What a greeting.....
Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
82Trip End Dec 13, 2012
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Where I stayed
Andreas Place in Jabaquara
I arrived in Sao Paulo a little nervous. I had heard so many stories of crime and human organ trafficing, that I think it was a little justified. I had made contact with a couchsurfing host named Andrea. She lived in the south end of the city called Jabaquara. I arrive early and called her, unfortunately waking her up. I told her I had arrived in one piece and was on route to her place.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted at the door by Andrea and her father. Graciously, i was invited in for a coffe and breakfast. After our coffee and brief introduction, I went for a nap. Andrea was heading into town that afternoon and had told me she could take me into the city to show me around
First on the list was a stop at Ibiuapara Park, which is the equivalent to Central Park in New York. A rather large park in the middle of the city with manyt different attractions and things to do. Andrea gave me a map of the park and a briefing of what there was to see. She left me alone to wander at my own pace and we agreed to meet up later. I was happy just walking around taking pictures with my camera, but since there was some museums and galleries there, I figure it would be good to do something that is a little different from the outdoors thrill seeking genre. I went to the Museum of Modern Art first. I must say that, that normally I wouldnt have gone there, but I did enjoy very much. The whole city of Sao Paulo is fully of artistic character, at least I thought so compared to boring ol Toronto. The buildings there have much for intricate architechture, there are so many free art exhibits for people to visit, so many concerts, basically endless options.
Andrea and I agreed to meet at one end of the park where there was the Afro Museum of Sao Paulo, which sounded rather interesting because it had an exhibit displaying the history of blacks from Martin Luther to Obama, and I wanted to atleast check it out. Entry to the museum was free, and Andrea had a list of things to do in SP that were free
That night we met Ricardo, Andrea`s boyfriend in an area of town called Villa Madalena. This is where the bars are at. Ricardo was a great guy who was all smiles and always offering to help. The bar we were at was a quiant older bar, that was filled with servers that just run around with platters of beer. All you had to do was give a quick shout and within less than a minute, you have an ice cold beer infront of you. It was great too, because Andreas english was really good, Ricardo as well which made our chats much easier.
Now as I mentioned before somewhere in this blog, I had made a slew of penpals before starting this trip
Elaine and her friend Adrianna picked me up at the subway to take me out for a nice lunch. Elaine spoke near perfect english, but Adrianna and I had a complete language barrier. Still that didnt stop us from having a great time together. The three of us went out for a spread of Japanese food that left me damn near bloated. I couldnt eat another thing. It was a great way to just sit down and get to know each other. Since there was so many things to do in the city, and even things that the two of them had never done, we agreed to go to the football museum. This sounded like it was right up my alley. The museum was at a soccer stadium, home of the Corrithians. I must say this was the coolest museum I have ever been to in my life
The next morning, Andrea, her brother, Ricardo and I were all going to the bossanova conert at the SaL de Sao Paulo, one of the most modern concert halls in the world. It used to be an old train station that had recently been renovated into strictly a concert hall. It was stunning inside. I wish I had more pictures of the inside, but they were fairly strict about it. If you were quick you could sneak off a few photos. The concert itself was great time, a young orchestra that was rather contemporary
Monday was a quiet day, the night however was different. I went into town and walked Rua Paulista taking some photos. Now Sao Paulo, for those of you who dont know, has some crazy traffic. It is one of the biggest cities in the world. So for the rich and famous, they use helicopters to get around the city. It is actually only second in the world to Hong Kong I believe. Every you go, you can hear the roar of a helicopter, or see one getting ready to take off from a building top. Pretty cool. Must be nice to fly to work in the morning to beat the traffic! Monday evening though, I was going back out with Elaine, her sister Erica, Adrianna and her boyfriend Rapheal, for some drinks. We went out to a famous bar in the centro called Bar Brahama. It was a 60 year old bar that had a huge patio on the side walk. While there, Elaine and I were talking in english, of course. But there was a table of 8 guys off to the side of us. They called us over. They wanted to know where I was from, she knew me, and of course what soccer team I rooted for. It never takes more than 10 seconds for that topic to arise in conversations here
On tuesday I was heading to another city to make my way to the south east coast. There was a list of places on my agenda that I wanted to see, including a small town of Parati, and an island called Illha Grande. Andrea was gracious enough to let me leave my big backpack at her place while I went to these places, saving me a hassle of lugging it around with me
Some of the pics in here are from when I returned to Sao Paulo after my trip to the coast, I will add another entry, with even more great pics soon. Keep checking... sorry it's been a while since my last entry...