São Paulo

ihana.com - big trip - diary - brasil - november 2002


O Tropico of Capricornio

River Tiete and its 14 lane motorway

Towers as far as you can see in every direction

Friday 29 - Saturday 30 November

Friday afternoon and we were landying alongside the river Tiete, which cuts through São Paulo and is bordered by massive concrete motorways, up to seven lanes in each direction, one going in either direction each side of the river of black ming. This is the main artery of the city and is being dredged by lots of diggers which float along on barges, dumping the contents of the river bottom onto the bank, partly paid for by the Japs.

By a bit of luck and some wicked navigating we managed to find 4auto4, the Old Man Emu distributor in the city, hoping to get some new shock absorbers. Claudio is the boss there and he gave us the bad news that the US head of OME Jim Jackson, said we couldn't have more new units under warranty as we had already had some in Panama. Our disappointment was tempered by Claudios generosity in giving us some of his old stock Warn Black Diamond units, plus some wicked new micro FF Hella spotlights, all for free! We're not sure how long the diamonds will last, but if they break soon then we have our eyes on some rebuildable racing OME shocks with a separate pressurable unit which look well wicked, only $150 each too.

Claudio and his winches at 4Auto4

Luiz and his doris at The Specialist

Plenty of Guinness later

Armed with our new toys, some information about the city and a phone book with an essential street map, we headed to the upmarket Jardins area and found a cheap but well appointed apartment to be our home for the weekend. A swiss DJ doris who we had met in Rio had put our names on the guestlist of a club in Vila Olympica where she was playing that night. Hers was the first set so we went down there early (midnight) but the club still wasn't open so we had a few beers in a nearby bar and rocked in later. DJ swissy was warming up LOV.E nicely, when she finished she invited us to another place, promising it to be even better. We took a taxi to Xingu only to be sorely disappointed by the frilly decor, single sex toilets and infeasably high percentage of homosexual men among the clientele. Thanks luv.

Emergency tequila...

...and weird guitars in LOV.E

Xingu, according to Vogue magazine...

...SP's best kept secret - best it stays that way!

On Saturday we had a wander about the posh Jardins area, coming across the Britto art gallery, a Brasilian artist who started with nothing on the streets of Salvador and has done very well for himself with his unusual style. Some of his pieces were going for far more than the price of a two year trip around latin america in a landy. Afterwards we caught the metro into the centre for a look around. The metro is the usual fast and safe mode of transport with a quite un-brasilian style of queueing up within lines painted on the platform. We had a good look around the centre including taking in the cityscape from near the top of the Italia tower. Unfortunately the best views are from the restaurant which has a $10 cover charge for entering, so we craned our heads out through the venitia blind style wind-deflectors from the corridor instead.

Wicked Britto stuff...

...if you've got $20,000

We met up with Claudio again on Saturday for a most pleasant evening in his favourite Irish bar, which served Guinness, Beamish and Old Speckled Hen amongst others, plus has a disco tucked away upstairs. We enjoyed the sights and swapped occasionally landy based stories until the small hours.

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