Hasta Luego Espanol, Oi Potugese
Trip Start Aug 20, 2005
39Trip End May 26, 2006
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In Sao Paulo there is 26 million people, roughly. Its a big city, quite compact when you think of American cities that are really sprawled with far less people in them. They have numerous roads which I have only navigated by taxi drivers, who drive as recklessly as the Portugese.Needless to say they have thousands of bus routes. A bus ticket is R$2 (0.80e), minimum pay is R$500(200.00e) a month. On the bus,a quarter way inside there is a turnstile, where you pay a conductor the fare or swipe your smartcard to go through the turnstile to sit down and or exit the bus. They also have a good metro system its frequent,clean and eight cars long
One of the interesting things in Sao Paulo is `Instituto Butanta´ which is a combination Musuem and labs. What they do here, is make anti-venom for snakes, toads and scorpions. Yes folks I have just leant Brazil has dangerous creatures in abundance!I really should do more research on the countries I visit.There are plenty of things that can kill you here, unlike Ireland where you might just get a nasty lick from a cow :-) The institute is a fascinating place where they keep snakes, to milk of course :-) on a snake farm. When the institute first started they have a very catchy offer, you send us a snake and we will identify the little fella and send you back some anti-venom.Indeed how they make the anti-venom is quite remarkable. They first milk the snake, God I thought milking cows was a pain :-) they do this by getting the snake to bite into a rubber top, where the venom pours out of it´s fangs into a tube. They then take a small dose of this venom and put into a horse,cow or sheep.This (hopefully) does not kill the animal but makes him a little sick, so that he then produces anti-bodies to fight the venom. Then they take blood from the animal, talk about a bad job :-) and then extract the anti-bodies to make the anti-venom.Another little tit-bit I learnt was the difference between poisonous and venomous was, venomous is an animal with a poison and efficient delivery system say sharp pointy fangs in the front of its mouth or spitting....
Just in case some of ye have been worried that I have been staying in flea pit hovels all the time, I have stayed in a lovely hotel here in Sao Paulo called `Hotel Unique` a gift from Alma. Its a lovely place and was 10 times more expensive than my last place in Montevideo (which was a nice hotel with cable tv, hot water electricity etc). So if you´re curious on what this place is like click on the link below
So that is all for now folks I am off to western Brazil to The Pantanal region a mere 14 hour bus journey :-)