Warm-up in brazil

Trip Start Sep 19, 2004
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Trip End Dec 18, 2004


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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, September 27, 2004

Oy! todo bem en brasil.... (remember that, mel?)

off we go, update numero uno away from the rat-race, from brazil.

7am in sao paulo. not being the biggest fan of south-american cities, ally pally was still dithering: should i stay or should i go? nananananaaa, dither, dither, dither!
but for some reason, i stayed, spending the day in a bit of a daze, walking round avenida paulista, which is the richest street in brazil (or was that south america even?). itīs a street with bank after bank after bank, and more banks, and no one seems to use them, ever. at least not the paying-in bits.

olaf from germany/england had organised one of his mates to show me round in the evening, and even though i did manage to meet arman, i was only able to keep my eyes open until 1am (which is 6am european time!) before i had to go to slumberland. it was lovely though cause arman has been living in sao paulo for more than 6 years so he knows the food specialities they have and itīs always nice to be with a local. he told me that there are so many rich people in sao paulo that itīs quite common to use helicopters as a mode of transport. me being the lefty i am, i had noticed the divide between the rich and the poor side of town. as always, itīs a huge gap, and itīs not getting any smaller!!!

sao paulo itself is an odd place. apart from the 1000 banks, some shopping malls and plenty of eating places (paulistas seem to live for eating out and shopping!), there is nothing to do. the main tourist attraction seems to be the butantan institute, where more than 1000 serpents are kept. the serpents are milked for venom to produde anti-venin to treat snake and spider bites as well as vaccines against such things like typhoid, diptheria. i fell in love, as such, with an albino snake, a very beautiful one. the cobras were not as nice.

the institute is in the zona sul of sao paulo, near the university. i got lost on my way there (quite normal for me, as most of you know!), but it was quite funny cause i missed the stop and therefore drove around the whole uni campus before i got a diff bus back. always making sure i see the funny side, it was v interesting to see just how big the uni is. i swear i have never seen such a big campus. and such maaaaad drivers. donīt get me wrong, i like driving fast (you have to if you like being in the car with NT!) but when your knuckles go white as the bus drivers approach roundabouts at 100 you do start to wonder about and pray for the value of your life!

in the eve, i went out with a frenchie called julien. we had lovely italian food in the boavista area, little italy of the city. it was drenched in olive oil, but it made a change from the rather dry food you tend to get normally in paladares in brasil (can i offer you some ham on bread, or would you like some more ham on bread? or thereīs more ham on bread...)

after 2 days in sao paulo, i started my way south, staying in curitiba for one night, then went on to paranagua on what was meant to be a īspectacular trainrideī. i bought the cheapest tickets--which meant i was sitting with the brazilians, and not with the tourists. i hate the way they split humans into different classes like this. itīs just not right. anyway, i am not gonna get into a social argument.

the train is meant to be a ride through rainforest, through 13 tunnels and crossing over 67 bridges and gorges. however, whenever i want to see something like at macchu piccu, i seem to attract lots of fog and rain. so what i should have seen and what i did see donīt match up. it was foggy, cold and even drizzled with rain (ohh, how i miss london!). but with my vivid imagination, i can see what it could have been....

the last few days i spent on ilha do mel, or honey island. it was not very busy and i hiked around a lot, then recovered in a hammock (my arse was getting flatter by the hour--the īLī being operative in the word!!!) and read and ate. i stayed in a place for 15 real (about GBP4) and i had my own bathroom and brekkie (juice, coffee, bread, cake, muesli and fruit) was included--beat that, starfucks!!!!

on the way back from the island, we saw dolphins. it is great to be so close to nature, even if i was obv not quick enough to get a piccie.

now iīm in florianopolis, eating churros (they are weird brasilian sweets which have a sugary cream coming out on top when you bite into them. they look v naughty...) but i am off to another island tomorrow. iīll have to organise some things first but then i wanna beach it some more.. hooray!!!

i am slowly settling back into the travelling spirit, but itīs taking some getting used to be bumming around like this. the questions i face in the morning go like this: what shall i do today? eat? sleep? read? walk? a museum? the beach? oh, i know: drink... itīs a tough life!!!

itīs also very nice to get a lot of attention. some, men as well as women, are just trying to strike a conversation and tell me how beautiful i am, while others honestly seem to think i am brazilian and start rambling on at me as if i was a local. must be the size of my bottom that makes me look brazilian! :)

anyhow, this text was meant to be supported by pics, but as it stands i need software to upload that so i will have to post the pics another time. i hope you all have vivid imaginations to follow me! as you know: travel is more than the seeing of sights-- it is a change that goes on all around, all the time.... deep and permanent in the ideas of living!
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