Thursday, 8 November 2007


After leaving Ilha Grande we stopped for a day at Parati on the way to Sao Paulo. It was a nice way to break up the long bus journey, but Parati, touted by tourist guides as an “old historical town” was somewhat disappointing. We walked around and had a lovely dinner, but in the end there was not much to see there.
The next day we took the 6 hour bus journey to Sao Paulo. The city was actually a bit of a surprise. It was a bit of a concrete jungle, but at the same time it felt fairly safe (unlike Rio) and quite European. To prove the point we even had a meal at McDonald's! It also seemed like a city of contrasts with some expensive restaurants and hotels and a lot of homeless on the streets. Overall a much more positive experience than what we expected.
On Sunday we left the city on an overnight bus to Florianopolis – the home of the Brazilian Ironman race. Except that, as it turned out, the race does not actually take place in Florianopolis, but in the North part of the Santa Caterina Island with the start on the lovely beach of Jurere. 4 days on the Santa Caterina Island passed very quickly with long walks on some of the best surfing beaches the island has to offer and relaxing in our Pousada on the Santinho Beach. The highlight of these 4 days was our rental bike trip to Jurere along the Ironman race course, swim on the lovely beach and lunch at the upmarket Jurere town centre.
The Ironman course seems like it could be quite tough with some fair chop in the swim, a rolling bike course and a touch, hilly run in the heat. I’m not sure if I would go back to do it one day though – it’s a long journey and there are probably more appealing races to go to closer to home. It was great to see all the places, though.
Oh, almost forgot to mention – there was a big marathon on the island on Sunday…, unfortunately we arrived on Monday, otherwise no doubt I would have wanted to do it – just for fun…
Instead I’ve had to settle form my daily 12 km run in the morning.

See you.

Alex & Mike.


This evening I've also discovered that in my Portuguese pronunciation whenever I was asking for a B&B I was actually saying “big ass”! Not cleaver…

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