Tuesday, 3 April 2012

March 31 - Last day!!

It's over already!! Today was the last full day of our 7 week Global Focus Program - can't believe how fast its rushed by.  Photo - our Hotel
This morning we visited the most picturesque farm I have ever seen, set amongst the mountains of the Brazilian highland. This farm had the most amazing natural living landscape I have ever encountered - mountains, valley and lakes blended within the property.
Within the perimetre of the farm were corridors of remnant rainforest vegetation, Eucalypt woodlands, furrowed corn paddocks, stands of Elephant grass and sugar cane, coffee bushes oriented in rows across the sloping land....... Photo - ripening coffee beans

....... a chain of ponds/dams which gravity feed down the mountain gully are cleverly utilized for growing commercial Pintado and Tilapia fish. These ponds and surrounds were very popular with a wide range of birds - from some type of large eagle to brightly decorated parrots and emerald green hummingbirds which hovered above a bounty of colourful flowers. Photo - fish dam
 Sorghum coming through
Eucalypts doing well
Elephant grass used for silage
This farmer and family run a dairy herd with feed lot system. They have also established a boutique sugar cane rum distillery which proved to be a real hit with our scholars. We inspected the facility and sampled the different styles of rum, some of which were aged in native Brazilian timber vats for upto 10 years.
This rum is made from fermenting and distilling sugar cane and is called Cachaca (the Australian Bundaberg Rum I believe is made from molasses). Cachaca Rum is well known throughout Brazil and is either drunk straight or used in mixers.
We presented the owner with a bottle of Bundy! This property and family was an absolute pleasure to visit. We then drove another 3 1/2 hours to Ribeirao Preto for our farewell dinner and last night in Brazil.

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