While we were in Ouro Preto we met an Aussie couple who had jacked their jobs to travel. Nice people and we wished them well on their travels when we left. Since leaving Ouro Preto we have been to Belo Horizonte and Petropolis and then to Paraty.
On our last day in Paraty we were sat on the beach reading when who should walk by? It’s a small world.
It seems we were leaving on the same bus the next day to Sao Paulo. We needed some cash so went to the local bank. Inside were about 6 ATM’s none of which would give us money. So we went to the next bank, then the next and the next. We realised we had formed a small conga line of people who couldn’t get money from Brazilian banks. Eventually we found a Banco de Brazil and it coughed up. Cheers all round.
Next morning we got up and made our way to the bus station. It was a 6 hour drive to Sao Paulo. As usual the bus was on time and we had an Executive coach. This has fewer seats so more leg room.
The drive was mostly along the coast road. Brazil has some fantastic beaches. If you are in to surfing and quiet white sand beaches then this is the place for you. The scenery was amazing. Beautiful sea and sand to the left and high mountains and jungle to the right.
We had a couple of stops on route and the journey went very smoothly. The coaches must be speed regulated because it was none of the maniac driving we’ve experienced in other countries.
The descriptions of Sao Paulo we had seen were accurate. As it came in to view so did the traffic jam. Fortunately it was in the opposite direction. There were more skyscrapers than you could ever count.
Our route in was clear and we arrived at the Tiete bus terminal. It’s the largest in South America. It was all very fine. Just one small problem. We needed to book our coach out for the next day to go to Campo Grande. Unfortunately that coach company only operate from Barra Funde bus terminal which is in another part of the city.
We decided to go to our hotel drop off the ruckies then head to Barra Funde. We jumped on the Metro which was really easy and got off at a stop somewhere near our hotel.
As usual maps bore no resemblance to the streets. As we looked puzzled a nice lady approached us and in perfect English asked if we needed help. Would you get that in London?
She told us our hotel was quite close but too far to walk with our ruckies. She pointed us to the taxi rank and we were soon in the back and on our way. A short cab ride and we were at the Hotel Maria de Madalena suites. We are quite impressed. We are in a nice part of the city albeit there is a padlock on the front gates. ‘Sao Paulo’ said the receptionist when we asked why?
We dropped off our bags and headed back to the metro to find Barra Funde bus station. Easy trip apart from 19 million people on the tube apparently all going the same way as us. Eventually we got to the station and found the bus company desk. We had checked seat availability the night before on the internet and only two people had booked seats, We doubled it to four!!
We probably could have just turned up on the day but we don’t like leaving things to chance. You can’t actually book on line unless you hold a Brazilian ID card number. The two men at the booking desk laughed as walked away. I expect they just thought stupid gringos. On the way back another chap saw us staring at the metro map and came and offered help. We were ok but it was a nice gesture.
Anyway we were soon back at our hotel and then wandered off to find a beer and a bite. 30 minutes , two beers, two toasted sarnies later we were about £30 lighter. It seems this area is expensive. Not everyone has to pickpocket you to rob you !!!
So it was off to the supermarket for some munchies and a bottle of red. Very nice it is too.
Tomorrow we have a 12 hour overnight bus trip to Campo Grande where we will do a tour into the Pantanal. We are looking forward to this despite the unbearable humidity and mosquitoes. Let’s hope for some great wildlife pics.
No internet for a few days I suspect so I’ll upload the pics when I can.