Day 31. Porto Alegre

Good weather for a good day!

December 1 (Thursday)
Porto Alegre

Accommodation: Staying with CS host Maher (my favorite Palestinian friend)

Monumento ao Expedicionário is an arch of triumph and one of the most famous monuments of Porto Alegre in the park near city center. It’s not like there is not much to do in Porto Alegre… But, anyway, we decided to make a cycling trip starting here. Maher kindly offered me his bicycle and Roberto had his own. Roberto has German roots which is still not so close to get German citizenship, but enough to have all the German habits. His bicycle is perfect, it has a brand name and maintained with care and oil every certain occasion. Maher’s bike is whatever the cheapest he found at the second hand market.

Roberto thinks the roads in Porto Alegre are too wide for the cars. It is better to cut sides and leave it for bicycles. There is this stadium which was built for a World Cup looped by the wide road around to be able to bring all the visitors for the mach. Which was never used as it was planned as they closed the roads kilometer away, so just visitors with tickets could enter and no other people could have had to hang out near the stadium. The same thing as they made in Rio for the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

This is the only bridge in the world with trees. I’m quite concerned about it… But that’s what Roberto said. And he studies architecture, so should know.

The government of the city is trying to invest in eco transportation – which is surely a great thing! There are many routs around the city you can take to reach the nice views or just enjoy the roads without traffic. It’s pretty common though to ride after sunset or even after 11pm when streets are getting even more empty.

This spot near the Art Museum is the most common place to hang out in afternoon, drink mate or do some sports, and catch a sunset. Roberto was unlucky and got a flat tire on his bicycle. Since we were far away from downtown and from any repair stores, it wasn’t a cool thing.

Where is this convenient system in Brazil of “shared public bicycles” called Bike Poa. You register online, input your credit card details and pay an yearly little fee. After that you can use any bicycle for an hour for free. There are plenty of Poa stations all around the cities which you can easily find at the same online application’s map.
Roberto took one and was driving all the way back home with one hand and carrying his bike with another.

Luckily we reached his place just on time to see “the most beautiful sunset” (according to citizens of Porto Alegre) on the rooftop sharing a bottle of white wine.

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