Sampa, oww, low

Day 140 - São Paulo

Tears of frustration and pain lurked threateningly at the corners of my eyes. An overnight bus journey to South America's largest city had turned into a trip of torment. Whether it was my hours of walking the previous day or another, unknown cause I was in a bit of a sorry state. My right leg, from top to bottom, was a barely functional mass of discomfort. The muscles howled with indignation at every attempted movement. I shivered uncontrollably for several hours as the bus bisected São Paulo's vast suburbs and now I struggled to stand at the terminal as I waited for my bag. Porters descended on the bus, jostling in their hurry and running over my foot with their trollies. Eventually the crowds dispersed and I managed to retrieve my luggage. Doing my best to swallow self-pity I hobbled to a taxi and headed for a hostel Mike had recommended having arrived there the day before. Several hours of sleep proved somewhat restorative despite loud jazz music outside the room, screaming children in a school next door and pounding roadworks in the street!
Despite lacking any standout attractions and a rather shaky start (which I think I briefly mentioned?) my few days in São Paulo were enjoyable. After my afflicted limb had regained most of its strength and the shivers had stopped I was beset by a turbulent stomach and pounding headaches meaning I barely made it further than the hostel courtyard for the first 2 days. Thankfully I was staying with a sociable bunch of people who seemed to share my disinclination to stray far from the accommodation. We did make it down to the corner café where an amusing, improvised game was devised involving a small basket, a person's head and some scrunched up bits of greasy paper. Sadly it is probably too late to be included in the 2012 Olympics schedule. The following day I roused myself to serious movement by taking a walking tour of the sprawling metropolis with Rosa, a Dutch girl well versed in the art form of 'glitch' (I have no idea either). She had been to São Paulo many times so proved an able guide. Owing to my leg's fragility frequent stops for beer were an unfortunate necessity. We perused shops selling stuff and things, wondered at the compete absence of billboards, saw neatly dissected animals at the market and studied strange, cryptic graffiti plastering tall buildings. There was enough time for a detailed chat about chlamydia with a pair of Swedes back at the hostel before I had to get an overnight bus to Rio. Retrieving my bag from the hostel storage bunker I was saying my goodbyes when there was a tickling sensation on the back of my neck. A flick of my hand sent a cockroach flying to the ground, lovely. A circuitous route via bus and subway left me once again haring it through a terminal with minutes to spare. Thankfully if there is one thing reliable about South American buses it is the unreliability of their departure times. Next up - the marvellous city.

No comments:

Post a Comment