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Porto Alegre (Port Happy) Isn't The Happiest Place I've Seen

I was in Manaus Brazil (North eastern Brazil), when it was time to decide on the next destination.

Unfortunately, I was stuck with expensive flights during peak Brazilian Carnival season.

A flight to almost anywhere in Brazil, was going to cost about $500+ USD.

The least expensive flight?

To Porto Alegre… on the complete southern end of Brazil… for a modest $250.

So off I went to Porto Alegre in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul (Large Southern River)

Manaus to Porto Alegre

I landed here on a weekend, and was surprised at what I found.

Where Is Porto Alegre, Brazil?

The Design Of Porto Alegre

To be honest, the city has a modest sense of Developing nation beauty to it.

The architectural mess of old and new, pretty much representing Brazil, is no different here.

Porto Alegre isn't a city you would remember as being beautiful. It's just a developing city, with many unfinished, abandoned, and decaying sights.

A church in contrast with architecture by Oscar Niemeyer

Decrepit buildings, with new apartments in the background in Porto Alegre

An elevated building in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Downtown, Porto Alegre

Downtown Porto Alegre

Unfinished building in the very center of Porto Alegre

Restoration through coloration in Downtown Porto Alegre

Downtown Porto Alegre

Old municipal building, overshadowed by new developments in Porto Alegre

Igreja Nossa Senhora das Dores (Church of Our Lady of Sorrows), Porto Alegre

A monument to Júlio de Castilhos, journalist, politician, and President of Rio Grande Do Sul before 1903.

Porto Alegre can feel like a big city

Racism In Brazil And an Abundance of Homeless People in Porto Alegre

Brazil is still a very racist country. If you are black, you are placed within the lowest caste of the culture.

Most blacks here are considered low-income, and in many cases are prevented from entering different venues, including bars, malls, restaurants, etc.

The only way to avoid this, is to indicate that you are not a black person from Brazil, or to show that you are of a higher socio-economic strata (ie. education, style, etc).

As such, many homeless people in most parts of Brazil (Recife, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Manaus), are black.

Yet, this city was loaded with homeless people, and in this case, they were predominantly white.

And there were a LOT of them.

I decided to label this as the ‘homeless person every 50 meters' observation.

And as a side note, I use ‘white' very loosely, because most Brazilians are ethnically mixed with the Indigenous and African populations.

Homeless man scrounges for stuff outside my apartment in Porto Alegre

Homeless man pulls a cart with loot in Porto Alegre

A homeless mans den. Not exactly homeless, but still.

A homeless man painting… presumably to sell later.

Shopping carts are popular with homeless people in Porto Alegre

A homeless man in front of graffiti (People with Lula – Ex-president of Brazil)

A drunk man passes out during carnival in Porto Alegre, presumably homeless

A kid uses a makeshift mattress on the streets of Porto Alegre, Brazil

Homeless people taking a bath in the city pond, in Porto Alegre

Time for a nap

Carnival in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil

Since this was carnival season in the entire country of Brazil… Porto Alegre wasn't going to miss out.

Imagine a 1-2 week long Halloween party, with excessive drinking, police presence, amazing dancing and popular Brazilian music.

But honestly, there aren't really that many costumes. Just drunk people, and garbage everywhere.

And the police don't f*ck around.

They will simply take you into some alleyway, and break your teeth, if you cause too much disturbance (I've seen it happen in Manaus, Brazil).

Police in Porto Alegre

The street festival is getting started in Porto Alegre

Ladyboys in Porto Alegre

People standing around and drinking during Carnival.

The marching band in Porto Alegre during Carnival

Almost like Halloween in Porto Alegre

A white dude dresses up as an indigenous american during Carnival

Lots of scary police ready to tear your head off in Brazil

A Little Green in Porto Alegre

But it's not all grey buildings, homeless men, and drunk people on the streets…

Porto Alegre has some charm to it with a nice park (although it's a bit far from the center).

Jardim Botanico means Botanical Gardens

Welcome to the Botanical Gardens in Port Happy

The layout of Jardim Botanico in Porto Alegre

Turtle time

A nice green pond for the local animals

A hyper green view of Porto Alegre

An indigenous girl looking posh in the gardens

Turtles in paradise

Central park in Porto Alegre

Military academy in Porto Alegre?

Almost looks like Miami, in Porto Alegre

Should You Go?

If you are like me, and you will try almost anything once, then give it a go. Your experience will be your own.

But I personally wouldn't be able to recommend coming here more than once.

But it's a great stepping stone if you plan on visiting Uruguay and Buenos Aires after, since they are just around the corner (relative to everything else).

Full Porto Alegre, Brazil Gallery

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