Archive for October, 2012

Applying for tourist visas in a foreign country

Normally, you are expected to apply for visas in your country of residence. For example, if you are an Indian living in the USA and want to visit Bolivia, you’d have to apply for a tourist visa at the nearest Bolivian consulate in the USA. Most countries require specific dates of travel, flight booking, hotel […]

Paraty boat tour

On Sunday, we took a 5 hour boat tour that included stops at a couple of islands, and a couple of beaches. We parked near the town center and walked up to the Marina. There were a ton of operators, from small boats offering private tours, to bigger ones offering group or party tours. We […]

Paraty town center

Paraty 1 2 is an old historic port town set on a lagoon. We drove close to the town center, parked, and walked around. It’s a quaint little colonial town, with cobbled streets, and pastel colored homes mostly converted into shops, art galleries, restaurants, etc. The streets were very uneven, and not very convenient in […]

The drive to Paraty

The drive from Sao Paulo to Paraty is about 300km (186 miles) and takes 4.5 hours. Taking the nicer roads meant driving through Taubate, and Ubatuba, to get to Paraty. We headed out Saturday morning at 9am. The traffic was not too bad in the city. It did not take too long to re-familiarize myself with stick […]

Renting a car in Brazil

We heard good things about Paraty (pronounced Pɑ-rɑ-chi) from the locals. It is a drivable distance from Sao Paulo…all we had to do was pick a weekend, rent a car, and head on thataway. NOT SO FAST AMIGO! Here are some obstacles I encountered…future car rental enthusiasts might want to take note: Renting cars here […]

New friends

Andrea 1, a close friend of mine since the old Sun Microsystems days, introduced us to Maria, a native of Sao Paulo…or as they say, a Paulistana. We met Maria and Adel on Thursday, just before heading out to Paraty for the weekend. We had a terrific time getting to know them, the city, how it […]

Beam me up, Subramaniam…

When you are an alien in a foreign land, every once in a while, there is this urge to connect back with the mother ship. Being a vegetarian Indian visiting a predominantly carnivorous country, one tends to seek out Indian restaurants as ideal trans-communication portals. Sometimes, the meal hits the spot…often times, not. I would […]

Sao Paulo International Film Festival

Ever watched an Italian movie with Portuguese subtitles, while understanding neither languages? We managed to pull off such silliness just to experience the Sao Paulo International film festival 1. The movie (Reality) was about a normal guy who starts obsessing about getting on a Reality show (Big Brother). Apart from blankly looking around while everyone […]

Ibirapuera Park

We took a relaxed stroll in Ibirapuera Park 1, a large city park, about 1 km away from our hotel. It’s a fantastic place with a lot going on, especially over the weekends. People are ‘slack lining’ 2, practicing Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, skateboarding, playing team sports, etc. On occasion, we’ve been coming down here for a […]

Samba School

The Carnival 1 is a big deal for Brazilians. Hundreds of ‘samba schools’ 2 participate in the parade, and each school has thousands of participants (musicians, dancers, singers, god mother, old aunts, etc.). Every year, each school comes out with a ‘samba plot’, theme, songs, costumes, etc. They introduce their plot, and start practice almost […]