9pm sharp, punctual as any average German would have been there, we arrived where we wanted to meet the “Trupe dos Errantes” (Group of wandering/hiking). Drenched in sweat due to our journey up the steep roads of amazing Santa Teresa, we found ourselves standing here in front of a locked door and closed gates, wearing our recording equipment on our backs, and looking like a couple of confused and lost backpackers. About an hour later (Brazilian clocks are not always as precise), Juan, Fernando, Arthur, Jean, and Nina were all present and ready to hike through the adventurous streets of Santa Teresa. The amount of European immigrants here is unreal, and the music coming from the houses just as well. On this normal Tuesday night, it was like the little romantic houses with slanted roofs with balconies covered in vines were trying to tell us something. They were speaking with the language of the soul – music. From almost every house you could hear music. And not from speakers. Instruments everywhere, musicians playing everything from flutes, singing, violins, harmonicas, and even drums! Live music from every house. I felt such joy in this place that it almost let me forget why I would want to continue sailing towards home at all.
After a little zig-zag tour through the streets, which left me completely disoriented, we got to a place called “Largo das Neves” and with an approximate delay of one and a half hours, we at last got to meet the singers and dancers Caio and Thais. A couple curious pedestrians and other people had already started gathering around the place while drinking what seemed to be very delicious Caipirinhas that someone was preparing in the trunk of an old Volkswagen. We set everything up from microphones and stands to cameras and computer, and were handed beer that came from that same mysterious trunk. At the same time we tried to get some order into this big group of people in order to get some nice recording done! And so we did! Very soon you too will be able to enjoy this great experience.
Did someone order the law and order? At 2am the local police came by and asked us to quiet down and wrap it up. After a quick little talk, they said we had about 5 minutes to finish up. They drove off into the night, and we continued for a little longer until an empty camera battery finally forced us to call it a day and sent us on down the road back home to Marianne.
With the song “Bella Ciao” stuck in my head we started hiking back to where we came from. I could have sworn my backpack was a couple kilos lighter on the way there. And I also thought we had mainly walked uphill on the way there. I think this illusion probably came from the weird beer here that tastes a little funky, doesn’t get you drunk, but just gives you a headache and makes your tongue numb. And even the people here know that this brew only tastes somewhat OK as long as it’s served ice cold – the fridges are never above 3.5°C here. I’m guessing this is the reason why Caipirinha and Marihuana are much more popular than beer here. Not for me though, and I guess that’s one of the reasons why I will gladly stay on Marianne as Chéf and continue with this journey to places that might not be as exciting, but at least have decent beer. Thanks for reading and good night my friends …