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Published: August 16th 2010
Hi all, These are the last 10 days of our trip
- though a long one, suddenly the end arrived quickly.
Our flight from Manaus to Sao Paulo
was very tiring - it started at 2am and not only that we fly through Brazilia, we also had a layoff in Brazilia of about 2 hours... eventually, we landed in Sao Paulo in a rainy morning. We somehow managed to find a family hostel in the town of Guarulhos located near the airport without entering Sao Paulo itself. The rest of the day was spent on shopping in one of the shopping centers located in the northern part of Sao Paulo.
The next morning, we headed to Parati
- a beach town located about 7 hours north of Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, upon arrival at the bus terminal, we learned that though there is a bus leaving to Parati in 30 minutes, it is fully booked and we would have to wait over 4 hours for the next bus and we would arrive in Parati late night. So we spent some more time and money in the nearby shopping mall...
Eventually, at around 23:00 we arrived to Parati. In
trials to get directions to a hostel we had recommendations for, we stopped a police patrol car. Not long after, we were seating all 5 of us and our bags in the back seat of the police car getting a lift to the hostel - who said the police in South America is not efficient.
Though Parati is a nice city and we have heard it has great beaches, we could not enjoy any of it, as the bad weather and the rain followed us and it kept raining for the 4 days we were there... So, we only strolled very shortly in the old city of Parati - it is a very nice area, with restored beautiful houses, full with restaurants, arts and crafts stores, galleries etc. There are also horses and wagons giving tours in the old town.
When the weather forecast was getting better, we have decided to head further north to Ilha Grande
(the big island in translation to English). We took a bus to Angra Dos Reis, about 2 hours away from Parati, and there we took a boat going to the island. We arrived in Ilha Grande main town - Vila Do Abrao.
There are houses and people living in other places around the island, but these are hard to get to, as the commercial boats and ferries only arrive in this main port. There are no cars in the town, and it is the perfect vacation place
- there are only restauratns, hostels, tour agencies and some souvenir shops in the island and accordingly the rhythm of life is very relaxed, everyone is on vacation...
The next days the weather indeed got much better, the sun was out, the sky were blue and we could fully enjoy the beauty of this island. We took several boat tours or walked to different locations and different beaches around the island. It was the perfect way to spend our last days in South America - bathing in the ocean, sunbathing on the beach, watching some monkeys in the trails between the beaches, having great Brazilian breakfasts etc.
As these were really our last days in South America, Nitzan was counting the days backwards in the beach taking photos of the countdown and sharing it with family back home on a daily basis.
Omer took the time to practice a new hobby - building
castles - in the morning sand castles on the beach (with the aid of his siblings) and in the afternoon card castles... He has done realy good job, as you can see in the photos.
However, as all good things, our stay in this beautiful green island had to end, and we headed back to Sao Paulo. We opt for a night journey, and so we arrived in Sao Paulo
very early in the morning - checked our backpacks to storage in the terminal and headed directly to the city center. The rest of the day we spent walking around in Sao Paulo center, first alone and later with a local friend (Paulo, which we met in lake Titicaca in Peru a few months earlier). With Paulo's help and information, we also got to visit a Japanese festival happening in this huge city. To celebrate our long and amazing trip
, we have decided to go to a very fancy Brazilian Rodizio restaurant - Vento Haragano. This is eat as much as you can type of restaurant, with the waitersses walking around with ~20 kinds of BBQ meats. It was not a dinner, it was a feast!!! It
was soooo tasty and it was just the perfect way to end our outstanding, special, interesting, happy (and so on...) trip 😊😊😊.
The kids, were not only happy with the food, but were so happy to discover the restaurant had a games room with Playstation, movies and other games. We could hardly make them leave the restaurant, when it really became late... We then made the long way to our hostel near the airport, taking the underground and another bus.
That's it - it's time to pack all our belongings (which by now grew a lot vs. the arrival in South America a year ago) and catch our flight back home. Suddenly our adventure is over, and soon it would only be a set of memories and photos... Photos from Ilha Grande
ADIOS SOUTH AMERICA!!!!
With me all my amazing family: Tal, Nitzan, Omer and Shachar
P.S. Hopefully, we would find the strength, time and words to add an entry summeraizing this adventure, so you might have more reading to do....
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