parents go to work.

Emily said...

wondering ego,
Yeah, you're right. It was probably more "poor neighborhood" than "favela" I'm really bad about using that term too loosely ... to the gringa eyes, they both seem so pitiful sometimes I accidently clump them together. Thanks for the clarification.