Paraty y Sao Paulo

Trip Start Oct 03, 2010
1
5
8
Trip End Nov 16, 2010


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

They call Paraty the gem of the south east coast of Brazil. Dating back to the 16th century, the cobblestone streets of Paraty are lined with beautiful colonial buildings that ooze a rich sense of history. Not an asphalt road or vehicle in sight, suddenly we felt like we had stepped into a time machine. Think Sovereign Hill combined with Sorento minus the tackiness and turned-up noses. Close, but still nothing like I'd ever seen before.

Brazilians are drawn to Paraty as a holiday destination because it offers activities by the water. Boat trips to the nearby islands, canoeing, snorkeling, fishing, diving and swimming. The water didn't particularly entice me and I found myself thinking about how lucky we are in Australia to be surrounded by jaw droppingly beautiful landscapes. Nevertheless, after exploring the old town in the morning heat we were soon drawn towards the glimmering ocean (mostly because Tom wanted to try out his new Spandex Brazillian hipster bathers, and I wanted to laugh). Turns out the joke was on me- sporting bather bottoms that covered more than the gap between my err... teeth.

Onto Sao Paulo. Now this is what you call megalopolis. Millions of skyscrapers sprawling in every direction as far as the eye can see. This monster of a city is home to 19 million people and you can feel it immediately. Traffic jams, smog, pollution, rubbish and did I mention skyscrapers?- plenty of them. Our hostel felt much like the city did- dirty, uncomfortable, dense, smelly and full of weirdos. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh. Exploring the city via the subway system was a smooth dream and the views from the Italia building were unbelievable. Images that had been burnt into my memory since first year uni were finally coming to life in front of my own eyes. 

I can confirm the rumours- the pizza in Sao Paulo is better than in Italy (or Il Camineto in Moonee Ponds for that matter)...          
           
Close to $300 later we are on board the 12 hour sleeper bus to Iguazu. Luckily it's much cleaner and more comfortable than Sao Paulo. 
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