Everyone said avoid it....
Sao Paulo Travel Blog› entry 14 of 123 › view all entries
I had a relaxing day getting out of Campo Grande ready to get to Sao Paulo - said my goodbyes to Karen and Andy, who were great fun. They were heading off down to Iguacu, so I gave them a few tips to help them along the way! I decided to fly to Sao Paulo as I nabbed a flight for £75 which wasn't bad and saved me a 14-16 hour bus journey. Left it a bit late to get to the airport and panicked when the local bus still hadn't turned up with an hour an 20 mins til my take off...so a local guy suggested I get a moto-taxi - christ that was scary!! getting on the back of a motorbike with a 20kg backpack strapped to my back....mmm, I didn't feel 100% safe, although of course the driver assurred me it was!! anywho, the flight took just an hour and a half so that was cool.
Sao Paulo is an enormous place....just gigantic. From the airport I took the local bus to get to a tube station (R$3.65) and I then had to get three different tube trains to get to the Vila Madalena district where I was staying - what a mission! Took me about an hour and a half and it was dark when I eventually turned up at Casa Club hostel. Got chatting the girls in my dorm (Alice, Jen and Kayleigh from Hampshire) who were coming to the end of their travels - most people seem to end up by flying out of Rio to get back to the UK.
The hostel was pretty lively downstairs and hung out with Caroline (from the States) and some Brazilian girls she knew - Charlene and Si-Se who were both great fun! Great to meet some local people who have such a passion for their city and for Brazil - got some very good tips for places to see and things to eat! They got me trying my first (very strong) Caprinha - which was cachaca (tastes a bit like tequila), lime and sugar - bloody strong....woooo! A few of those sure gets you going I can tell you!! It ended up being a pretty late night even though we were just chilling out & chatting and the DJ at the hostel was spinning some decent tunes (although it was a random cocktail of 70s/80s/current/dance/r&b etc etc).
On sunday, a few people mentioned that it was the Gay Pride parade in Sao Paulo - apprently the biggest in the world - I believed when we got there, absolutely loads of people (they estimated 2 million) lining the streets, partying and having a good time. We got right in the middle of the action in between the floats etc - it was a free-for-all - people groping us, loud music, crazy dancing, the lot! The girls felt a bit uncomfortable and I must admit I was outside my comfort zone!! We stayed til about 5pm when it started to get messy with everyone drunk etc - big crowd surges started to make it pretty dangerous. So we made our way back and then cooked a meal at the hostel - great fun, about 15 of us cooking and drinking wine, was a great night, what I love about staying in hostels. Tomorrow, off to Paraty on the coast!
- In SP, use the metro as its cheap, safe and clean - buses are difficult to understand and not so safe at night (apparently). One metro ride costs R$2.30.
- Getting to Paraty from SP is easy - four buses a day with Reunidos Paulista company - they have an office at the main Rodoviaria. Cost was R$41.50 one-way - buses were spread over the day (one left at 8am, another at 12.15pm etc).