From Carnival in São Paulo to the Beaches of Guarujá, Brazil

Delays, cancellations, and sleep deprived, we arrive just in time to attend Carnival in São Paulo before relocating to the the relaxing beaches of Guarujá.

We’re going to Carnival in Brazil! We have a celebratory drink at the Pittsburgh International Airport while we wait to board our flight. On schedule, we land in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 4:00pm. Only a quick layover is between us and our flight to Brazil…we think.

Pittsburgh.png
Pittsburgh International Airport

After boarding and deplaning twice, a cancelled flight, spending the night sleeping in the corner of a deserted gate of the Atlanta airport, fourteen hours later we are on our way to São Paulo-Guarulhous International Airport.

We land in São Paulo around midnight and after an hour taxi ride arrive at our friends’ home. Opening the front door we are greeted with hugs, beer, and a ride to carnival. Ecstatic and delirious, we quickly take our luggage inside, change, and are on our way to Anhembi Sambadrome.

Carnival

We arrive into a sensory overload of confetti, music, dancing, drinking, cheering, an endless line of floats with elaborate costumes, feathers and vibrant colors. We take some photos of our favorite floats ranging from royal frogs and cupids to the Brazilian soccer team, Palmeiras.

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo

Carnival Sao Paulo

Carnival Sao Paulo

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

The Portuguese celebration begins every year the Friday before Ash Wednesday continuing until noon on Ash Wednesday. São Paulo began holding their own Carnival celebration in nineteen ninety-one. Samba schools compete to attract famous musicians and television stars to top their elaborate, themed floats. Each night’s festivities continue early into the next morning.

Just before sunrise, we take one last look at the extravagant parade as our carnival experience comes to an end. Tomorrow, we leave for Guarujá.

Guarujá

The scenery on the ride to Guarujá is filled with vibrant greens as we drive by mountains, forests, lush vegetation, and the occasional favela. As we get closer to the coast, the smell the salt water fills in the air.

Guaruja.png
A beach in Guarujá, Brazil

Slightly overcast as we walk to the beach, we don’t expect much of a crowd. As the ocean comes into view, we are dumbfounded by the masses of umbrellas, beach chairs, and people. With no room to walk along the sand, we maneuver to the water walking knee deep in the ocean searching for a less crowded area.

Guaruja
A beach in Guarujá, Brazil
Guaruja.png
A beach in Guarujá, Brazil

Our persistence pays off and we find an opening to lay our beach towels at the far end of the beach. A stunning backdrop of mountains and thick vegetation surround the ocean. After a relaxing day at the beach, we pack up our towels and begin the walk back. Smelling something delicious, we stop at a cart in the ocean with waves crashing against its wheels, selling hot, roasted corn.

Carnival Sao Paulo.png
Sausages, tapioca crepes, and skewers of grilled chicken hearts. 

During our stay we eat very well dining on delicious homemade Brazilian cuisine, fresh bakery items, and experiencing an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. Getting accustomed to the late mornings, we awake around 11:00am to an abundance of tapioca crepes, fresh fruit, strong coffee, breads, cheeses, and lunch meats. For an after breakfast snack, plates of chicken hearts and sausages, followed by lunch, dinner, a second dinner, and a late night snack. Coxinhas, a water droplet shaped ball of dough containing shredded chicken battered and fried, Pao de Quijo, cheese filled bread balls, or Pastels, deep fried pockets of cheese and meats, similar to a empanadas are eaten during at least one of the meals throughout the day.

Sao Paulo.png
Sky Restaurant and Bar, São Paulo, Brazil

We return to São Paulo, for a breathtaking view of the city below at the sophisticated Skye Restaurant and Bar, followed by a night of dancing and caipirinhas.

Traveling Gingerbread Note: Flip flops are not permitted in most São Paulo dance clubs.

Sao Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil

As we wait to enter a club, a bouncer informs me I am not permitted inside wearing flip flops. There are no exceptions to the dress codes posted outside. After several shoe exchanges, I enter wearing four sizes too large, five inch high heels.

Carnival Sao Paulo.png

We cannot thank our Brazilian family enough for their generous hospitality, the delicious meals, and an unforgettable experience. Obrigado!


February 2015

Advertisements

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

My fiancé, Mitch, and I have been traveling together over four years. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, PA, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, and experiences to maximize our time. Any time we travel, we try to visit to a local brewery and can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. 
 In Tokyo, we laughed every time we saw someone talking on their large, animated phone case. We had to buy one. Having an obsolete IPhone 5, the selection was limited. We purchased a gingerbread off a neglected rack in Shinjuku, Tokyo and The Traveling Gingerbread was born. You can purchase your own adorable gingerbread friend here! The Traveling Gingerbread is an entertaining account of our travels, fun facts, and tips we learned along the way.

One thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s