So, I’m not sure what the big whoop is about Campos do Jordão. We went this past weekend and it seemed to me that it was just like any of the other over commercialized small mountain towns, only even more full of shops with cheap crap from China. I understand that it was once very quaint and rural. My husband was sent there as a kid to go to summer camp and experienced something that sounds similar to Survivor or The Amazing Race. But now, the downtown area just seemed over crowded and over priced.
Sure, we got to go on some swan boats.
And we got to pay a lot of money for a mediocre dinner at one of the “charm” pousadas. (The pousada itself was really beautiful.)
However, it was not all a loss. We had a lot of fun at our pousada. But best of all, there were two points of interest that made it all worthwhile.
First, this was next to a playground near the lot where we parked our car.
Thinking it was a playhouse, my daughter ran up to go inside, only to find it was locked. I went to investigate. Imagine my delight when I discovered… through the window…
… the weekend house where all the creepy Brazilian baby dolls go to holiday!
The next day, we decided to go somewhere focused on kid fun. So we did a search and discovered that the area had a park called Parque da Floresta Encantada. Seemed harmless enough.
But this particular attraction can only be described as the LSD-driven fantasy/nightmare of some overprivileged/underutilized architect/mud-hut designer in the 70’s whose parents ignored him as a child and left him alone every Christmas with a nanny who stole all his toys and pets. (This will all become clear as the story unfolds…)
First stop was a foreshadowing for the rest of the park. An “Easter” house that had an interior strung with stuffed bunnies.
The second house on the path of madness was the first haunted house. (And the first of oh so many wtf’s and “why’s.”)
Outside, practically hiding behind a tree and furiously texting (probably for help), was a poor teen dressed as a witch, complete with plastic strap on nose. So with this, plus the Freddy Kruger-like creature on the balcony, we kind of knew what we were in for…
… or not.
Next was, of course, a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs themed home.
Inside was another park employee dressed as Snow White, who scared the hell out of me as I went around the corner, because who would have thought these structures would be inhabited?
What’s a Snow White story without a couple creepy doll co-stars…
… and a stained glass dog window. All makes sense.
No rendition of the story is complete without dwarf sleeping quarters.
I’m not sure why, but this feels like the creepiest thing about this stop on the exhibition of insanity.
Next was the “Angel House.”
It was sparsely furnished with child-sized lounge furniture and many of these types of figurines.
Then there was what appeared to be some ramshackle hillbilly mansion.
But what was actually the second haunted house.
I don’t know what these are supposed to be. Maybe a street drug induced interpretation of horror movie grave stones? Can’t be sure.
To my delight, we then encountered a house full of bizarre dolls (for my collection).
What is a Netherlands inspired Brazilian town without a holiday house for Santa Claus?
Happily, I discovered this was an excellent source for creepy Santa dolls.
Drunk Uncle Santa.
Earlier drunk Uncle Santa now completely passed out.
Life-sized ones even…
The grand finale was a house-o-cats.
My daughter loved this park for the adventure and mystery. I loved it, obviously, for the bizarrity. My husband was happy that we were happy.
A good day was had by all.
Campos was OK. But if you want to get a little of the Netherlands in Brazil, I would recommend Penedo instead. It’s smaller, but has everything Campos seems to have (except for the above) – and is less expensive. It’s an hour further from São Paulo, but worth the extra drive.
Unless, of course, you must experience Parque da Floresta Encantada for yourself…