If you travel inland from where Roberto lives on the coast of Southern Brazil, you come across a beautiful series of mountain ranges, known collectively as the Serra. The road to Serra climbs in elevation along a crazy hairpin turn road, with plenty of places to pull over and take in the views (or calm your nerves after maneuvering around the large trucks and buses you’ll encounter barreling down at you).
Make it to the top and the reward is a fabulous view of the valley below as well as some local wildlife like this coati to greet you.
Many people of German descent live in these Brazilian mountains, and you’ll find plenty of Bavarian type architecture and almost feel like you’re in the Alps.
Roberto and I have made several trips through the mountains, including one occasion where we went to visit the family of one of his friends. They have a farm and some land up in the hills and we went to spend the day there.
I was excited to watch a flock of noisy parakeets flying around and snapped this photo when the landed in a nearby tree.
The woods and pastures in the mountains are lush and there are lots of animals grazing.
The main reason we spent came to the mountains, however, was to pick and eat some nuts that grow in the pine trees there. I am crazy about the Dr. Seuss looking trees that grown in the mountains, and they even produce edible nuts or seeds that I found similar to chestnuts. The pine trees are called Piniero and the nuts are called Pinao.
There in the Serra, the trees grow as far as the eye can see. It’s a beautiful and unique sight.
The trouble is, these trees are tall and the nuts are at the very top. Our brave friend climbed to the top for the “harvest.”
The pinao grow in big balls like this, and you can pull of the individual seeds. People eat them “raw” but they are best when roasted.
In true Brazilian style, we ended our day with a delicious barbecue enjoyed under the trees.