Saturday, 16 July 2011

When the rodeo came to town...

Last week saw Quirinopolis's annual rodeo event at the lake.

With this comes music, the fair, horses, and crime. This year the event started off with a shooting (and of course subsequent death) the night before it launched. Why  the night before? I'm not really sure to be honest, perhaps the people of Quirinopolis were just very, very excited.

Anyhow, the rodeo came to town and for a while it made everyone happy. Every night last week there were different people headlining on the music stage. The music style? Well that would be sertanejo. You may not have heard of it (very hipster of me I know), but it is (according to Wikipedia) the most popular type of music in Brazil ('arguably more popular than samba' - Franklin D. Roosevelt). I'll be honest, to me it generally sounds the same, but you can usually tell when there's a good set of them playing. I hear a lot of the different bands playing there and you could say that I have become a bit of an expert. I don't say this because I was there every evening, but because as I lay in bed over the other side of the lake, it was hard to focus on anything else but the loud music and singing which droned on until 6am every morning of the week. Fortunately we weren't as close as the lake as we could have been, otherwise I'm sure I would've started suffering from sleep deprived delirium.

Aside from the music there was the rodeo (or rodeio as they call it). This was my first one that I'd ever been to, and all-in-all I'd recommend it. Much like the music though you need to make sure the people 'riding' (for want of better terminology) the bull are actually pretty good at it. I assume that they don't just cross-sell the option of riding in the rodeo to those innocents buying the tickets, there were one or two who lasted a very short time. That may have had to do with the aggression of the snarling, snorting bull, but I expect more bang for my buck goddamnit! That said, there were some good riders that managed to stay for a fair time. Of course the bit that I found most fun was watching those thrown off then try to get away from their 'trusty' steed.

Along with all the above there was also a funfair. A funfair which had my alarm bells ringing as soon as I stepped through the front gate. I didn't want to be Buzz Killington, but there seemed to be a large amount of health and safety violations. I held my breath and let Daniel try his hand at one or two things. The big-wheel was a complete no-no however as the one chain in the cart that was barring people from making a run for it was already above his head height. Health and safety aside I did take Daniel onto the dodgems where his second cousin (Isadora) of around the same age was also partaking in the fun with her mum. As Daniel and I battered the various victims, we decided to give Isadora a break when we saw the look of fear, the tears streaming down her face, and the screaming.

Daniel was chuckling away with one hand on the wheel, and other eating an ice lolly.

The rodeo week culminated on a Saturday morning with a parade of horses through the town, and around the lake:

The whole parade seems to take more than an hour in total. It is quite good to watch as there are quite a few characters. In the video you may be wondering why a few people are drinking out of thermal flasks. This isn't because they are having a coffee on horseback, they are actually trying to make sure that there beer stays ice-cool. Obviously drinking and riding horse is not a severely punished crime in Quirinopolis. For reference the video is a much shortened version. The one I recorded was in 720p and was 10 minutes long, and an immense file. I had to shave it down a bit as my internet connection kept on cutting it out at around 300MB. The quality has degraded somewhat unfortunately...

The next day as I was doing my run around the lake I marvelled at the mess from the party the day before. As I turned one corner I saw a lone figure sitting on a bench. He was dozing away, occasionally lolling from side to side. As I edged closer, I was struck by the smell, and sight that he had indeed wet his pants... The horse that seems to reside at the lake however didn't seem to mind... Apparently a good night was had by all...


  1. i love rodeos! i've only ever been to one down in Fort Worth, Texas but it was one of the most memorable events i've ever been to :)

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  3. Hey Peter,

    I just found your blog and I'm really intrigued about your quest to become a farmer in Brazil. You haven't updated in a while, how are things going with the farm? I'm interested in farmland in Brazil and would love to talk to you more about it.

    Shoot me an email if you're still around. josh at reallifebrazil dot com.