Saturday, March 24, 2012

Verde Lazer Clube FAIL

Last post I mentioned that I was going to have a day of leisure and relaxation poolside at a "resort," paid for by a coupon we got with Peixe Urbano.  Peixe Urbano is the Brazilian version of GruopOn, or one of the many variations on a theme of online discount restaurant/store/hotel coupons.  You get a daily email with deals, and if you like one of them, you log in and buy the coupon.  We've purchased many things:  dry cleaning services, chocolate, meals at Restaurants, and so on.  Last year, we got 2 coupons for a day pass at place called Clube Verde Lazer, a camping club in a town about an hour away from Belo Horizonte.  We planned with some friends to go, and gave them the extra tickets.  I knew it wasn't a fancy place, but I thought it would make for a relaxing day.  We packed a picnic lunch, loaded up the swimsuits and sun screen, and hit the road.

It was a nice day, an easy drive (it was the same drive we took to the sitio we went to during Carnaval 2011, minus the horrible traffic).  We found it without too much problem (but it was thanks to our friends who had called to get the directions).  There were LOTS of people walking along the "road" (cobblestone/dirt one lane path is a better description, and that should have been a warning sign to me, but we kept driving along.  And then we pulled into the parking lot for the Clube and saw probably about 50 people waiting in line.  My husband dropped me off to get in line, and went to park.  There was quite a bit of confusion about which line to be in, and EVERYONE had a coupon from a different company (ClickOn).   Waiting in a line is a common experience in Brazil, so I knew we were going to be a while, but I didn't think too much of it.  After a few minutes, Beatrice had to go to the bathroom, so I asked one of the women wearing a shirt that read "Would you like to become a member?" tee-shirts where the bathroom was.   After Beatrice was finally done, I told her that we should go check out the pools.  We walked towards one of the 3, and I was overwhelmed by the number of people.  There were probably already 200 people at the pool, and there were NO places in the shade.  And it was hot.  Not a good sign.  Then I looked at the pools.  I didn't have my camera with me, but this will give you an idea of the color:

Oh yuck.  I immediately started imagining what kind of disgusting sickness was living in the pools.  Beatrice and I walked back to the line, and our Brazilian friends told us that we needed to get out of there.  Because of the popularity of the coupons, there had been a HUGE number of people visiting the Clube that weekend.  They had been so busy that they hadn't been able to clean the pools.  It was a 24 hour camping clube, and they didn't want to inconvenience any of the guests.  How about inconveniencing them with giardia? 

So, we drove back to BH, got our friends blow-up swimming pool, and made our own little pool party in our patio.

Thankfully the coupons were free (we had used a R$15 credit to buy them), and thankfully our friends were easy going and we were able to laugh at it all.  But never, EVER visit Verde Lazer Clube in Sabará. 


  1. Hi, i am originally from Bh, but now i am an expat as well. So I hope you learned somerthing about Brazil with this episode. Anything that is free or very cheap is bad. Usually it is bad because it draws the wrong kind of people or too many people as you saw. Although this rule, there are some exceptions, soccer game usually is not expensive, if you go to a calm game is a good thing to do with the kids (it is so if you avoid cruzeiro or atleticos match). Any kind of sport is usually cheap and a lot of ffun for the kids, futsal is cool and voleyball is huge in BH . You could definitely take the kids to praca do papa, which is a good place to play with a kite. Another thing that people in BH love to do is window shopping, that could be a little more difficult with kids but maybe...
    Well, love the blog good luck!

  2. How interesting to hear about Brazilian versions of Groupon! Thanks!