Ibituruna Tour in Governador Valadares: Part 1.

The first flight down, the caipirinhas consumed @ the Joa*, and a day called.

Next day looks more promising – the ground is drying out so we should be able to find a bit more lift  and perhaps a bit stronger than 0.1 m/s bubbles.

Morning: Everything is charged. The most perplexing thing about Brazil are the power plugs. The old ‘standard’ (if you could call it that) was a blend of the Euro prong + North American blade in a single socket. If you can find one of these and your device has a built in voltage/frequency adapter in the AC-DC transformer (the boxy thing) – you are gtg. The outlets can come in either 110 or 220 V and I think are 60 Hz like NA – though I’ve been told 50HZ is possible in some places. Both 110 and 220 use the same plug form – but the 220 are typically marked.


Old plug. Note both Euro and NA style socket combined.

The new standard resembles the Euro prong + a ground, but the form factor is beveled to a point at either end (so the standard rectilinear Euros won’t fit). Type ‘N’ I think it is called. No one else in the world is using it. I imagine it might be an attempt to protect whatever appliance manufacturing there is in country (and to pull everyone together to a common standard?).

New style. Note beveled edges.

Breakfast: Starting to fall into a pattern at the pousada* – 7AM, fresh OJ, 3 pieces of cheese, 1 piece of ham, chocolate cake. Any place that has chocolate cake for breakfast gets a thumbs up in my book.

‘Bom dia’ greets me as I take my usual spot away from all the larger tables with proper place settings (far too posh for my tastes – a simple table, chair, and fork is enough – eating is a function to me, not an experience – I am not one for sit down meals). I am sure the staff finds the quirks of this particular gringo concurrently amusing and annoying.

Back in the room, the phone rings – the front desk tries to communicate something involving ‘asastyeve’. Then a ‘un momento’. Then click, then nothing, then ‘beep beep beep…’.


5 minutes later – same thing.

Guess it must be important. Swing by the front desk – the lady is on the phone, she looks up and ‘Maerek?’


Hands phone over. Ahhh -> ‘asastyeve’ is Steve. I had the phone turned off overnight while charging. Word is we will be heading up the hill @ 10AM.

Hand the phone back to the front desk lady.

Query her: ‘lavendar…’

Response: “Lavaderia? Sim.” Starts flipping through the info manual – I suspect to find the price list. No dice. I had seen what might have been the price list in the info booklet in the room, but wasn’t sure what it entailed.

I point at my shirt.


Then shorts.


Hoist leg, point at sock (I am down to my last pair – everything else is rather ripe after the coastal trip).

A laugh and a long explanation in Portuguese. That’s not a good sign.

Ok, I guess only shorts and shirts? ‘Obrigado’ and back to the room.

A few minutes pass. ‘Knock knock’.

Front desk lady. ‘Lavaderia?’

Hand her the bag holding my laundry. She points at my feet.

Socks, I guess. ‘Sim’, point at the bottom of the plastic bag. A nod and a smile. She and bag disappear.

Hope they don’t burn my socks – have some really nice double layer hiking ones from the in-laws the Christmas before doing a month in Australia with a tent, a glider, and a sleeping bag.

Laundry out of the way and my kit is gtg. Hop into the hammock and begin typing up the first part of ‘Let there be Flight’.

Hey mate, I still got one minute.

9:59 – Steve appears with a  ‘So there you are!’.

‘Publish’, back into room, pack up laptop, grab kit and out to the truck.

I have a feeling it’s gonna be a good day.

I *REALLY* hope they don’t burn my socks.

* Joa: a bar at the southern extent of the downtown core that has a degree of popularity with visiting pilots – likely due to the tables flanking both side of the sidewalk where local ladies would parade up and down every evening done up like it was Saturday Night on Granville Street. Word has it one should keep close eye on the tab as the night goes on, lest you find a few mystery drinks added to your bill.

* Pousada: Guesthouse – something larger than a BnB back home and widely varied in quality. When someone back home says a ‘BnB’, there is a expectation of a certain experience – here, a pousada can be anything from a rundown shanty shack with mosquito netting to a 5* luxury experience. The current place, the Jeito de Minas is much, much closer to the latter.



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