Dan & I arrived tired into Sao Paulo after our long night bus from Florianopolis & took a taxi to Pousada Zilah where we were staying in Sao for our 1 nt. We were booked into a nice 4 bed room which had a great layout for the 4 of us.
After lots of time catching up & Linds giving me my birthday presents (Thanks M&D, Linds & Jen & Amy!!), the guys went down to the cafe to get something to eat & have a drink – then after quite a bit more catching up & getting ready Linds & I joined the guys. We headed out to explore our neighbourhood – which was called Jardins and was THE nicest neighbourhood in Sao Paolo. We had heard lots of stories about some Sao Paulo neighbourhoods not being safe after dark & had been warned that the business district after dark and on weekends was a place we should stay away from. After hearing stories about kids with rusty knifes looking for cell phones & money from a local in Sao Paulo we decided to book our accommodation in Jardins. There were tons of shops! Most importantly a Havaianas store – where Linds & Joe promptly each bought themselves a pair. There was also every high end name brand you could think of – Louis Voutton, Marc Jacobs , etc – none of which are in a backpackers budget, but nice for window shopping. Our first day together we spent exploring, eating local Brazilian food, introducing Linds & Joe to caipirinhas (a Brazilian speciality) & then called it an early night since we were all beat from the overnight trips to get there - L&J’s being slightly more exciting than ours, including Linds almost not making it to the airport because Amy’s car was having a meltdown, Joe arriving to the wrong terminal in Toronto, a small explosion at Pearson airport, being moved to a different flights to transfer thru Newark instead of Houston, getting stuck with crappy seats because they hadn't been able to pre-check in for their new route... but they made it!
On our second day in Sao Paulo we rushed to check out & get breakfast and then headed out to see more of the city. Since it was the weekend we didn’t really want to head into the city after the stories we heard. We decided to head to a park to walk around. On the way there we passed a nice cupcake shop & I grabbed one for myself since I figured it might be my only chance for a Birthday ‘cake’. It was delicious! We also passed street markets where we watched them make fresh coconut & sugar cane water for people. Joe grabbed a nice carne (meat) pastry to try – then we headed for the park.
Unlucky for me on our way over I managed to walk out of one of my havaianas – the plastic part between my toes had actually come apart! Lucky for me I was with 2 boy scouts – between Dan & Joe & the hairpin they stole from Linds’ hair my sandal was temporarily fixed! We managed to make it to the park, but it was a gloomy day – not one for sitting around in the park, but we did explore one of the many museums that was within the park – the African Art Museum. We then headed back near our Pousada to eat ( we tried to get to a different neighbourhood, but between pointing on the map & mentioning streets to our cab driver we ended up back closer than we planned). After dinner we hung out at the Pousada a bit before heading to the bus station for our overnight bus to the port town of Angres dos Reis to get to the much anticipated island of Ilha Grande – fingers crossed it wouldn’t be raining there!