I think we´re real lucky to have free internet at this B&B so i´m taking advantage of it now 🙂 Last night we were in bed around 11pm after a nice evening out. I´ve posted a picture of a few things below, one of them being the AMOUNT OF HEAD that comes with the draught beer here. It´s incredible, and not in a good way! We realized quickly that it´s probably smarter to get it by the bottle. It does come ice cold (sometimes frozen) which is definitely refreshing.
Today was our first real day, and we spent it wandering around Sao Paulo (about 5 hours of walking and a few buses). We slept in until past 9 (which was a dream!!) then had a wicked breakfast (comes with the cost of the B&B) including eggs, jams, cheeses, cereal, fruit, etc. Liquid lunch was, well .. a liquid lunch 🙂 3x 600 mL beer .. and just as we were leaving they put up a sign that said 3x 600 mL for 16 reias (2.2 to $1US). It seems the cheapest thing here is the alcohol; the food isn´t a huge bargain. Then we had gelato. Tough life 😉
The people were very helpful again today, offering assistance with directions without any expectations. Something we´ve noticed (and read in the travel books) is the disparity between poverty and wealth. Of course, in Vancouver there is a sliding scale from downtown east-side to Shaugnessy or Yaletown also … but here, the real rich have taken to flying around (by the day it seems) in helicopters, while people sleep on the streets. Apparently, helicopter transport became popular around the time that kidnapping wealthy folk for ransom was something that happened `somewhat regularly´. Having said that, the streets aren´t nearly as littered with street children or beggars as other cities in the world.
The people here have purpose and are passionate about their cause. We got to see a demonstration for pro-abortion and women´s rights (pictures above). The interesting thing is there was very little if any police presence, and it took place right outside a cathedral.
The temperature is perfect, i´d say around 26 in the heat and a bit cooler in the shade. You can tell the city is old; huge trees spread their roots in the middle of plazas (of which their are many). The architecture is actually a lot more dated than I had initially thought, which gives it a somewhat european feel .. though not quite polished. The city itself is HUGE, and you can see from the attempted panoramic photo (taken at the top of one of the highest buildings), that there are more high rises than you can count. It really spreads farther then the eye can see. Interestingly, the streets aren´t as crowded as i´d imagined, or compared to say Thailand or Uganda. You don´t quite have to rub sweaty arms with others, though the public bus is – as expected – pretty sardine-ish.
We´ll be heading out for dinner soon, and tomorrow departing Sao Paulo to fly over toward the coast (Salvador). Will update with some beachy pictures then!