Today, after breakfast, we boarded our comfortable, WiFi enabled motorcoach for a 2 hr drive for a full day tour of Cachoeira (cash o way da), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected by the Brazilian National Monuments Commission. It’s home to a cultural output grounded in African traditions and also home to the Sisterhood of the Boa Morte, a sorority which traces its origins back to the time of slavery and have a huge festival every August. En route, our very knowledgeable guide, Josuel, continued to share historical facts along the way. We first stopped in the town of Santo Amaro, where they did a short walk through. It was established as a center of sugarcane production in years gone by.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Fazenda Santa Cruz. The food as well as the hospitality of the management was second to none. There we were at the very top with a magnificent view of the town and the slow-moving river as we dined on well seasoned grilled chicken, steak, fish, salad, avocado, brown beans, rice, and pumpkin. On the walk thru town, a few picked up some bottles of “homemade hootch” and yes, it was flowing as it was being passed around the table. They were having too much fun. Belinda Walker’s Dennis and his brother, Clinton kept me laughing with their brotherly antics.
After lunch, we visited the Danneman Cigar Company, where we learned the history of cigar making. The lovely sisters in their color coordinated skirts, blouses with matching head wraps expertly roll and produce these world-class cigars. My cigar aficionados are waiting for me to bring home a few souvenirs. I went 1 better and was actually coached rolling a Robusto cigar. Let me tell you, cigar rolling is some hard work and getting the proper rhythm as you work the foot pedals and roll simultaneously is no easy task. My hat goes off to these beautiful sisters here making cigars, making a living. The group had a very informative visit learning this art and fun making their purchases to take home.
Upon our return to the hotel, Debra Taylor Johnson and I headed to Mistura Restaurant a few minutes away, where we enjoyed a fabulous dinner. I had fried soft shell crab for an appetizer and the traditional Moqueca (a fish stew with fish and shrimp) as a main.
This was our last day in Brazil and its been a marvelous week in this beautiful country. Will I return? Well, you know how it goes with me …… if there is enough interest; I probably will. Tchau, tchau (ciao, ciao) for now.