Tired & Emotional

Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
Trip End Apr 07, 2012

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Where I stayed
Olah Hostel

Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today we finally arrived in Sao Paulo into an airport where we suddenly could not communicate with anyone. It seems that unlike many nations, not many Portuguese people speak English.  It is not as though we are ignorant as we tried to speak in Spanish but they seem offended by this, probably as they are surrounded by Spanish speaking countries!

The Sao Paulo airport was also very disorganised and we had to queue for 20 minutes, only to find out that we had to fill in yet another immigration form (we had already filled out 2 on the flight) and re-queue, how annoying!  Eventually we got through only to find that we then had to queue yet again for the customs which took an age as we got stuck behind a guy with three, yes three, luggage trolleys full of gear.  He struggled to get them through one at a time through the small lines that had been cordoned off by security, needless to say that we were not impressed as we had not slept well...

Eventually we managed to get through and find a cash machine as we needed some local currency.  The cash machines either didn't accept our currency or tried to charge us the equivalent of 5 to withdraw cash.  It was then that we remembered we already had some Brazilian currency that had been given to us by Annabelle’s sister Vanessa before we set off on our journey. 

Though this money was actually meant for the national cocktail, it proved to be a fantastic emergency fund and was just enough for us to take a bus to the Metro station at Tatuape and then buy a ticket to get to Ana Rosa, the nearest station to our hostel.   We managed to hit the Metro in Sao Paulo at peak time, around 9am which we meant we had to let 5 tube trains go past before we managed to find a car with enough space to take us and our massive bags!  When we changed to go on the southern line this was even worse and we then had to queue up for a spot on the train like sheep in small pens.  But the public transport seems good – very quick and reliable! 

When we eventually surfaced at Ana Rosa we were in the middle of a massive main road and had no idea which street to take but after a bit of searching and asking some locals we managed to determine the general direction of the hostel.  We finally arrived at Olah Hostel, Sao Paulo around 10am, a cool 22 hours after setting off. 

The hostel had a very local feel to it and was run by a couple who had only been in charge for around a year.  They gave us a map straight away and told us all the best things to do in the area, we were also impressed at their knowledge of "free" things to do.  The downstairs had a kitchen, something we always tried to take advantage of, they also had free water and upon check in they offered us a free breakfast, the choice of which was one of the best we had seen for a while.  The rooms were in bunk format with each bunk having your own reading light (Annabelle happy), though we had to take two top bunks as they were the only ones left (Annabelle not very happy)...  As she was tired she actually threw a tizzy fit at having to have another top bunk - princess!

The only downside was that we could not get into the rooms until 12pm and as we were dog tired from the journey we had to rely on a few cups of tea to get us through.  Finally after sorting out a few jobs and moving in we took to our beds for a couple of hours.  When we woke up we decided to cook and so popped to the supermarket. 

The prices of food in Sao Paulo were astronomical and it was not just imported goods, to give examples, a small stick of bread was around R$3.75, around 1.41 , for a wedge of Edam it was around R$19, which was around 7.15.  The plan was to make our old faithful tuna rice ... but when we got to the tuna aisle we couldn’t believe our eyes.  For a tin of tuna it cost over 4 – needless to say that purchase didn’t happen.  Instead we opted for some fine Brazilian steak which actually cost 3 – crazy!  Added to the ginger, garlic and soy sauce this was going to be a Bobby Masterpiece!   

By the time we had cooked up a storm and had a nice dinner we were exhausted but sat down to make a plan for the following day in order to see as much as possible.  Some of the other guests at the hostel didn’t really seem to rate Sao Paulo as a tourist destination, so we heeded some advice and planned accordingly.  Later on in the night we found a TV room at the back of the hostel and as no one was using it we jumped in and watched some CSI before retiring...
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