Sao Paulo

Thursday 24th December 2015

I slept in and woke up around 9.30am. Here was the room style of the hostel where I was staying called Viva Hostel Design:
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The locker
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The shower had a timer and each minute it would bip, reminding you that in a city of 11 million people, water was precious.
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View from the window.
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I went downstairs for brekky. It was a really nice setup.
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I had no plans for the day. I had hoped to catch-up with Mariana and Vanessa, the 2 very cool Brazilian girls I had met on the bus when going from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Rio Grande, Brazil. They had saved me from hunger when I had no Brazilian money yet and had paid for my lunch that day. I had really hoped to meet them today and invite them for a great Brazilian lunch in their homecity but they were actually living 1h30 away in the suburbs and preparing a Christmas Eve party for the evening so not the best day to see them! I chatted with people around. I met Kuthala, a really cool South-African girl and we decided to go explore Sao Paulo together.

By the time we shoot off, it was already 10.30am. We walked from the hostel to the tube station called Vila Madalena. That day we did a triangle. From Via Madalena tube station, we took the tube to Sao Bento and later took it again to a station located near Ibirapuera Park and walked from the station to the Park and then from the Park we headed back to the hostel.
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During our walk from the hostel to the Via Madalena tube, we saw lots of tags on the streets.

We got to the station.
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There was some poem inside the station.
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Waiting for the tube.
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The map of the tube system of Sao Paulo.
DSCF6954 (Medium).JPGFrom Vila Madalena station, we went to Paraiso, changed line and then went to Sao Bento.
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Inside the tube.
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We got out at Sao Bento station and started walking in the streets. There were huge buildings around us. After 6 weeks in Patagonia, I had forgotten how it felt to be in a huge city.
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We walked to the entrance of the Martinelli skyscraper. Kuthala had the LP of Brazil and had read that we could go to the top of the tower and have an amazing view from there. I was really glad she had ideas of what to do in Sao Paulo because I had really not looked into it at all. Unfortunately, it was Christmas Eve and the building was closed.
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It would have been pretty cool to go to the top of that building! I read afterwards that Martinelli was the first skyscraper built in Sao Paulo from 1922 to 1929 and was at a height of 106 meters.
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We walked a bit around the streets. Saw this newspaper kiosk.
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Lots of financial buildings.

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Banco de Sao Paulo
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We went inside this church called Mosteiro de Sao Paulo, an abbey which was founded in 1598 and which was constructed further around 1910.
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It was really beautiful inside.

We took the tube back in Sao Bento to Paraiso and from there walked towards the Ibirapuera Park. On the way, we grabbed some Brazilian food.
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We crossed this very busy huge highway to reach the park. So many lanes!
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We arrived at the entrance of the Ibirapuera Park.
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There were street sellers selling coconut water everywhere. I bought lots lots of that all day. I love coconut water! Khuthala didn’t like it and was wondering how I could drink so much of it, ahahah.
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Walking in the park.
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This park is huge and has so many museums. We had a very ambitious plan of checking out three of them. The weather was really hot and humid so hopefully museums could be a good option to escape the heat!
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A cool tag inside the park.
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There were very sporty people in the park, cycling and running.
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We spotted this photography exhibition on our way to the Afro-Brazilian museum.
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It was a beautiful exhibition called ‘War from the Victims’ Perspective’ from a Swiss documentary photographer called Jean Mohr who had shot for the Red Cross. He was now 90 years old and had seen and documented throughout his life so many victims of conflicts. His photos were striking, moving, shaking. He had an absolutely incredible eye and managed amazingly well to capture the essence of a moment. This exhibition was organised by the French “Musee de l’Elysee” and presented all over the world since 2013:

There is this really good 5-min footage about him talking about his work and these photos.

We continued towards the Afro-Brazilian museum but when we got there, we realised that it was also closed. Christmas’Eve is not the best day to visit a place!
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To comfort myself, I had another coconut water bottle, which made Kuthala open wide eyes! Again, another one!!! Are you nuts? She thought. 😀
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Christmas was in the air!
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Before to take the tube again, we bought some Brazilian jewels from local artists.

So many bells!
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So high buildings!
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Back in the tube again.
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At least the tube gallery was opened.
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We were back at Vila Madalena station and saw a few more tags. So many tags around here.

We were back at the hostel around 3.30pm and I had an hour and half to pack the backpack, have a shower and enjoy a last beer with her!

Here are a couple of photos of the Viva Design Hostel, a pretty cool place.

Photos of our last beer!
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And off I was to the airport at 5pm in a taxi for a plane to Zurich and then to Paris!