Thursday 19 March 2020

Blumenau day one

I awake feeling much better than when I arrived. 22 hours on the road can really knock the stuffing out of you. And I'm scarcely packed full of it at the best of times.

I expect to bump into some other judges at brekkie. But none to be seen. I eat my scrambled eggs and weird sausage bits. While drinking bitter tears of disappointment.

So I wander down the main drag. Doing what any true Englishman would do. Looking for an open pub.

When I do find one, called Tunga Choperia, I pop in. Bad luck to pass an open pub, as I always told my kids. Not sure they ever believed that. They could have been just humouring me.

Everyone else is piling up their plates with the very reasonably priced buffet. 18 reals for as much as you can eat. While a draught beer is 10 reals. Couldn't face any food myself, at the moment.

I sit outside, revelling in the street view. As the locals bubble up and down the street with their shorts and muscles. Then there are the blokes. It’s not as hot as I’d feared. Around 25º C. Quite pleasant, really.

I don't linger. Just the one beer. What have I become? I used to hate one pint wonders. Now I am one.

Blumenau is an odd place, with lots of fake half-timbered buildings in an attempt to look German. They’re very proud of their German heritage.

Back at the hotel, several people I know are checking in: Melissa. Cole, Fernanda Meybom, Chris Flaskamp and Gordon Strong, amongst others.

Martyn messaged me earlier that he was on the bus from Navegantes. He must be here by now. Up in my room, I message him to see if he fancies a beer. He says he'll get in touch after showering.

After 1.5 hours, I wonder what's up. At starting to panic a little. Then there's a knock on the door. It's Martyn. For some reason he couldn't message me.

As all the craft beer bars are still closed, we return to the pub I was in earlier, Tunga,  and have a couple of beers.

Then we head off to Omas Haus brewpub, which isn't far, just over the river. No opening times on the web. But most beer places open around 5 PM. It's after that, but the place is very closed. No signs of life whatsoever.

So we drop in another fairly basic pub restaurant around the corner, Tip Tim Lanches. (I love the eccentric Portuguese spelling of “lunch”.) Martyn has a Skol, purely for academic purposes. As you'd expect, it's dreadful.

We need to get back to the hotel, as there are plans for tonight. A welcome meal for all the judges. Wouldn't want to miss that. And the bus leaves at 7 PM. The walk isn't long and it's already getting cooler.

The dinner is at Thapyoka, a massive beer hall. I sit with Florian Kuplent, of Urban Chestnut in St. Louis and Martyn. It’s a buffet meal. Upon which I try not to gorge too much. I find food gets in the way of drinking, if indulged in to excess.

My frugality extends into beer drinking. Just two half litre bottles. Of Schornstein Imperial Stout. I'm turning into lieutenant sensible. And I don't want to fill my stomach too much.

I get on a bus back with Martyn, Florian and Stephen Beaumont. Plus Fernanda Meybom, who declares:

"I'm surprised to see you on the first bus back to the hotel, Ron. In Santiago you fell asleep during your own talk." Fernanda says.

"That's vile lie. I fell asleep during the table discussion. Totally different. And it was my birthday.”

It's Bowmore which lures me into slumber, not the stuff whose name I continually forget. Sleep doesn’t hide in the shadows.

Tunga Choperia
R. Quinze de Novembro, 1020,
Centro, Blumenau

Omas Haus BrewPub
R. Paraguai, n 223
Ponta Aguda.

Tip Tim Lanches
R. República Argentina, 74
Ponta Aguda, Blumenau.

R. Quinze de Novembro, 160
Centro, Blumenau.

1 comment:

adéssio said...

Brazilian sausages are the worst. As a brazilian I never understood why Blumenau is said to be the capital of beer when there's barely any decent pubs there.
Sadly I didn't meet you there.