Sailing into Santos

Trip Start Nov 11, 2007
Trip End Dec 23, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our last sunrise while on the ship - it was just beautiful as we came into the port of Santos, about 40 minutes away from Sao Paulo.  From our balcony I think we had the best view - the very simple rural life of Santos - yet on the other side of the ship the views of the city - tall apartment buildings and hotels just didn't seem to fit.  To celebrate the arrival of the ship fireworks were set off - reminiscent of Costa Rica on a Saints Day - 5:30 a.m. seems like such a waste of good fireworks since all you can do is hear them - and then see nothing but the smoke they leave behind after expiring.  You will see in the photos what I observed as we came into port - I did not take any photos of the city - other than what you can see in the distant background on some.  It really was a remarkable contrast in living conditions however.  We had a leisurely morning - the bags had been packed and put out the night before - so we only had the carry-on bags to contend with.  We had breakfast in the dining room and then went to the concierge lounge to relax before disembarkation.  We had arranged for a driver to meet us at the terminal and take us to Sao Paulo and had given 45 minutes after the time we were to disembark - well - typical delays with the port authorities put us behind that mark - but I was hopeful that the driver would be waiting - he would surely know that people were late getting off the ship.  We got outside - with ALL the luggage and then I didn't see our name being held by anyone - so let the games begin - I had to try to track him down - not easy since I don't speak Portuguese.  Jim waited with the bags while I went in search of help.  Fortunately I found Michelle - one of the girls that we met on board and she was meeting her father and uncle and they had a cell phone and called the taxi company for us.  The driver had been there and then for some reason or another left for a bit - but he came back immediately and then we were finally on our way.  There was a DVD player in the taxi so he put on a nice DVD of some Brazilian music and that helped keep our mind off the fact that he must be practicing to become a Formula 1 driver - the driving is crazy here.  We had about an hour drive to our hotel the scenery was beautiful - mostly hills and valleys with an unbelievable system of bridges and tunnels transporting us to the city of Sao Paulo.  This is the fourth largest city in the world with a population of over 17.5 million people. As we were approaching the city the first DVD was finished he said he would put another good one in for us.  100% Black it was called.  We got to watch Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, etc it was definitely the extreme opposite of what we first watched.  At this point we were in the heavy Sao Paulo traffic - so I didn't ask him to change it or turn it off - or even to turn the volume down.
We arrived in one piece at the hotel - our room is very nice and we were given Concierge Level - which was great so that we don't have to quit the royal treatment 'cold turkey'.  They have breakfast - afternoon tea and then the full bar with hors d oeuvres are available from 6 - 10:30 p.m.  Our room is very nice and quite large and it feels like a palace after the cabin on the ship.  We have views facing directly over/down on Avenida Paulista - one of the main streets in Sao Paulo.
We went out and walked around - got ourselves a little familiar with our surroundings and then by the time we got back to the hotel and went to the lounge - we ended up having drinks and hors d oeuvres there and never did go out for dinner - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Looks like rain for tomorrow so not sure what we will do.
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jrcassiday on

Can you get me a copy of that DVD for Scott?

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