The Jockey Club

It was Monday evening and we headed off to the races – horse races.  The Jockey Club is the place to be if you want some fun betting on horses and to enjoy a good meal.   A group of new friends met on the terrace to have dinner and place our bets.   The view of the Sao Paulo cityscape was incredible from our table.

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We had eight races scheduled for the evening – we each carefully selected our horses by looking at their physiques as they strutted in front of us.  The reality was that none us really knew what we were looking for in a good race horse so we chose our favorites based on their names (but of course acting as though we knew what we were doing).  After seven races, I was still not showing any luck in choosing a fast runner.  When we came to bidding on the last race of the evening I decided to place a small bet on every horse in that race (which amounted to about $20 US dollars ).  I was determined to be a winner that night.  After anxiously waiting for the race to begin, it was announced that the last race of the evening had been cancelled!  Oh how the crowd roared with anger and disappointment.  I certainly contributed my disappointed voice to the crowd’s chanting.  After reviewing how we did in the evening – Tom and Ann won about  the equivalent of about $39 US dollars and Roy won about the equivalent of $10 US dollars.  The two Mary Elizabeth’s – well, we won’t talk about that!

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Parque Ibirapuera

We ventured out today to Parque Ibirapuera that is located in central Sao Paulo.  It is the largest park in the city with people walking, running, rollerblading and playing soccer – everyone was out enjoying the sunshine.

Within the park there are many museums.  As I walked by one of the museums I could hear a rhythm of music that drew me to the entrance.  The music was intriguing and I couldn’t help but sway and keep up with the beat.  A special exhibit about Luiz Gonzaga was on display at this lively museum.  Luiz Gonzaga was a prominent Brazilian folk singer, songwriter and musician.  He played the accordian and many of the pieces on display were centered around this talented musician and the music playing reflected his spirit.

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They had great walking paths at this park including some huge areas for dogs to run and play too.  We took Sydney and Cricket with us so they could run and socialize with other dogs and spend the day with us.  The sights along the many paths showed a side of Sao Paulo that you normally would not experience unless you came into the park.

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Ann and Tom introduced me to delicious coconut water.  They sell these beverages from carts throughout the park and it looks like plain water but has a unique taste that is very refreshing.

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Barra do Sahy

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Ann and I were invited to join a friend Judy in Barra do Sahy, a quaint little beach town just north of Santos.   We enjoyed a girls’ night at an apartment that overlooked the ocean.  We hiked along the shoreline, met locals and shared a drink with new friends.  The apartment was lovely and relaxing.  Explored the little town finding interesting finds.  Visited a beautiful little church called Igrejinha de Santa Ana that was located across a short bridge from the beach.

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We met a local man, George, along our walk.  He takes visitors on boat rides and joined us to talk more about this unique and special beach town at a small local bar.  While there we also met Leandro who is a local boy who works at the hotel.  He was learning a bit of English and certainly knew more English than I did of his language.  In the end, we all had a wonderful time getting to know each other.

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Embu das Artes

Boa noite – I headed to an outdoor market in Embu das Artes, a small town outside of Sao Paulo on Sunday.  Again, driving through the streets of Sao Paulo was an experience.  Merging is the most common driving maneuver – wherever and whenever.  Thank goodness for GPS!

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As we traveled to Embu, on the hillsides are clusters of housing structures called favelas.  These are small structures that are built of brick and as families grow and expand, families just add on a new room(s) to the existing structure.  Luckily Sao Paulo does not have earthquakes because these buildings are poorly built, just brick and mortar.

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The outdoor market in Embu was full of live and gave me a sense of what every day life is like for Brazilians going to market.  There were artisans displaying their crafts, people sitting in outdoor cafes drinking beer and enjoying the afternoon sun and children running down the stone paved streets.

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Enjoyed a new refreshing drink made out of sugar cane called a calda de cana.  They take sugar cane stalks and put them through a press to extract the juice and then add a lime – fantastico!  Very refreshing –

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Have been seeing a lot of interesting plants and flowers – this one in particular caught my eye.  While at the market we had a very brief  but heavy downpour of rain.  No question why this plant was created the way it was.

Adeus!

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Mercado Municipal Sao Paulo

Born dia -I headed to the market in the center of Sao Paulo in the morning.  I was amazed at the crowds and the sights that surrounded me.  The fruit stands were unbelievable – as I walked by the stands samples of pineapple, strawberries and figs were offered.  Many other types of fruits/foods were sampled that I had never tasted before. Not knowing Portuguese (Eu  nao falo portugues), I had no idea what I was eating –  it was certainly a fun adventure.

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Went up to the upper level of the market and had an incredible lunch with Ann and Tom.  Experienced for the first time a mortadella sandwich – it is so big that the three of us shared two sandwiches and ended up taking home a half.  I also sampled a kiwi caipirinha.  My new favorite drink in Brazil. Oh, of course the lime caipirinhas are wonderful too!

Adeus!

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