Friday, November 28, 2008


Let me write this all down before I forget it. So After waking up very hung over, in a less than dignified state, I went down to get the free breakfast (Free breakfast for the win) and met up with the protagonists of the previous night. Oliver left that morning, looking much more dignified than the previous night. The rest of us followed Lisa's cue and decided to try get to the beach. So we took the metro to the rodovario (Bus station) and went looking for a bus that went beachward. A R$31 bus fare put us off that plan. So we hit plan B, which was to visit Embu. Embu was a small village outside Sao Paulo, populated by artists, hippies and bohemians. But as Soa Paulo grew it became an outlying suburb, apparently still populated by artists, hippies and bohemians though. Having no idea how to get there, apart from some not too helpful lonely planet directions, we asked some one for help. I'm sure they were well meaning, everyone in brazil is very friendly, but they weren't well informed. So we got on what was meant to be an hour bus ride to Embu-centro, but turned out to be something completely different. Firstly let me say that Sao Paulo is massive, beyond any scales I know. The bus we ended up on only went vaguely close to were we wanted to go, but first it went through every other part of the city. I mean I ad the grand tour, all the way to the favellas (Slums), where much to our shock we were dropped off. Now the favellas in Sao Paulo are not a joke. But on the up side we had had a 4 hour bus ride all around Sao Paulo (As a side note, the graveyards (Necropole) here are amazing, they are packed with these huge and ornate family crypts, which really do make it look like a necropolis, a city of the dead). Some how we did manage to catch the right bus out and eventually get to Embu, which really was a quaint as it sounded. We also has a great R$6 steak meal, a big meal, which almost made it cheaper to travel all the way there than to eat at our hostel. Embu was cool, a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the city, but after a bit of sight seeing, some antique shops and cafe we set off to try get back, which only took an hour, compared to the 4 it took to get there, and didn't go through and slums. It was a much better ride really.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

First night, meat, beer and caipirinhas.

Wow, right. First day/night in Brazil. So Sao Paulo is a big place, intimidatingly big when you're at the airport and need to find a random hostel in the middle of town you have no idea about. But 1 bus trip, 3 trains and a mile walk later Arun and I finally managed to find it. 1 Bus ride and 3 trains that I was really impressed with, I realise its actually the first time I've ever taken a proper subway, very cool,it makes me eagerly await the Gautrain. So we eventually got to the Casa Club Hostel Bar, much to my suprise. So far a cool place, clean safe but slightly pricey. The first night though (after 20 or so hours awake) was grand. We wound up in a room with an expat South African, a German who worked in South Africa and Dutch Girl, It was the last night for the German so we went to restaurant called Paulista's. Its a very special type of restaurant, though the proper Brazilian name escapes my hung over mind right now, which basically is an endless meet Buffet (with a capital 'B'). Well I hope I ate enough for three nights cause thats what it cost. It was fantastic, the waiters float around with huge cuts of different meats, from espetada to roast beef, constantly filling your plate. Eventually once you are fully sated you have to put up a little sign to say so, I can see I will love these places. So any after a cheap but packed taxi ride we got back to the hostel. At this point we decided to go to the supper market, which are open till 12pm (Amazing, at last) and buy a case of beer. This eventually turned into a mission for the ingredients for caipirinha's, having decided thats more truly Brazilian. Of course the super market had everything we needed at 12pm, so we set off for a night of heavy drinking and bad jokes. A good night, a full tilt first night, I can see I'm going to enjoy this country. So now I sit here, still a bit drunk, very hung over, fantastically glad I still have my wallet, wondering what I'll do today.