A Travellerspoint blog

Serra de Cantareira and As velhas Restaurant

good resort to get away from stone jungles in SP

So in one of the days of what i can call already a routine during my stay in SP , i got away to Serra de Cantareira, honestly, in SP, if you stay there for long, there is nothing left to do, except visiting places you already been to, which is not really traveling, but living, or going to parties, so i didn't miss chance to get away.
Serra de Cantareira is the name for a mountain ridge and an area around it, it have some village communities, very nice nature and i got at last a breath of quite different atmosphere.

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After looking for our final destination for 30 minutes we got there, to magnificent restaurant. I haven't ate such a good food for cheap anywhere in the world, I can swear on holy bible on it, i really can, if you will be around Serra de Cantareira, go there ! i suggest you, i strongly suggest you, it is pleasure you won't actually forget so fast. Name of Restaurant As velhas
You pay only 26R$ which is 14$US and you can eat all the food in there and they have a lot, and not cheap, tasteless grass-like mass, but cooked like in descent restaurant, It is first place in the world that i`ve been to , i officially announce that which have descent, good, tasty food in a self service industry. Maybe i exaggerate a little bit, of course there are nice self serivices somewhere out there, but i haven't been there hehe :)

So look at those photos they talk better than words.

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Inside, doesn't look like cheap service food doesn't it
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And the food mmmmmh.

Awesome :)
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Look at the variety and quality of veggies, respect to people woh run this place

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Look at this bread, i mean i`ve been a lot to different cultures, i lived in Australia, been to Asia, Africa, ate in every country in europe, everywhere i ate, i tried bread. but this will stay in my mind as the best bread i have ever ate, it should cost 1$ a piece in my opinion and you can eat as much of it as you want, i asked cook to buy one piece for me to take away, but it was still preparing.
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This is the one thing you actually pay for 6$R per plate

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I wish there were more restaurants like that in world, it's quietness reminds me of some places in Chezh republic, or good Latvia countryside restaurants.

This place turns out to be a small museum as well if you wanna do little exploring :)
(pics coming shortly)

The area where restaurant is situated has some shops, Cacaca shop, Brazilian tequila or w/e it is 40% strong, ewww. Too much for me :)

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Posted by vanbest 03:51 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Farewell party

Last day of Conquering the Paradise

So there i was, walking back home after Batizado, proudly wearing my yellow belt ahead of me there was last big party in Brazil and behind me there were 84 days of unforgettable experience and i just wanted get drunk.
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My doctor said, don't drink beer nor wine, since my jaw was broken after fight, and i have 12 titanium bolts in my jaw, and i followed his advice for 83 days, but what the hell, it`s my last day here, i will try Brazilian beer, i had to undergo another operation on jaw anyway.
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And there i am drunk,this party was so much different than the first one, i had in Brazil, i couldn't talk at all, i didnt knew anybody and here i am now talking Portuguese with all new friends :) I came a long way and it was good.
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On this day there was biggest rain in sao paulu in last few years, some blocks got under water, so about half of invited people couldn`t reach us.
It was a god crying that i was leaving Brazil.

Posted by vanbest 03:21 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Batizado de Capoeira

My first accomplishment in Brazil

Finally, after 3 months of hard training, on November 25th I had a chance to participate in Batizado; an event that takes place every year in Capoeira school where i was training where all students have chance to attain next level in Capoeira. The atmosphere at Batizado is so amazing, unique, actually indescribable with words. I can compare vibrations floating in the air with mass in church. It really feels like a ritual that tune you to some perspective of the world.
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For information Capoeira is a martial art originated in Africa and Brazil, It combines, singing, dancing, acrobatic movements, some hits and playing various musical instruments.
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This event was leaded by the master of the school, Mestre Aberre of Aberre Capoeira school. Ceremony lasted for about 4 and a half hours, after about 40 min of warming up, which was really intense already, we stayed around roda (the circle) clapped our hands, watched the more experienced capoeristas dance, then belt inauguration ceremony started, guys who were eligible for next level, were supposed to play dance with the master and between each other of the same level. there were a lot of different levels there, so my group waited about 2 hours for our turn, standing, singing and clapping hands.
So finally our master put our new belts around our waists and fun began!
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I did some serious martial arts training in my life before like military ju jutsu, the same that special forces in army undergoes, and others martial arts training, getting up to 18 trainings per week, thats about 3 traings a day on average, so my organism is prepared for long, exhausting trainings i dont even notice 1 training in capoeira or 2 hour tennis game, but here, i dont know why, i was just falling of my feets when i danced, i guess emotional and physical effort that we put in, was enormous.
So finally there i am, legitimate holder of the first level belt in Capoeira :D
Congratulate me :)
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After Batizando ended, everyone went to a pub, but i couldn't go awww, because i arranged a farewell party for me in a different place, since tomorrow was my last day in Brazil.

Posted by vanbest 02:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Sao Paulo

stone jungles

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4th biggest city in the world. Without 1 major center, SP is a business city, 2nd in the world by amount of private helicopters after New york.
Brazilians spend their times, by working, doing barbecues on weekends, going to cinema, museums, football matches, dancing samba, shopping, living their life off just everywhere else. Since i spent hell of time in SP i indulged my self with all listed above and i`l like to to point out activities i had during my stay SP.
Every weekend barbecue - thats obvious, Capoeira, i grew more fond it every day, shopping, honestly i don't know why, i bought 15 pairs of jeans in SP.
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Major shopping centers are Ibirua Puera shopping, Bras where you will see all little shops, and stands outside, occupies 15 blocks
Mercadao Area, the same occupies about 10 blocks, of course there are a lot more than just those, but those are the major and most famous.
Prices in SP, 1$ USA = 2.12 - 2.19 Brazilian reals $R the rate of their currency was changing that fast because of president elections that was taking place when i was there.
So metro costs 2.10$R
good lunch will cost you 15$R you can eat hamburger at Bras for 1$R but i wouldn't do it :) though 3-4$R hamburgers were just fine.
T-shirts from 10-20$R, jeans, 40-100R$ for non brand ones.
If you want to buy a car, don't do it in Brazil, they are so expensive there, 2-3 more times expensive than in my country, i dont know why..
In Europe for example new A6 costs 70000$US, now probably cheaper, and in Brazil it costs 150000$US
Hotels, 50-60$R 2-3 star hotels all around SP, appartament in a secured area with security, pool, sauna and other activities will cost you up to 1500$R a month, thats without furniture, you can get apartments in casual house, that just has apartments and without all these services for about 600-800R$ a month. so if you are staying in SP for a long time its a good idea to rent one.
Museums; Pinacoteca it has all kind of Brazilian painters, Ipiranga the house of royal family in SP, Rio has a better one since it was capital in Imperial Brazil, Ipiranga is not a best area, so just watch out there, you cannot make photos or movies inside museum, but i made some, until guard caught me hehe
MASP: it has example of very fine art of such artists as Cezannes, Toulouse-Loutrec, Van Gogh and others, rumor is this museum is in a very bad shape, due to low funding.
In streets close to Av.Paulista there are lots of bars and discotheques if you`re interested, SP is huge, there are probably a lot of best bars and places to choose from, i can't really give names, because i don't remember :)
Cathedral de Se, biggest cathedral in SP.
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Municipal theater it has quite low admission fee and has a lot of shopping around it
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Liberdade, Japanese quarter, some people living there don't even speak Portuguese, you can buy lot of Japanese stuff there, like sushi, katanas and anything else.
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Patio de Colegio, Colegio Square with probably oldest church in Brazil where first mass Christian mass took place, around this area you can get to the top of some building and get a nice view.
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Praca de republica on weekends, artist gather around there selling their paintings, for 500-600$R they can make a painting of you 150x100cm. And it is quite great, he will ask for your photo, and 2 weeks. Also this place has a lot merchant that sell lots of accessories;eg bracelets, necklaces, apparel and souvenirs
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All these places reachable from city center, Avenida Paulista in 10 minutes max by subway. Patio de Colegio, 25 de marcio, Praca republica, Cathedral de Se and Liberdade are all in the city center, you can get to Sao Bento metro and just explore it all, easy to move around, just ask policeman or vendor for a name and he will point you direction.
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Ibira Puera Park, must visit site, huge, awesome park with museums, attractions, bike rentals, thousands of people on weekends, etc.. i have separate blog entry about it.
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SP has 4 football stadiums, I went to one of them to Palmeiras - Botofogo game probably team names won't tell you much, but Brazilians love their football, obviously.. I learned so many bad words that day standing on tribunes, hearing 25000 people shouting son of B.... in Portuguese when someone missed a pass or made a mistake.
They have special songs they sing to discourage the opponent team and fans, you can buy bear and concentrate on it if you feel bored as i did, honestly it was my 2nd time on football game, first one was in Rio in Maracana, by the chance it was also a Botofogo - something else game, and i didn't really enjoyed it, so we left after first half, but here ihad to stay, because i came with a lot of Brazilian friends so i had to stay with them, so i did in cold heavy rain that lasted for 50 minutes and of course i did not had umbrella with me, so you can imagine how i felt, though i enjoyed the energy of the mass, when someone scored, whole stadium exploded with energy and you feel very much in action.
You see those guys on photo; they stop every 5th car or a bus for a minute, surround your car completely, sing a hymn of their team, while about 40 hands pumping your car with palms. Nobody seem to object though, i imagine what kind of reaction first day tourist would have if he have gotten him self in this situation hehe
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I know who lives in those houses :D
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SP Zoo, I wasn't amazed honestly, feels like in any other zoo in the world, nice place spend a day, about 50 min from centre of SP by car in 2 hours you can see whole place.
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honestly after visiting everything possible in Sao Paulo i grew quite tired of it honestly, to visit SP is a great place, but to live i prefer Rio

Posted by vanbest 22:48 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Use sun protector in Brasil !

It's worth it !

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So one night, before i bought ear plugs, my friend was snorting so loud, i couldn't fall asleep all night and in the morning i told him i`m going out and totally pissed went to Ibira Puera Park where i decided to sleep for 4-5 hours, I just found a bench in park and fall asleep, when i woke up, i felt quite all right, but closer to evening i started to feel funny, my friends were telling you`re so red, i said its no problem at all, im gonna be black in a few days, closer to midnight, my body started shaking, so i put some alcohol on it, i didn't really wanted to do it, but my friend suggested it to me. oh well, i must say i didn't sleep this night as well, my body was all cold and shaking, and i couldn't feel my legs, like i could move then no problem, but the feeling was as if i didn't have them.
Next morning my face was a huge red balloon, i got lots of laughs from friends with that. I was doing sunbathing almost every day to get tan, but after that episode all my efforts were lost for nothing, i lost all my color, and couldnt go to sun again for a week or so at all..I believe there are other ignorant people like me hehe, so guys buy sun protection there it costs 15$R, protection 4 is good for sunbathing, if you plan to stay a lot in sun, like all day use protection 15.
This happened in October, when sun weak by Brazilian standards, imagine what it feels like there in January

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Posted by vanbest 22:27 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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