I was welcomed into the 4th region of my journey (Central) by local expert, photographer, journalist, and author Fabio Pellegrini.
I’d taken an overnight flight, and Fabio met me at the airport. We spent the day planning my next 7 days in the region, discussing must see sights and Eco-Tourism activities. He was able to connect me with the right people at the right time. Fabio knows everyone, and is certainly the go-to person in the Pantanal area. If you are planning a trip, get in touch with him.
After a morning of phone calls and making plans in the Pantanal with Fabio’s connections, we had received one strange request, which turned out to be the best of the day.
We’d heard that the manager of a nail bar called The Queen wanted to meet me, but we didn’t know why.
All we knew was that she had heard through Facebook that a person from London was visiting the area and that she had offered her hospitality.
Now this was all communicated through friends of friends and I had no idea what to expect. Nails Bar weren’t on the original Inspiring Adventures road map, but I’d done my work in the morning with Fabio, and I had a little free time for some serendipity.
This is an adventure, so why not embrace randomness?
I opted to spend the afternoon on a kind of blind date with a manager of a London themed nail bar.
The manager turned out to be Bia Figueiredo, a beautiful young Brazilian lady, that recently spent 3 years living in London. Bia loves London, and has recreated a little slice of London, right here in the centre of Brazil.
The afternoon went a little like this:
Bia treats me to a caipiroska, or maybe a caiprinha, I can’t remember, we swapped anyway. She really knows how to put the Bar in Nail Bar. We chat about London while one of the staff buff and polish my nails.
We move to the outside area, where 3 of us share a motijo fishbowl. This is one of Bia’s favourites from CasaBlue on Bricklane in London, and she has recreated it here. Because Bia and her water volleyball playing friend are both driving, most of the drinking is left up to me. No problem.
I am now drunk, and Bia takes me to watch her friends playing water volleyball. We watch for a bit, then get hungry. So what would any good Londoner do? I treat Bia to a kebab. it was good. After a quick drive around Campo Grande, Bia drives me to Fabio’s house, where I join the end of his birthday party. It wasn’t a date, but if it had have been, it would have been great one. What a unpredictably wonderful afternoon.