Independence Weekend in Caconde

Caconde Travel Blog

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I was clearly the youngest by a wide margin.

thurs evening i headed out on a weekend trip through a Jewish community organization to Caconde, a small coffee-farming city in the interior of SP. The trip was off to a shaky start: i ate fast as hell to get to the bus stop on time, which i was only one of 2 people to do. waiting for the bus, the people who trickled in only got wierder and wierder until finally after about 5 people some normal folks started showing up. despite an alleged age cap of 25, i was easily the yougnest person on the trip, the oldest being 42. i bunked with 3 other guys who turned out to be pretty cool, even the the kid in the bunk next to me who snored like he was sucking his dying breaths through a straw.

friday we went white water rafting. i took the front of the raft, which was a challenge since the commands were in portuguese but i did allright.

Coffee country
we hit some really fun rapids; the water was fast and there were some surprising drops. as often as possible, our guide would pop us into hygros and spin us around with the raft filling up with water, sometimes working the raft to buck people out. towards the middle we stopped time walk the raft aroudn a dangerous class 4 and took a break to cliff jump into a really big rapid at the end of the series. it was high enough that I could flip off....coolness.

saturday we went "cascading:" rappeling down a 45m waterfall. the guides set up a guideline over the fall for safety which was super lame, forcing you to fly over the fun parts. i've rappeled plenty for ropes training (i'm a volunteer firefighter at a technical rescue squadjust outside DC), so after one run i wasn't really down.
Gorgeous reservoir. you can tell it was getting dry though
I convinced the guide to elt me go without the guide line which was MUCH COOLER. i slipped and slide a bunch on some parts but didn't hurt myself. i got rappel right into and udner the fall, which no one else had the opportunity to. at one point, there is a negative space behind the fall, so i had to invert right under the fall. totally sick, thrilling as hell, lots of fun.

Caconde is out in the middle of nowhere. hella stars like WOAH (cali enough for ya?). thing is, it's the southern hemisphere, so i couldn't find anything i recognized besides the milky way which was GORGEOUS. a friend pointed out a few important constellations (scorpio, the southern cross), and i saw 3 shooting stars.

Being in the boonies, the locals don't stay in caconde if they can help it.
one of my friends going over the falls. Note the guideline
this results in a phenomenon i had never before imagined: the party scene is overrun by high schoolers. friday night we hit the town and couldn't find a girl over 16 out. pretty, pretty lame.

saturday night, on the other hand, was AWESOME. for some reason there were less children around, more kids our age. a friend of a friend who lived in town set us up with his neice, juliana, who was really cool and managed to find us rides to this party we were trying all night to get to (she was so cool, she arranged rides for her friends but didn't go herself until she found a way for us to get there. cool chick, huh?).

at the party i ran into a friend of ju's i'd met earlier that night, adriana, a 21yo recently graduated nurse who wanted to work on ambulances. i spent the night hanging out with her and her friends who were all really cool.
getting set
they did these silly litle dance rituals where they would all fall on the floor and kick their legs, or just tackle each locals. We ended up hooking up and my friends from the trip saw us, so the next day i'd developed a reputation as a "pegador" which was kinda embarassing (loosely translated as pick-up artist, pimp, or maybe man-slut. good connotations, though).

dri's cousin was super drunk and generally alotta fun. she kept encouraging us to kiss, which made me feel like i was in middle school, but whatever i didn't really mind. at one point the drunk cousin caught me in the face with her cigarette, nearly taking out my eye. i've still got a little burn on my cheek, maybe 50mm from my eye. close call folks, close call.

dri, her cousin, and the drunk fiancee gave me a ride back in their car that night.
my friend pablo
  we ended up showing up just as my crew from the trip did. they literaly pulled up right after us, so they obviously started busting my balls as soon as i got outta the car.

by the way, crazy hospitality fomr the caconde folks. i got invited to stay at 2 people's houses and a wedding in may!

i spent the bus ride back to SP trading jokes with the guys on the trip. the jokes were sometimes really hard to understand/tell, but the effort taught me a bunch of new vocab, and the fact that i could appreciate brazilian humor built up my confidence in the language a little more.

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I was clearly the youngest by a wi…
I was clearly the youngest by a w…
Coffee country
Coffee country
Gorgeous reservoir. you can tell i…
Gorgeous reservoir. you can tell …
one of my friends going over the f…
one of my friends going over the …
getting set
getting set
my friend pablo
my friend pablo
my turn. Note the lack of guidelin…
my turn. Note the lack of guideli…
photo by: shaggorama