Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Brazilian Road Trip

In June, I got to travel to some off-the-beaten-trail places close to Teresina.

Pedro II

Pedro II is a town that calls itself the “Switzerland of Piauí.” People here explain to me that Pedro II is much colder than Teresina, which is why it deserves that name.

I made a trip there with my friends Alana, Otávio, Anderson, Leslie, and Laura Rose in the dead of winter. The town’s Winter Festival brings in musical acts from around Brazil, refusing bands that play the popular styles of forró and sertanejo.

Friends at the Morro do Gritador.
Friends at the Morro do Gritador.

Pedro II instead focuses on music that’s harder to find in the Northeast. One of its headliners this year was Céu, a singer-songwriter whose music is a little bit hard to classify. She herself says that her influences are as diverse as samba, soul and hip-hop.

Besides getting to see how beautiful and talented Céu is, we had enough space to dance during the concert, which made it that much more fun. To get an idea of her sound, here’s a nice collaboration she did with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock.

We were also able to brave the cold – 80s in the afternoon and 60s at night – to visit some of Pedro II’s natural wonders. At the Morro do Gritador we got a sunset view of plains from a thousand feet up. And at the Cachoeira do Salto Liso we scampered across rocks to sit underneath a hundred-foot waterfall.

Our reward for a hot hike.
Our reward for a hot hike.


My next trip was to exotic-sounding Tianguá, pronounced chan-GWA.

This time, I went with Kilson and his friends: Marcelo, Edson, Suzy, Laisa, Alexandre, Fernanda, and Fernanda’s four-year-old son Nícolas.

New Friends
Before the jump.

I wouldn’t say that our campground had us roughing it. In between the tents set up in rows like town houses, there were electrical plugs for phones and tablets. In the morning, we had a Brazilian continental breakfast waiting for us.

The biggest difference from my other camping experiences, though, was that this campground did a brisk business in paragliding. Along with Marcelo and Edson, I decided to do it.

What a view!

As my guide hooked me in to the harness, he also handed me a camera on a pole to film myself while flying around. It was a little stressful to have him breeze through his initial instructions in Portuguese, but after the jump, there was nothing frightening about the flight. I got to just drink in the view of the town below and the mountains and ocean off in the distance.

These small trips weren’t to places that people dream of visiting in Brazil, but that made them better for a couple of reasons. Since Teresinenses most often travel to places that are a short car or bus ride away, this felt like even more immersion in the culture of Teresina.

Second, trips are often more fun when you don’t have a checklist of things to do and see. When you travel like this, you allow yourself to be surprised by what the places you’re visiting have to offer.  I know that I came away impressed by these two small towns in the interior!

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