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I count myself lucky to have spent quite a bit of time in South America. It’s an amazing place, with warm, friendly people, great food and areas of the most incredible scenic beauty. I strongly recommend that anyone who wishes to experience something a little different pay a visit to South America.
Unlike in the case of North America where looking for flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and its other cities may be a bit easier, it’s quite natural for many to think about South America as being half a world away – but flights are plentiful and inexpensive these days. If you haven’t been yet, you should make enquiries. Rest assured that you won’t regret it; it will be an eye opening and very enjoyable experience for you.
I’ve spent most of my time in the south of Brazil, near the border with Uruguay and Argentina. There’s some amazing scenery and a great deal of natural beauty in that region. It’s very lush and green – and the temperature is just a little cooler than it is further north, so it’s warm, but not uncomfortably so.
It’s the area of South America where the pampas grass grows, and where the gauchos herd their cattle. The locals inform me that this is what gives the beef its incredible flavor – and you really have to try the South American beef.
In that part of Brazil they operate special barbecue restaurants called churrascarias. Apart from the fact that the food is delicious, you have to try eating in one of these just for the experience.
The waiters bring the food to your table on long skewers. They then slice off a small portion of whichever cut you select onto your plate, and the remaining meat on the skewer is returned to the grill for a few minutes more cooking before the next few slices are cut off.
The waiters buzz around and slice off small portions of meat for the diners all the time. You never have more than a couple of slices of meat on your plate at any one time – but as soon as you’re finished, or almost finished, the next waiter will be offering you a different, and equally tempting, cut of meat.
It’s not ideal for anyone who’s counting calories though. Eating lots and lots of small portions, and never having more than a small amount on your plate at any one time, makes it difficult to keep track of what you’re eating.
However, the food is just so delicious that you should probably forget about watching your waistline and allow yourself to indulge. It’s a unique, and not to be missed, experience.