Monday, 13 July 2015

Feriado on Ilha Grande

Following a few very busy city weekends in São Paulo, I decided make the most of the feriado and my last weekend in Brazil and travel to the island of Ilha Grande in Rio state, to destress before my upcoming holiday to Colombia - life's tough! 

After having fun at the pre-feriado holiday disco at ACER, I packed up a bag and headed to Tietê bus station to meet Vanessa. 7 hrs later, having caught up on a lot of sleep, we arrived in Angra dos Reis to catch the 30 minute speed boat to the island.

I felt all the stress of bustling São Paulo instantly disappear as we pulled up to island's colourful harbour. After checking into our brilliant hostel, we ate a much needed snack at the padaria and headed off, on what we thought would be a short hike, to Lopes Mendes beach - recently voted as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. 

3 hrs later and having done rather more exercise than intended, we arrived, hoping to find some food but we were too late, all gone! After relaxing for a while and becoming increasingly more hungry we took the taxi boat back, treated to the most beautiful sunset from the water.

The next morning - after the best hostel breakfast I think I have ever had, I definitely made the most of it, we boarded our our speed boat to start the tour of the island. On our boat there was a Czech couple, French, Argentinian and Brazilians, needless to say my role for the day was designated interpreter! We stopped at lots of good snorkeling sports and had the best day. That evening we also went to island's Festa Junina which was good fun. Our last full day on the island was divided between hiking and beach, a perfect combination for me.

The bus ride home was surprisingly traffic free, very unlike São Paulo, topping off the the perfect weekend! 

One last week of work here and then on Saturday morning I leave for Colombia - lots to look forward to but also will be so sad to leave, it really has begun to feel like home.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Virada Cultural

Time is going so so quickly here, this weekend I will already be half way through working at ACER. I absolutely love the work I am doing, so interesting and I am learning so much. This week I have been mainly working on presentations to give to companies that we hope to get funding from and also another fundraising proposal.

The volunteer house has been busier than usual as we are hosting three football coaches, who are running a course on using football for social impact. I took part in their training session on Monday which was good fun, In the evening there has been lots of cake baking - I made brownies from the office which disappeared in record time!

As usual I rushed into São Paulo after work on Friday and this time met Fellipe and his friend Pepe. We then drove back to his home on the outskirts of the city and had a delicious supper, before heading to 2 of my favourite clubs. As is to be expected when Fellipe is involved, we had a great night! The next morning I got up early and Fellipe's mother gave me a lift to the centre on the way to her Hungarian class! I was determined to do pack as much culture and general São Paulo appreciation into my day, even if I was feeling a little worse for wear.

I started by a much needed Starbucks before heading into Jardins for a bit of window shopping. I spent the day revisiting all my favourite places and just managed to make myself feel very nostalgic. From brilliant art exhibitions, to vintage shopping on Rua Augusta, to açai at my favourite ice cream shop, I was reminded of just how much São Paulo has offer.

However the main event to report back is the Virada Cultural that took place all over São Paulo last weekend. The Virada Cultural is 24 hrs of nonstop live music, hosted annually by the city government. Choosing which shows to go to was hard enough as there were 1500 in total - We spent Saturday night at the Monobloco show and then on Sunday went to Emicida and the closing show given by Caetano Veloso. They were all brilliant and the fact the shows were free meant there was such a mixed audience which was so great to see and is certainly not normally the case at paid concerts in São Paulo. I headed back to Eldorado exhausted but happy that I had another productive weekend!

After another busy working week, I am finishing off some last minute tasks, and then will pack a bag and head into SP once again. Tonight I am taking part in a friend's Masterchef competition so need to decide what to cook!