Nov 21, 2008
May 29, 2009
After a final day in Foz de Iguassu and a hearty eat as much as you like buffet we boarded the overnight bus for the long journey to Sao Paulo, as we passed through the Brazillian countryside the most striking thing I noticed is how impossibly fertile this land is, lush vivid green covers every inch of the land except where it is brutally suppressed by humanity. Even the trees have green plants and shrubs growing on or out of them and the growth of tropical plants is so thick you couldn't walk a meter into it without having to hack a path of your own making. Life cannot be contained in this magnificent country, in places where it is obvious that the trees have been cut down for wood, life bursts forth once more and rich grasses and shrubs cover every inch of the land where the great trees once stood, even the cattle that are dotted about the mountain sides don't seem to make a dent in the vegetation. The second thing that is striking about Brazil is the mountainous landscape, not like the huge great peaks of the Alps or the Himalayas but significant enough in size that most of them would take the best part of a day and a great deal of breath to climb, all covered in rich green vegetation beneath through which pokes the occasional glimpse of the rust red earth and rock of this country. The effect of these green rocky mountainous hills are that everything in Brazil is set to a backdrop of forested mountains giving a scenic beauty to the whole country. After a long journey on the bus we arrived in Sao Paulo mid morning and collected our luggage and gathered together to coordinate our movements. Sao Paulo is just an unimaginably vast city, with around 25 million inhabitants it is one of the largest urban metropolises in the world, a number that while staggering, I have no problem at all believing. Great four lane motorways snake through the city like arteries delivering the life blood of traffic to the heart and where ever you look houses and apartments are stacked on top of each other in the throng of buildings. Sao Paulo is beyond any recognizable building or skyline, in every direction skyscrapers and tower blocks form the wall of the horizon and driving into the city takes an hour on a good run without traffic. With only a short stop in Sao Paulo, and all of us reeling from the sheer size of the place we boarded a mini van that would take us to our next stop, the Coastal town of Paraty.