Dates April 22 – April 24 | Accommodation O de Casa Hostel
It begins! We arrived at the airport, did the necessary things (customs, bag collection, bathroom, getting money), then boarded the airport bus to the Tatuape metro without incident. After 2 subway transfers, we emerged on the street in the Pinheiros area of São Paulo. We arrived at our hostel and were greeted with welcome caipiriña, the national cocktail of Brazil. After dumping our bags and hiding our electronics (Arnold [the Asus] and Samuel [the Samsung]), which we named so we can discuss without drawing attention to them, obviously, we started exploring our neighborhood.
We walked to the metro with a couple we met in the hostel (record time for friend-making) and, taking the recommendations of the hostel man, we went to Avenida Paulista, a huge street closed off on Sundays. It was teeming with people – musicians playing everything from rock to reggae to electronic – with people dancing in the street. Bikers on red bikes in dedicated lanes zipped by. We saw a man selling pinwheels, people gripping orange balloons, children blowing massive bubbles, and cart after cart of steaming hot street corn. The people were just as diverse as the street’s activities; tattoos, colored hair, crazy clothing and nationalities from around the world. Here we made our third friend of the day, Netherlands Business Boy, when we paused to watch street dancing while vendors sold liquor by the plastic cup from styrofoam coolers on the street. About three minutes later we left our new friend (we are not really friends), stopped in a mall to utilize free wi-fi for navigation, and continued on to see the sunset.
Praca Por do Sol
On our way we passed some more amazing street art (tons of street art in São Paulo) and a sketchy man until we reached our destination – a park aptly named Sunset Park. We made our way up the super-steep hill to a breathtaking view. São Paulo stretched out in 3 directions, with groupings of buildings from the sprawling city backlit by the sun as it slowly went down. Vendors selling potentially-opened beer lined the park, individuals walked around selling what may have been drugs in shoe boxes, and people from teens to families gathered as the sun went down behind the city.
We were getting hungry as we had not eaten since breakfast on the flight at 7:30am (hobo alert!), so we ate at a place near our hostel called Santa Theresa which was authentic and had large portions. We selected an unknown meal as we couldn’t read the menu and no one spoke English or Spanish. Luckily it tasted good. We ordered one meal and shared and the cheapest beer available to remain in budget. Instead of ordering water, we waited until back at the hostel to drink the filtered water for free.
We were pretty deranged by then having not slept much on the plane, so we headed back. When we arrived at our hostel there was rogue/wet men’s underwear hanging off my bed. *More on São Paulo in next post
Miles Walked 8.2 | Money Spent $14.67 each
Money–Saving Tricks | Walked a lot (free); Shared dinner; Skipped lunch; Did not buy bottled water; used towels we brought rather than renting from hostel.
Safety Tips | Hide important items in hostel rather than bringing with you; hold bag close to body and in front; ensure sketchy people aren’t following you (look back after they pass inconspicuously); don’t buy unknown items from street vendors.