Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category

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Day One Hundred and Forty Three: Uruguay!

June 11, 2012

Weather: 15oC
Money: $65
Current country: Uruguay
Current city: Punta del Este
Exchange rate: 1USD = 18.31 Uruguayan Pasos

Today we said thanks to Brazil for all the fun times and boarded the plane to Uruguay. While I totally loved Brazil, I wasn’t too sad to leave there. Even though it sounds stupid, it’s so good to be back in Spanish speaking lands.

The Sao Paulo airport is a long way from where we were staying and we were told to expect about $120 Reais ($60AUD) which is more than we want to pay. So after some investigating, we found that we could catch three trains to a station called Tatuape, and then catch a bus for only 4R. So, we did all that and it worked perfectly and we got the the airport having only spent 7R. Win.

The plane and customs were all super easy and we made it to Punta del Este with no hassle (on a pretty big plane with 17 passengers). We cooked dinner tonight in the hostel: vegetarian spaghetti (side story – we tried to get mince but didn’t know the word, so Hope pointed at the pasta sauce and said ‘carne’ (the word for meat), the girl looked puzzled, so I did some scrunching gestures with my hands and pointed at the meat case… Apparently that’s not good enough??!!), and got into bed at 9pm. It’s wonderful. This hostel is clean and friendly and we have our own bathroom!

Uruguay is looking mighty good so far! We will explore the nearby beaches tomorrow and maybe go for a swim! The forecast is for 17oC and sunny. Doable I think!

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Day One Hundred and Forty Two: Market and Mall

June 10, 2012

Weather: 16oC, dry and sunny!
Money: $68
Different trains caught: 10

Finally, a day in Sao Paulo with nice weather! Hooray!

Today we caught a lot of trains to various places around the city. Suelen suggested we go to a place called ‘vente cinco de Marco’ (25 March St) which is a street full of market type goods and other junk at cheap prices. Lonely Planet or one of the other guides I’ve read warns against going there on the weekend because it’s really crazy, yet here it is Saturday. And it was crazy. We didn’t buy anything and hardly even stopped to look.

This street wasn’t closed to cars, by the way. They just have to push through!

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A guy Lisa was talking to suggested another market that is close by this 25 March St, so we went there for a delicious juice. It was good but also really busy.

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After our market fun, we caught a train or four to a mall called Morumbi. It’s just shops. We walked around there for a while and got lunch. Pretty cruisy.

Tonight for dinner we went our for pizza with our roomie, Blake. It was amazing. One was bacon, onion and olives and the other was spinach, ricotta and other fancy things. Yum.

Oh, also, I promised a Havs shot. Here are our purchases! Where to store them all I hear you asking? Not sure yet. But we will be posting stuff home as soon as possible!

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Day One Hundred and Forty One: Oscar Freire

June 9, 2012

Weather: 14oC, rainy
Money: $55
Days til we meet my mum and dad: 50 (happy mums?)

Well, today began eventfully – a Vegemite roll. I know. We chilled out in the hostel enjoying a day off. Haha. No, actually, we had a plan for today so we headed out to a street just near our hostel called Oscar Freire. Our roomie here told us that it is potentially the most expensive street for shopping in all of Brazil, which I would believe. Our number one destination was the Havaianas store. We love the Havs in Brazil. The colors are amazing and they come in every style imaginable. I bought some really cool Lady and the Tramp ones today.

We also decided that we would head to an amazing pizza place for lunch but it was closed. We checked prices at about 15 other places and settled on a Middle Eastern restaurant which still cost heaps, but it was delicious.

We wandered up and down this street most of the afternoon and then got some groceries on the way home. We cooked dinner tonight – Mexican – which was super cheap.

Also, after having a room to ourselves the last three nights, we’ve got some roomies today. Three Americans, all of whom are lovely. Lucky. It’s always a risk in hostels!

I’ll have a Havs photo tomorrow! X

This is my group our South tour. I miss these kids!

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Day One Hundred and Forty: Marcia and a Trip to the Mall

June 8, 2012

Weather: 15oC, drizzly and grizzly
Money: $34
How many days off I feel is excessive: 14

We had a delicious day off again today. Brazilian breakfast is a bit average; at this hostel it’s bread rolls which cheese and ham, and oranges. Fairly standard for a hostel, but pretty boring. Anyway, I now take my Vegemite everyday. It’s running low. So today started with breakfast and then we had a day nap.

Then we had lunch, which we collected from the grocery store. After lunch my friend Marcia from our Central America tour came and picked us up and we went to a mall. We walked around a bit then stopped for a brigadero which is a delicious condensed milk and chocolate ball. She also took us on a city tour and showed us 96 places to eat.

My dislike for Sao Paulo is slowly shifting. Maybe it’s the weather that adds to my less than lovely perception, but I think for a city, it’s ok. We’ve got an exciting day planned tomorrow but I will save that for next blog!

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(Hope loves cheese)

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Day One Hundred and Thirty Nine: Suelen and a Brazilian BBQ

June 7, 2012

Weather: 20oC, miserable
Money: $37
Old mates I caught up with: 1

The most noteworthy story from today is that I got to catch up with a friend who was an exchange student when I was in grade 12. We haven’t kept in touch and it was amazing that she was able to fly from her home to Sao Paulo while we were here. Suelen and her lovely husband took all three of us out to the most amazing restaurant to dinner. We had a Brazilian BBQ with the guys who bring around endless amounts of meat on skewers and carve it at the table. It was so delicious. I ate only meat for dinner. Lisa had a large salad too.

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Oh wow I can’t stop thinking about it.

Also, something you’ll be pleased about, is that I’ve identified the smell that keeps following me around Brazil. It’s acai. It’s like a purple jungle fruit. In juices, it’s pretty expensive but really delicious. Suelen bought me a cute pack of perfume, soaps and lotions that is acai flavor and I’m pleased that I’ve now worked it out.

Other than that, today it rained so we did our laundry (which costed way too much) and sat around having a rest day. It was nice and needed!

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Day One Hundred and Thirty Eight: Back in Sao Paulo

June 6, 2012

Weather: 20oC, raining in SP, hot and beautiful in Rio.
Money: $85
Hours on a bus: 7

We left the amazing land of Rio this morning, and bused to the slightly less magical Sao Paulo. We arrived to rain and I had to get out my ‘old-faithful’ black jumper. The poor taxi driver got lost and then stuck in the traffic, lucky we agreed on a price before we got in because I’m sure it would have been a lot more than 45 Real for a 50 minute drive!

Our hostel here is fine. It’s clean, which is nice, and we have an eight bed dorm to ourselves. A Brazilian dude is making friends with Hope, calling her ‘Esperanza’ (‘hope’ in Spanish). I think she’s secretly interested.

Tomorrow we will catch up with Suelen who was an exchange student at my school in grade 12. I’m pretty keen to see her and she’s flying down from the Pantanal to meet us. We haven’t been in touch for 10 years so it’s pretty amazingly generous of her I reckon!

Also. Brazil smells nice. Rio in particular, but here too. I do have that heightened senses thing that I get sometimes, but it smells like pink Mentos tastes. I like it. On that weird note, I’m going to bed! Love ya all mucho!

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Day One Hundred and Thirty Seven: Christo Redentor (Part 2)

June 5, 2012

Weather: 33oC (still 28oC at 12:30am)
Money: $80

I love Rio. Honesty, it’s the coolest place ever. And we have to leave tomorrow, which is sad. But I’ll cope. Today we went back up to the big Jesus after the terrible cloud cover last time. I was a bit worried about getting there (last time was on a tour) but it was super easy. Local bus then the train up Corcovado!

When we got there, the view was amazing. Lisa was especially happy.

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And guess what we saw! Wow. This is the life!

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After finishing at Christ the Redeemer, we descended the mountain and had what may for ever be known as the best juice ever. For my Portuguese friends, it was a suco do morango e abacaxi, for my Spanish friends, a jugo de fresa y piƱa, and for everyone else, strawberry and pineapple, the best combination possible.

We did,some shopping and then ended up on Copacabana, in the sun. The water was so refreshing and it was very beautiful and glorious.

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And, one more event for the day: a farewell to our seven remaining group members from the tour. We got dinner together and then parted ways. It was sad, but we will see most of them soon in the UK.

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I like this happy photo: Amanda, Kirsty, Tom and Katie. Good kids.

Finito mis amigos!

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Day One Hundred and Thirty Six: Market and Ipanema

June 4, 2012

Weather: 30oC, amazing
Money: $35

What a day! The weather has been so amazing! Today we left our hostel with the prospect of finding three markets. The first and second ones turned out to be just regular shops which was pretty boring. However, the third market was really cool. Apparently it’s a hippy market. The stores had lots of bohemian looking clothing, jewellery, bags and epic art works. I wanted to buy one that was about 1.5 x 1.5 but decided it would be too big for my non-existent wall.

We ate lunch from a grocery store (cashews, yoghurt, fruit) and then went shopping on the way home.

This arvo we tried out the beach again in the hope of finding less waves. Hope and Lisa attempted swimming this time but they found the undertow a bit strong. The waves were also still massive.

Tonight we got dinner with five of our tour friends who are left over in Rio. I think tomorrow we are going to see if we can go up Christ the Redeemer again to see something other than this.

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That’s actually him. Crazy ay.

Ok. That’s all!

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Day One Hundred and Thirty Five: Copacabana

June 3, 2012

Weather: 27oC
Money: $70
Hours on a beach: 5

After a very cruisy start to the day, we ended up on the beach. We were all kitted up in our gear, ready to swim, but when we got there, the waves were massive and we were all too scared. So instead, we sat and read and had a picnic. It was lovely.

We also did some shopping and then walked from our beach at Leblon to Copacabana beach. It took about three hours with lots of stopping for shopping and views. We got dinner at Copacabana and then caught a cab home!

A very relaxing and enjoyable day! As Amanda would say, we are happy humans!

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Day One Hundred and Thirty Four: Christ the Redeemer

June 2, 2012

Weather: 26oC, hot but cloudy
Money: $100

Well, today was the day. Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain. I’ve finally made it! However. It was foggy and I only saw the Jesus statue for .3 of a second. Enough to get a quick snap though, which is lucky. I also got some other good fog photos where visibility is at zero!

So we booked a tour with the remainder of our group. It started with the Christ and the Corcovado mountain, then moved into the Santa Theresa neighbourhood. Then on to the Lapa Steps which were really really cool.

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We also got to see the Metropolitan Chapel which was an ultra modern building in the 70’s, and now it’s still a pretty impressive but slightly outdated building.

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Finally, we took a cable car up Sugar Loaf mountain which also had some great views. Fair to say, I love Rio!

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Oh, expect one bad thing happened. Tim and Leone on our tour (the fellow Tasmanians) had their stuff stolen from the hotel lobby while they were even in there. Apparently they were farewelling some of the others and someone walked in and pinched it. Annoying.

We had dinner on Copacabana today and tomorrow we are beaching it up. Woo!