My first stop was the Banespa Tower to get an overall view of Sao Paulo from the 33rd floor observation deck. To be honest the best thing about this experience was the fact that it was free, and the weather held out! You are allowed just five minutes to take a look at the really quite unattractive city of Sao Paulo, and I guess that five minutes is long enough for this pleasure in reality. The building itself if modelled on the Empire State Building in New York, but it is not anywhere near as impressive... although there is a very fancy chandelier in the ground floor reception area which I don't remember seeing in NY!
Next up I wandered over to Praça de Sé to see Brazil's "St Paul's Cathedral'. The square, just like Trafalgar, is littered with pigeons, but here also has the added bonus of drunks and tramps scattered about the place, many of whom seemed quite keen to strike up conversation with me.
There were also some hardcore Christians dancing and singing in the square and one of them was trying her very best to recruit me into their cult despite me insisting, in an attempt to escape, that I spoke absolutely no Portuguese and did not know what she was on about! The cathedral is very grand and I spent quite a bit of time wandering around inside and also sitting in on the service that was going on at the time as I felt a bit rude just wandering about with my camera in hand.
The rest of the day was spent lurking the streets getting in some good people-watching hours. The people here do not look particularly happy and everyone is in a bit of a rush. I guess that is how many visitors to London perceive the culture there too, so I would imagine that to see Sao Paulo through the eyes of someone who lives there and knows the place would be a very different experience indeed. I saw various buskers throughout the day... the highlights of which were an indiginous Peruvian panpipe band, and also a cheesy Ricky Martin-esque guitarist fella who had a homeless woman dancing away next to him, which was rather entertaining.
Towards the end of the afternoon the weather took a turn for the worse and a thunderstorm commenced. I headed back to the bus station for a sleep on a wall before it was time to leave in search of the sun once more.
After an emotional goodbye to an energy-drained-post-capoeira-session-Luciano I set off on my quest to find the sunshine. Once uneventful overnight bus trip from Rio got me as far as Sao Paulo - a city not exactly famed for its beauty, or come to mention it its great weather, but it is somewhere I felt that I should at least pay a short visit whilst I am here in Brazil. With this in mind the first thing I did upon my arrival was to plan my escape! After a very confusing conversation with the woman at the information desk I discovered that I had to trek across the city with my backpack to another bus station before I could lighten my load and commence my day of sightseeing. Once I had my exit ticket in my hand I stored everything except the day's essentials in a locker and set about my touristy day in Sao Paulo.