Published: February 3rd 2007January 27th 2007
one of the main streets in sao paulo
Wow i didn´t think portugese was that much different from spanish (after 2 months of struggling with spanish which i thought i was getting the hang of...it is time to start again.)
The last few days entering brazil have resembled an episode of the amazing race.
... contantly checking my watch to see if i have time for the next bus
... constant phone calls trying to recover my credit card
... beads of sweat racing down my head as i am interigated by the brazilian immigration officials for losing my passport exit paper.
... more sweat carrying my massive back pack up and down the 50+ rank bus terminals because i can´t read the bus ticket well enough to tell if i am in seat 13 or if that is the gate my bus is turning up at. (it is always the opposite to the one i´m at).
yes, what a holiday! i am aching to head back to the hostels and the well worn gringo trail where my english is welcome... at least till i learn a few words in portugese.
To make up for lost travelling time the day we returned
this was the afternoon snack rafael´s mum put on for us. awesome caprihina´s with lichee and watermelon
from Ciudad del este (i have been travelling with an american called jim by the way) we decided to head straight to the bus station and buy our tickets for posadas in the hope that when i returned by the end of the week my credit card will have arrived. we caught the bus at 1am and set off on our 6 hour bus ride.
Posadas is a great little town... safe, clean which is sometimes hard to find in South America. We couldn´t check in till 10 so we spent the day down by the river and then the market in the city centre. the next day jim and i set out to san ignosio mini (bad spelling) but basically it is a town 50 km away from posadas which houses an old jesuit ruin. we spent a few hours walking through the ruins before the 40 degree heat overwhelmed us an we decided to head back into town.
the next day i caught an early bus from posadas back to puerto Iguazu then went back to my hostel to check if my card had arrived...it hadn´t useless!!
from here with no accomodation as the hostel was booked out i said stuff it i am not waiting around for another day here so i went to Foz, brazil and the terminal there to catch a bus to Sao Paulo or Rio i didn´t care at that point... which ever one i could get on quickest....
i got to immigration at the brazilian side and they wanted to see my exit stamp from the last time i visited brazil... it wasn´t in my passport but i remember i had it...(it is a 169 real fine if you lose it) so i tipped out my entire backpack on the floor in the immigration office sorting every scrap of paper and receipt i had... and when i couldn´t find it i had to pack it all back in... just before i paid the fine tho i checked one of the pockets in my shorts which i had been wearing 4 days straight and i found it...
anyway the bus that had dropped me off at immigration had left by now so i had to walk 3km on the highway in the dark to an intersection where i finally got a taxi after 20 mins ...the cab took me to the terminal and it was all sweet except every bus ticket office was closed except for 2 one going to paraguay which is useless cause i don´t have a visa even if i wanted to go and one to Curitiba...at 8:30, 9:00 and 9:30.
it was 8:28... i said to the bus ticket sale man i want a ticket to Curitiba he looked at me as if i was crazy then said when... tomorrow? and i said no, now!
he then ran out to the terminal and told the bus driver to wait because it was pulling out... what i didn´t realise was it was actually 9:30 not 8:30 because i was still on Argentinian time...anyways i made it on the bus and that is how i got to Curitiba. not a minute later and i would have had to have slept in the terminal.
Not to much of a problem as Curitiba is on the way to Sao Paulo where i was to meet up with rafael for a day or so. although the phones have been a problem and messages don´t work locally here for some reason so i had to resort to the good old email and hope he reads it in time method... anyways saturday raf was a no show... but i hit the town with some of the crowd from the hostel. we hit a few bars but after all the travelling by 2:30 i was dead and we all went home... a bit of a soft effort i know.
sunday relaxing / recovering at the hostel wondering when i was going to get up to do something when who should show up ... RAF!!! it was good to see my old mate and we had a good chat about what has happen over the last couple of weeks. Anyways he was really cool and showed me around his home town... visiting the japanese markets near the libertad station and then walking down avaneida paulista one of the main streets in Sao Paulo... we then went back to his house where his mum fixed up a mean feast which was good to get some home style food! then some caprahinas made with saki rather than vodka and with watermelon and lychies awesome the brasilians definately know how to mix some mean cocktails.
Sao Paulo was definately a suprise yes it is massive but not as busy as i was expecting so i have really enjoyed it... although raf did say the people have just had a long weekend holiday and the city was unbeliveable quiet... mabey the quietest it gets so i think i have just been lucky.
Even though my time here has been really great i feel i have to leave... rafael´s description of the busy crowds in the city havn´t convinced me to stay, and apparently they are turning up soon lol.