Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sao Paulo, Santos, Surf, and Sunscreen (ouch!)

We arrived in Sao Paulo on Wednesday morning to a warm and sunny day. We took a bus downtown to a hostel which was located near Paulista Ave, the main dowtown street. Sao Paulo is an enormous metropolis that spreads out a long distance. We stayed in the Italian neighbourhood. Our first hostel stay was comfy and in walking distance to downtown, restaurants, and parks. To explore a bit, we took our books with us to the city´s biggest park: Parque do Ibiraquera. We had a leisurely afternoon strolling in the park, eating popscicles, and adjusting to the heat- life is rough on the road! We also learned an important lesson in Sao Paulo: how to order beer: uma cervja por favour (just one because they are big!).

Two nights in the big city was enough for us for now, so we called up our friend Paulo who was an exchange student at York with us. He is from a town called Santos, about an hour away from Sao Paulo. The bus ride there was breathtaking. We wound our way through the mountains, switchbacking on a road that overlooked a valley of lush rainforest. Our first glimpse at this Brasilian landscape has us excited to explore it more in the coming months. Paulo picked us up at the bus station in Santos which is a city of 450 thousand located on the southern coast of the country. Santos is known for its long history with the coffee trade and also for its 8km beach. It is also the largest port in Brasil. We are also staying with Paulo and he has been very hospitable not only in welcoming us into his home but also showing us around town and teaching us some portugese. Yesterday and today we woke up early to get to the beach in time for our first surf lessons! Paulo belongs to a surf school and they took good care of us. We were both able to stand up and catch some waves on both days, hang loose! We both liked it so much that we will be sure to rent boards at other beaches and hope we have the same kind of luck as we did here in Santos.

We will be leaving Santos in a couple days and moving up the coast towards Rio de Janeiro. On the way we will be making a couple stops at some favourite Brazilian beaches. Up next, we have our sights set on Parati.


  1. Post some pictures please - we'd love to see some of what you're seeing.

  2. unkie chris and rebecca - it sounds like you are having fun in the sun so far! yeah for surfing!
    i've been practicing rolling over this week and almost have it mastered. sitting up is still tricky but i'm trying really hard. i'm sleeping 10 hours in a row for my mom and dad at night which makes them very happy.
    ever since you were at our house the other day, all my dad can talk about is riding his motorcycle - thanks a lot!
    miss you tons.
    smiles and kisses,
    gracie xxoo
    i want to see pictures too.