Goodbye South America

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , São Paulo,
Saturday, October 9, 2010

The final stop of our 'real' travelling was the sprawling metropolis of Sao Paulo to join the 25 million residents of one of the largest cities in the world. Sao Paulo is huge and there are so many people, it stretches on for miles and miles to the horizon but we missed most of the madness and rush as we were there over a long weekend. The city has one of the worst traffic reputations in the world and also has the highest number of private helicopters in the world for the high flying Brazilians to avoid the traffic. We saw a couple of them soaring above the crowds and almost all the tall office blocks have private helipads.

We did a walking tour of the city, it’s definitely not pretty and there aren’t many attractions to see but it is an impressively huge city and the economic heart of the country. It is basically a massive city and quite dirty but we never felt that it was more dangerous than anywhere else we had visited and fortunately it has a fantastic metro system. We also visited the aquarium which was completely overcrowded and we missed out seeing the manatee and great white shark which was the whole reason that we decided to go.

Sao Paulo has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan and it is very obvious when you are there. It seriously felt like we saw more Japanese looking people than typical Brazilian looking people. We visited the Japanese area of town and it was totally packed with people and we got supper (including sushi) from a Japanese restaurant near our hostel every night.

To be honest we were ready to go home by the time we arrived in Sao Paulo and were very excited when the day of our flights to Dubai arrived. We arrived very early at the airport and spent ages waiting for a flight. By the time we left Brazil we had a combined total of about $25 in our bank accounts and were definitely ready to be looked after for a bit!

- Brazilian women (of all shapes and sizes) are very keen to wear tiny bikinis even when they really shouldn't
- A lot more expensive than anywhere else in South America
- The Portuguese was a huge shock after being in Spanish countries for so long
- The coastline is amazing
- It is a huge country with so much to see
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