At my sidewalk table, I smile to myself, and hoist my glass for another sip. Full-bodied German beer, a tidy Mayberry-esque town square across the street…and gauchos in full regalia passing by.
Sometimes it’s still hard to believe I’m in Brazil.
And in fact, the locals proudly refer to their little slice of heaven as Outro Brazil: “Another Brazil.”
Stretching east to west across Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, the Serra Gaucha (“Cowboy Highlands”) is a delightful little enclave reminiscent of the rolling hills of the Great Smoky Mountains of my native North Carolina.
And like the North Carolina mountains of 50 years ago, this area is just being discovered. Brazilians from Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre are coming in droves to visit, and many are buying second homes here. There is just something welcoming about these hills, an indescribable attraction. After years in Rio, I recently relocated here, and already feel very much at home.
Canela, my new home, has a quiet, relaxed, family atmosphere. While fairly flat and easy to navigate on foot, quite nearby are three parks sporting canyons, waterfalls, rivers, and hiking trails. Caracol Falls is picture perfect.
Canela, in recent years, has become a regional center for ecotourism. And Gramado, just 3.5 miles away, is her chicer sister. During every season, you can come here to enjoy regular festivals and celebrations. Gramado is also the place to buy knits and leather goods….
Another amazing place to live, and the story about these cowboy highlands is super interesting and very well written. Check it out above!