Day 241 - Rio to Sao Paulo

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End May 01, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fittingly when we woke up today it was absolutely CHUCKING it down, offering the perfect preparation for our long journey back to London and a no doubt glorious English summer.


At least this solved a few unresolved problems for us. We hadn't decided yesterday exactly what we would do before our 2pm flight today, we had 3 or 4 options.

In the end we figured that there was no point going out in the torrential rain, so we killed time in the hostel, like all the other backpackers here!

At least this gave me an hour to update the blog with the last few bits of text and photos, which made me feel better.

At 11:30am we shared a taxi to the airport with a lovely English couple who were also just finishing an 8 month trip through similar countries and who rather spookily also lived in Islington!

It was fun to be able to talk so openly with two people about our neighbourhood and what we were looking forward to most about going home.

The taxi was (astonishingly) cheaper than we'd expected, even if he did try to add on all manner of dodgy surcharges. It cost just over a tenner for the 30 minute ride which was peanuts between the four of us.

I'd expected Rio airport to be very big and pretty modern, but it was neither. In fact, it was an absolute dump, reminding us of those ex-military airports used by budget airlines in Europe!

When we checked in we discovered that for some unfathomable reason our useless travel agents (Trailfinders) had managed to sell us a round the world ticket which did not include the relevant departure tax for Brazil, so we had to pay this separately!

We stuck this on my credit card and bemoaned yet another hidden cost for a ticket which was mis-sold to us in a barrage of lies and false claims all those months ago.

If you are thinking of buying a round-the-world ticket, I would definitely strongly advise either NOT booking it through Trailfinders, or making bloody sure exactly what is and what isn't included. Be sure to get it in writing!

I'm sure that Trailfinders must make an absolute fortune from these (very expensive) tickets, yet they were extremely dishonest about the costs involved for making amendments on the way around, which was the main reason that we bought one of these tickets in the first place!

You have been warned people. 

The shopping in the airport was absolutely terrible and the food & beverage offer was without doubt the worst that I have ever experienced in my life. It was basically a school tuck shop selling fizzy drinks, crisps and chocolate! Pathetic.

Katie managed to effortlessly use up our spare Reals, on Duty Free chocolate and other assorted junk and then half an hour later we were boarding. At least she bought me a can of Guarana to take home with me, I wonder how long it lasts!

It wasn't until we'd been sat in our seats for 15 minutes that we discovered that this plane did NOT actually fly direct to Rio (as promised by Trailfinders!), but instead flew south-west back down to Sao Paulo, where it would sit on the tarmac for ONE AND A HALF HOURS before flying to London. Grrrrrrrrrrrrreat.

I was spitting mad, wondering how our travel agent could possibly have given us worse service, but there was nothing we could do but sit back and try not to let it bother us. We were nearly home. 

The plane really filled up when we got to Sao Paulo, so we sat back and decided which films we were going to watch before getting into Heathrow Terminal 4 early tomorrow morning.

I tried as hard as I could NOT to think about the football game that would be kicking off in London  a few hours and hoped that I could find something to distract my thoughts!

Lots of love,

Al  & Katie xx
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