Jetlag + big new city = bad times

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Aug 12, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

After many flights and much travel-related hassle, including me very nearly getting stranded at Lisbon airport we arrived in Sao Paulo. It was apparently about 10pm local time but our body clocks were so messed up by going from Asia to South America via London that it could have been any time of day - all we knew was that we were incredibly tired and glad to done with planes for a couple of weeks!
As we were so tired we decided to get a taxi to our hostel. We normally would have tried to use the bus and metro but we were in no fit state to navigate ourselves around a massive city and so we decided to go for the easy but expensive option. The hostel seemed quite nice but we didn't take all that much notice as that first night all we wanted to do was drop into a bed as soon as possible.
After a good night´s sleep we woke up feeling fairly refreshed and so we decided we would try to explore the city a little bit. We needed a few bits and pieces so we decided to try and find a shopping mall and then some lunch. Despite the metro being easy to use we spectacularly failed to find the first mall we went looking for, which was confusing as we imagined a mall would be fairly big and therefore easy to locate once you were near it. However, after traipsing about the area it should have been for about an hour and then bickering because we were both so tired and grumpy we gave up and decided to look for another mall. We were more successful this time and even managed to buy ourselves some lunch with our fledgling Portuguese.
The language barrier here has been bigger than anywhere else, as in Asia most people on the tourist trail speak some English but things in huge SP are very different and so we had to try to speak more of the local lingo than we've had to before. Coming from the Philippines where nearly everyone spoke English it was quite a shock to us but we've been able to get by with a few phrases!
The other shock in Brazil has been the weather which has, to be honest, been rubbish! The first day we had to crack out the fleeces and warm clothes which have been consigned to the bottom of our bags for the first three months of our trip and we haven´t put them away since! We have checked the weather back in the UK and I think that most of the time you've had warmer weather than we have! When it hasn't been cloudy it feels like an autumn or spring day but at night the temperatures really drop. Fleeces and scarves are not at all what we were expecting of Brazil!
Having had such a tiring and stressy day on our first day in SP we decided that we wouldn't do too much on the sightseeing front on the second day which was fortunate because we didn't have time to do anything recreational as we spent the whole day to-ing and fro-ing trying to find an internet cafe that we could use and then trying to organize flights which was another hassle.
Hopefully this blog doesn't sound too whiney but we really didn't have a good time in SP and we were happy the next morning when we knew we would be leaving for pastures new! By then we had also recovered from jetlag so that was also probably a big factor in our more positive moods. So on Thursday morning we got the metro to Rodoviaria Tiete, the big bus station and booked ourselves on a bus to Foz do Iguacu. We then returned to the hostel, sorted out some lunch for ourselves, as well as dinner for on the bus, and made our way back to the bus station ready for our 16 hour journey!
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