Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Brazil - Sao Paulo & Paraty

Sao Paulo is a huge city, with a population of 19 million, it's the largest city in the southern hemisphere.  It doesn't get a huge amount of tourist traffic but we liked it a lot, the traffic systems are unbelievable, and that combined with an endless number of skyscrapers make it a real metropolis.
Sao Paulo is home to the largest Japanese population in the world outside Japan, and most of them live in the Liberdade area of the city.  We went for lunch at the busy Sunday market.
Back to an abundance of tropical fruit - coconuts are sold everywhere.
There is a section of the Ibirapuera park devoted to miniature model enthuasiasts.  I reckon you could find anything you wanted in this city if you had time to look for it.
Had to try some of the Guarana drink that is as popular as coke here.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is also located in the park and is where all the young people  hang out under here this raised path which leads to it.
Chicken leg pattern wallpaper art.
We loved this corner cafe / shop where we had some 'pao de queijo' cheese bread balls - yum.
Brazil has an international reputation for its grafitti, Sao Paulo is supposedly seen as the new 1970's New York in grafitti terms.  This style of tagging 'Pixacao' is everywhere, as well as the work of the famous twins Os Gemeos who are from the city.
More acai...
There is a tower based on the Empire State building with amazing views for free and no queues-when we were there anyway.
Tropical fruit at the market and sushi at the market...
'Pastels'are a popular Brazilian snack - stuffed pastry parcels.
Churros filled with delicious dulce de leite sold on the street...
The weather got really bad, with heavy rain and thunder for about two days...
We had a bit of trouble getting buses to Paraty and almost ended up stranded in a little town in the middle of nowhere but ended up convincing a busdriver to take us at half eleven at night even though the town we were in was only a drop off point.  He had a bit of difficulty dealing with the fact that there was no official ticket price to charge us, but eventually we were on our way after we compensated him generously for his trouble. Paraty was a cute cobblestone town that was used as a shipping port for gold being sent to Portugal back in the day.  It's a really tropical place with beaches and waterfalls and jungle.

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