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Monday, 7 March 2011

Uberaba, and the barbeque to end all barbeques.

Yep, thats right, Uberaba - and not a sniff of a filthy word, I promise. Its a city in Minas Gerais (the state that borders Rio). Now we´re 10 hours drive from Rio (or a short lazy, decadent plane hop, thankyou very much). Now those of you with one eye on the liturgical calendar (or a bent for stuffing pancakes once a year) might know that its carnival time. Thats right, dress like a total mentalist and paint the town very red indeed. In fact, pretty much nothing is taboo, as long as you do it very loud and proud and absolutely pissed as a fart.
Just to prove that it exists in the most traditional sense, Uberaba has a coat of arms. Here it is.
Now friends, I´m no prude or party pooper, honest, but the thought of a week long record breaking stag/hen do going on right on my doorstep, with our little lad desperate to join in was a thought a trifle too much to bear. These days I´m able to show restraint on many occasions, but the test of Rio Mardi Gras was not a test I was prepared to take. So here we are, on a trip down memory lane for her, and an adventure into the ´Triangula Mineiro´for me and the little one. To be honest, in its own way, its just as mental here!

I don´t know what the weather´s like where you are, but here we have a kind of steroid fueled ´sunshine and showers´. Its either a blowtorch straight to the torso or its torents causing drains to instantly flood and streets turn into rivers. This meant that out quick hop by plane took an extra 4 hours and an extra airport. You know what. Not one of our fellow passengers grumbled in the slightest. I couldn´t believe that by some miracle we had joined the 2011 reunion of the all Brazil chilled-out society. When we landed, there was actual spontaneous applause. Remind me not to be so unreasonable the next time we are subject to leaves on the line.

Ok - so we met up with our carnival team, and headed off to the house on a hill. We were the first, but not to worry. Beer first, and it came in the huge bottles that I have learned to love so much. Kids charging about. Much hugging and introducing and stuff. Pretty festive to be honest. Just no tree.

Now - I´ve done the right thing and manned the barbeque before - to both the delight and horror of our guests. I´ve made everything from exquisite lamb kebabs to uncooked near death experience comedy chicken. I´m sure we´ve all been there. I´ll shut up.

This barbeque experience, was unlike any other. For a start, in order to promote a strong team spirit, everybody was most keen to do their bit to help by drinking beer like it was about to be confiscated. The cooking was left to a pro, who the ringleaders had clubbed together and organised. This superhero of the charcoal grill was relentless. We were in very good hands. All we had to do was eat and drink for SIX BLOODY HOURS. I have rarely experienced such deep and heartfelt happiness. More delightfully seasoned, perfectly cooked beef? Don´t mind if I do!

In usual circumstances, I´d be writing with a stinking hangover. But in true festive style, I´ve done the age-old boxing day trick and jumped right back on the horse. Hmm, talking of horses, we spent the day at the Jockey Club getting roaring drunk again. Clever. Very clever indeed.

The Jockey Club - Not a bad place to waste time getting plastered. We did. Both.

Try one of these....

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