Morro de São Paulo

Trip Start Jul 18, 2006
Trip End Mar 05, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, August 27, 2006

First things first, I´d better just clear up the inevitable confusion before it starts: Morro de São Paulo is not the same as São Paulo. In fact it differs in almost every respect. For a start its about 2000km further north so it has a much more agreeable climate. Secondly its on an island instead of being inland. Thirdly and most pleasingly, instead of being a sprawling megalopolis of 20 million people it is a small town. Tiny in fact. Small enough that it doesnt have any cars. Or proper roads. To the extent that a ´taxi´ in Morro de São Paulo consists of: 1. a bloke, plus 2. a wheelbarrow. Now you start to see why Brazil is not a world leader in technology...

Did I mention the beaches? Pretty damn beautiful. Fine, soft, white sand. Clear, shallow, warm water. Coconut palms. More coconut palms. Yet more coconut palms. And theres lots of them. Probably about 10km of more or less uninterrupted beach.

You would think from this description that Morro São Paulo is some sort of earthly paradise and in many respects it is. The only slight problem is that I wasnt the only person to notice the fine qualities mentioned above. The result is a town which seems to have more hotels and hostals than it has inhabitants. It certainly has more tourists, and we were there in the low season (it is the middle of Brazilian winter and yet the weather at Morro was consistently nicer than we EVER get in the UK - bastards!). Going to the beach is an exercise in dodging people trying to sell you everything from açaí (a Brazilian fruit which is, as I was repeatedly informed, both a stimulant and an afrodisiac - move over viagra, your time is up) to sunshades, to jewellry, to cheese on a stick. Going out at night was a similar experience: everywhere you went someone was shouting ´amigo´ and trying to entice you into their restaurant or to buy their particular fruity cocktail.

We spent 5 days solid on the beach and, without meaning to sound like Im complaining (moan? me?!), nothing of any interest happened at all. Except for a slight increase in skin pigmentation, that is.
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