Sao it as dangerous as they say?

Trip Start Nov 14, 2006
Trip End May 15, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Thursday, January 11, 2007

Before arriving in Sao Paulo we kept getting warned again and again about how dangerous it was, so naturally were pretty on edge when we realised our flight was getting in at midnight.

We stupidly hadn't bothered to book accomodation in advance and were relying on turning up in a hotel we found in Lonely Planet. BAD IDEA. The taxi driver couldn't find our hotel and after driving round the block a few times (being shouted at by local youths) he made us get out on the main road and pointed to where he thought the hotel might be.

At this point we were pretty much crapping ourselves as we obviously had all our belongings, money and passports on us. We had also banked on Brazilians being able to understand Spanish (which they don't) so communication was near to impossible. We managed to find some men on the street who knew where the hotel was and very kindly walked us to the door (which was an unmarked passage in between two other buildings). Unfortunately, the hotel owner didn't speak English or Spanish and we couldn't speak Portuguese, although we managed to understand enough to know that she had no rooms free!

So, back into the street again (the time now nearly one o'clock), in search of another place that the hotel owner had written down for us. This hotel also turned out to have no marked entrance but luckily the helpful men we found earlier showed us where it was, and we finally got a room.

The rest of our stay in Sao Paulo was very enjoyable and pretty uneventful. We ate lots of excellent sushi and met a lovely Brazilian girl, Melissa, who took us out with her friends in the evening and then to a couple of free museums the next day.

We left Sao Paulo with the impression that it's not really that dangerous at all (but it is huge) and that Brazilians are great!
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harry-wood on

Me in Sao Paulo
Me and Francine were in Soa Paulo over new year. Insanely huge city. Flying in/out the view from the plane is amazing.

I should put some more SP pics online. Here's me and Francine by the Copan building:

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