Arriving in the Biggest City Of South America

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Friday, November 12, 2010

Sao Paulo is HUGE. 19 million people call it home, but not us. We are here only because (a) this is the only place Emirates fly to in South America, and (b) after an eleven hour flight Perth to Dubai, a five hour stopover and then a fifteen hour flight, Dubai to Sao Paulo we badly needed a bed! 31 hours is one hell of a transit. 

Due to our flights being "standby status" there had also been a bit of stress as to whether we would be flying at all and if we would be flying together. All went well however and on the Dubai to Sao Paulo flight we had the best possible seat allocation of aisle seats in the exit row with no one in front of us to lean their seats back into our space.

After catching a free shuttle bus to our hotel, bed was an amazingly good experience.The following day we went for a bit of a look around, but only in the close vicinity of the hotel. We found a Brazilian supermarket and quickly discovered that nobody speaks English at all, but that people are helpful to dumb, non Portuguese speaking tourists.  

Another night's sleep, this time not so good, as we had extremely noisy neighbours (trying to set some sort of bedroom record) then it was off by taxi to the bus station, to find ourselves a bus to Rio De Janerio, in the largest bus station in all of South America. After several questions by miming, we managed to purchase our bus tickets, get money out of an ATM and find our bus platform.

The bus was quite luxurious and we settled in for the scheduled six hour journey to Rio De Janerio with anticipation. Well six hours turned into nine!!! There was a huge traffic snarl and we inched along a freeway for three hours of stop, start, progress. Turns out it was independence day holiday and Brazilians were out in force. There was also a huge happening at one of the towns we passed through, centred we think around a cathedral. 

Towards the end of the journey persistent rain also set in further slowing the trip down. We finally arrived very tired and very hungry at Rio bus station. But read on... our next story tells how our spirits lifted and backpacking became real fun again!!  
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