It stopped. The rain actually stopped. Not forever though. It is now raining again. But it really did stop.
During the few hours of non-rain, I managed to follow the general tourist route through this town and check out all of the items listed in the good book of travel (which I found in English in one of the bookstores here). They suggested that the walk around town would take about 2 hours and were pretty much on the mark.
Heading down the cobblestoned sidewalks, wet as they were from the recent rain, the going felt slippery. This town was very similar to most other South American towns that I had visited, although there was a definite feeling of being safer. Perhaps this is due to being in a much smaller city than those of Rio, SÃ£o Paulo and Belo.
This town is acknowledged as being a very green-oriented place, with their recycling, inner-city greenery, and transport systems becoming world renowned and frequently copied in different cities around the world. There are many parks filled with trees and gardens scattered around the city heart and providing a recluse from the busyness of the environment surrounding them.
Visiting 24 street, where every shop is open 24hrs a day, revealed the thoughts of a progressive government who realised that eventually the whole city would probably end up like this, so they started this street as a pioneer point from which the rest of the place could follow. Old churches carved in intricate patterns, paved pedestrian streets lined with old cast-iron street lights, German, Japanese, and many other cultural restaurants, permanent market places for arts and crafts, and dozens of other sights loomed strong as I wandered along through this place.
The old university building with massive Roman-style columns and a huge entry door was fronted by a park even larger than itself, decorated in flowers, trees, sculptured shrubs and shaped grass lawns, providing an impressive final point on the trail. There is always another corner to turn, something else to see, some marked point to reach, but by this time the rain had started again and was growing increasingly heavier. It was time to retreat back to the security of the shopping center and wait.
It is now 6pm and although I had made it to most of the tourist places, I still had not made it to the YWAM base here. With the day over and the rain coming down hard, and being a stranger to the people at this base, I will reserve my visit here for another day.
I am sure that this will not be my last visit to Brazil.