Thursday, August 24, 2017

RTW #4 Brazil

Sao Paulo and the rain
The rain greeted us all day long as we took the sanctuary of our house stay with Mamma Lou. She's so accommodating and though it is hard to speak with her due to the language barrier. Our first day not being to converse in portuguese was indeed a struggle.

The cold has settled in our nerves that my brother started to get sick. But I'm tough as a horse so I didn't get sick. Going to grocery without internet is a struggle as we do not know exactly where to go, what to expect. But sometimes common sense works better without the dependency on internet. 

The conversion is killing us too. because everything in Brazil is expensive. Coming from Philippines, Indonesia, India and Kenya. This is a major uplift in our budget. I did account for it but my brother converts every single thing and ends up not buying much. Oh well! At least he did have some organic savings that he can use later one when I leave him here. LOL

Raining profusely so all we can do is to manage our time and figure out where to go in lieu of Rio de Janiero. Yes, we did have to collectively decide about not going. First, we hired a car and we think that the road is unsafe and parking is out of the question knowing how massively chaotic it is in Rio. Second, as mentioned chaos resulting from unpaid local police to keep the order. Finally, drugs everywhere and violence is a result. News about tourist being killed has stamped the final decision not to go.

As an alternative, a friend I met on the plane to Sao Paulo messaged me and said that Florianopolis is a nice place. And so we did...

Mamma Lou and the housemates
During our long stay with Mamma Lou (the Airbnb host), we met a lot of locals staying with her. First can I just say how beautiful the place of Mamma Lou is. And how she is like a warm-hearted mother who takes care of her young children. That's how we are treated here. Plus the location is super safe and nice neighbourhood over the hill. She makes us really really great good strong coffee and she takes gives us medicine. Me my sprain and my brother for his super headache.

I met Marcel who stays in the house every week except for weekends. He is on sumkinda secondment as he come from farther place in the outskirts of SP. Then this is the super cool techy guy, Gustavo with the braces that suits his personality. He is really funny especially when he laughs. Full of enthusiasm and charisma. No wonder he excels at his work. He come from beautiful beachside city somewhere in the west of Brazil, different state that is. And finally a girl I should call Francesca (something like that, or at least it suits her beautiful face). She is due to get married soon and her fiance is working somewhere in SP and she is spending time in Airbnb to relax and of course, to shop.

We all blended pretty well and I think everything just fell in to place and we get a bit of the brazilian culture and hospitality that is unparalleled.

Getting connected...
Vivo was the answer and this brought us to places where we wanted to go. From Se Cathedral. Teatro Municipal. to the Shopping Mall. And just anywhere our feet take us. Plus Metro train and bus are so connected. It feels like living in First World country really. Too bad politics and corruption is worse that it slows down the progress of a promising nation.

Checking gndr and you know what I'm talking about. The almost thrilling and what I've been hoping for. But too bad i can't be out and about.  I'm in Brazil for crying out loud! nuff said. Too frustrating. next!

Foz do Iguacu
This is the highlight of Brazil, really. I've never seen something so beautiful and its all natural. I decided to take a helicopter ride after my brother said that I only will be here once. I owe to myself. And I did. The quickest 10 minutes of my life. Everything was just like I am holding my breath for a second and later I want to ask myself if I really did see it. It was the most amazing display of so many falls put together, interconnecting with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. This is a monster of a falls. The devil's throat is the highlight. The thunderous sound when I got upclose the next day that just brought the drama into a big roar of climax. The experience is just amazing. I was all drenched from the mist, sweat and tears of joy.

Cataratas Iguacu Falls is 1km away from Hotel Colonial where we stayed. It is highly recommended. I would have stayed 2 nights here, only so I can also cross boarder to Argentina and see the other side. I heard its quite a hike and you seen many many falls too. But Brazil has the best panoramic experience compared to Argentina's real feel with the falls.

Floripa and all its beautiful good people
We stayed here for a full 4 days. It wasn't too much but given that it was raining, at least we did get a chance of getting a day with the fullness of the sun. It was well spent. We went to the beautiful pristine beach. Tried lots of local food. From acai, to which I am now addicted. I loved tapioca as a toppings too. And of course the super sweet Brigadiero. Finally, the meat. Churrasco. who would say no?!

The best time in Floripa is not just because it was a perfect island escape. But the people. Yes our Airbnb host is just so lovely. Their massive labrador is my best friend, hugs me all the time. The small terrier is friendly too but he was just too much to handle. Our host, Alessandra was super lovely. She cooked for us. Invited all her friends, neighbour and relatives to meet us. Her boyfriend, Mike is so awesome. He sings for us. Talk to us about the life in Brazil. Our official translator. And he is also our free tour guide. If I have luxury of flying back, will definitely meet with my new family in Brazil. Their hospitality is from the heart. I will cherish it forever! Obrigado.

My last night in Brazil
Finally my last night in Brazil is just to look for the super huge POM-POM snack. Forgot the name but it looks like there is a small blue dog in the label. To look for PACQUITO as well. I love these. If you are in Brazil, I will pay double, triple, whatever it costs to taste these two again!! We spent good enough time in Publico Mercado to look for local treat and take photos of the local town of Floripa.

I recall in Sao Paulo the next day. I did not do much. Just rested and chat with Mamma Lou. He had a new coffee drip machine. Which I want to buy one too. The coffee is just so good in Brazil. I boarded my uber soon and waited at the lounge for my domestic transfer to Rio. I am glad I have the luxury of using my Gold card and fly Avianca.

Later that night, Rio was just so mean to me.. From the super long walk to my "Airport Hotel". To missing brekkie. Overcharging hotel. Sleeping for 2-3 hours. To no YB anywhere except when I walk 10 minutes of the hotel. How ridiculous? Oh well. I felt I was in Rio but who cares. I will see you some other time when you've tamed yourself. Haha.

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