Monday, May 2

South America, Day Ten: Sao Paulo

Unlike other days, the 6am flight to Sao Paulo wasn't by choice. Still we embraced our destiny and hoped it would allow us for an early start in the big city. Fate had other ideas, and instead we got to the hotel around 10am. I suddenly realised that this wasn't the first time I had been to Sao Paulo - I had actually been here ten days ago, although it felt like weeks.

This was less of a problem than expected as we discovered how many of the museums and attractions in the city were closed on Mondays - and even if they weren't I wasn't able to see much to do around there. This was yet another vindication for being flexible with travel plans; we were already discussing our departure by lunchtime.

In terms of what we did see, well, the Cathedral was nice, as was the free views from the top of the Banespa Bank. Nevertheless, it seems that Sao Paulo can be skipped unless you're there for personal reasons. I could imagine having a good time if I had been there to doss with friends.

The lack of proper things to do did mean we started exploring other options including catching a local film. After considering a Hollywood flick (which I didn't see the point of doing) we came across a screen down the road from us that was playing Bollywood Dreams, a film in Portuguese about three Brazilian girls who go to India to make it in Bollywood. Given the circumstances, I didn't see how I couldn't watch it.

I didn't really understand a lot of it, but the girls in it were pretty so I enjoyed it anyway. Oh and that reminds me: I've noticed that Brazilians have the nicest hands and feet, something that is probably due to them choosing function over form. Girls from UK, please take note: no matter how pretty you think your shoes are, if they're mangling your toes then they're not worth it. And yes, I know how this last paragraph makes me sound.

The original exit plan was to rent a car and then drive up the coast to Rio, stopping off whenever we felt compelled to - pretty much in the same way a few friends of mine and I did in Spain, Geneva and Austria over the past couple of years. As amazing as that sounded, a combination of cost, time and traveller preference led to us choose a bus and single destination instead. And seeing as how the bus was leaving early, we decided to make it an early night; possibly the last of the trip considering how close we were to our final destination.

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