Carnaval and catch ups in Brasil
Trip Start Aug 28, 2010
49Trip End Ongoing
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So we arrived, met one of the guys, Caio and headed for his girlfriend's (Samara) parents apartments on the 13th floor of one of Sao Paulo's thousands of high rise serviced apartment blocks.
The next day, me and Lou were let loose on our own in Sao Paulo, so Caio gave us a planned out list of must sees in the city! It was the day before Carnaval started, there were loads of locals out and about preparing for the long holiday and basically a massive party! We went to an amazing park called Jardim de Luz which was a tropical park dotted with wacky modern art installations.
The following morning, me and Lou headed to the MASP - Museo Arte de Sao Paulo to see the "Romanticism" art exhibition - an amazing collection which left us feeling inspired!! The rest of the afternoon was spent dodging the torrential rain and doing a small bit of shopping. In the evening we met Caio in one of Sao Paulo's trendy neighbourhoods - Vila Madalena. We saw loads of the streets painted with Brazilian flags - we learnt that this is what the Brazilians do during the football world cups! Better than cheap England flags on our cars l reckon! We tried the legendary Brahma "Chopp" beer - creamy, smooth as, yum yum, get in my tum!
Next day we realised what an incredible spot it was! The small beach town is backed by rainforest, has red sand roads and a perfect palm-lined white sand beach. Raf's dads place was a short 1 minute kayak ride across the shallow river to the beach - errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, this should do for the next few days! Blindin'....
We got up late, so headed to the beach for some chilling and l had my first game of Brazilian beach volleyball in the rain on the beach with some locals - good times! That night the village had a stand for Carnaval set up and after a small parade and lots of cold beers we found ourselves dancing on the streets to samba most of the night.
Blue skies awaited us the next day, so we sprung out of bed and over to the beach for our first swim in the warm ocean - the perfect hangover cure! We drove to the big supermarket to buy provisions (mainly meat for the bbq challenges!) for the next few days. Two things were unique about this supermarket - 1. From the cash tills all you could see across the road was a stunning 8km long surf beach. 2. At least 10% of the customers were wearing bikinis or small man shorts. Neither of these happen in Clapham or Catford. So back we went to the house and BBQ'd very large quantities of meat and cheese...washed down with some cold beer it was the perfect afternoon!
Everyday Rafa and Marina drove us to different beaches - wooooooooow what a country this is!!
Our last day at the beach Lou and I kayaked up the river and then back down to where the river meets the beach (Lou almost kayaked into one of the swish motor boats on the way back to the beach!) We then went to another beach and had a late lunch of Moqueca which reminded me of Lou's mum's cooking back home - fish stock, flour, garlic, onions, tomatoes and fish!! Another true Brazilian dish happily tasted and approved with the Tim&Lou cert! ....
The time had come to head back to Sao Paulo, so we drove back and got back to Rafs's flat in Sao Paulo late doors via a Bobs burger drive thru. Over the burger we learnt from Rafa that the most famous Roberto Carlos in Brazil is in fact a singer from the 1960's - l thought it would be the legendary left back footballer - strange!! There's a whole 3 day cruise dedicated to this man where you go to mingle with him and the crowds and watch Roberto in concert on plush cruise ships! The next day me and Lou chilled in Rafa's awesome flat, went for some sushi and then Lou and Rafa's girlfriend, Marina went to get their nails done - a biweekly necessary beauty commitment to the women of Brazil. Mine didn't need a fresh paint. We then met all met up with Caio and his girlfriend and went to an 'all you can eat' shrimp place and laughed and drank the night away. The night ended with some weird looking cartoon vegetables, pinguingela! Ahhhh...
A sunny and hot day in Sao Paulo! We went to the MUBE in the city which was holding an awesome graffiti exhibition all about life in Sao Paulo - we loved it!
The next day Caio and Samara showed us Sao Paulo on a Saturday. We went to a cool antiques market and then headed to a family party with lots of screaming children and one of the finest princess/Disney party scenes we have ever seen!! Our last supper was back to the local pizza house Jullia, to say goodbye to Caio and Samara and thank them for being truly welcoming, fun and absolute legends!! Same goes for Rafa and Marina too for showing us true Brazilian beach culture!!! We will remember our time in Brazil as a stand out highlight of our American Tale...................very very good times!! Now with the help of Caio's translating skills we tracked down Lou's aunt and we're off to Londrina on the bus to visit Lou's great Aunt, Catherine.