Brazil 5


"Don't wake me up -- I am enjoying this dream"


Before we start this page I would like to share a letter which we sent to our family in California......


The Letter......


It is dirty here, nothing but crappy cobblestone roads, pot holes, insects the size of turtles, litter, mosquitoes (ops... had to leave the computer for a second to smash a roach!), ........ We are enduring terrible heat and humidity and GENERAL travel hardships to give you all insight into what kind of PIT it is here in South America. We have not had a good meal in weeks and I am starting to be concerned about our general health condition. But, we will press on, as difficult as it is, to keep you all informed of how lucky you guys are to be in the good old USA, and having to work everyday!

I am sure that these pictures are the best way to show you how much we miss home!

Home sick, we are!

Adeus from Brazil,
Dale and Sandy

"Don't wake me up --- I am enjoying this dream!"


Attached to this letter were the following pictures.......  We are not getting much sympathy!


On the evening of the 17th, Dov Koren and Beth served us a beautiful meal of salmon and a variety of chesses and breads in their home on the 23rd floor.  Beth is a designer of high end restaurants in Brazil, and also designed their home!


Yes, my drooping eyes were induced by the intake of fine wine.
Life is tough here in Sao Paulo.

 

The company, the hospitality, the environment, and the view, when combined, was perfect!


On the 18th of April, our friends from Sao Paulo, Dov Koren and Beth, introduced us to "Officer BMW of Sao Paulo".  Notice that Beth is sitting on a nice clean bike.  She did not get near our dirty worn bike!

 The treatment we received from the BMW dealer was excellent! 

The rear wheel was starting to wobble a bit.  It had not been adjusted since Lima, Peru, and that was over 20,000 miles ago.  It was time for some adjustments!  Sandy also brought down new fork seals, which we had installed.



Once we dropped the motorcycle off, Dov and Beth treated us to a great tour of Sao Paulo.

This picture was taken at the Pinacoteca Museum.

I think they believed we needed a little Sao Paulo cultural exposure.

This sculpture was nearly 6 feet tall.

The detail was so exact, I was waiting for the sculpture to breath!


This fountain was interesting.  Four plump ladies in a pool.  Water was coming from their mouths and breasts.



These women were MUCH more attractive!
The next stop on the tour was "Estacao Da Luz", which is the old train station in Sao Paulo.

Notice how clean it is, and this train station is still in use!


The next stop was the "Marcado Municipal de Sao Paulo"

In our travels, Sandy and I have probably been to over 100 central markets by now.

The market in Sao Paulo was the cleanest one we have visited and we noticed that ALL the meat products were in refrigerated cases.


This is only one of many stained glass windows in the "Marcado Municipal de Sao Paulo". 

Each window depicted a different aspect of life in Sao Paulo.



Again, notice how clean it is here!



On the 19th of April, our motorcycle is still in the shop.  Dov was kind enough to offer us his brand new R1200GS for the day.  To lend somebody a motorcycle is a show of trust.  I considered it a REAL honor that he let us ride his bike "In the traffic of Sao Paulo".  That is VERY trusting!


Dov leading us around Sao Paulo.....

I felt bad taking Dov away from his business.....

He said "Do not worry Dale".....

I will work if I have to.....

Dov working...........

Dov took us around town to take pictures of the "Then and Now's". 

I am going to wait and post the old and new pictures next week, when we are relaxing at his beach house!

Dov and Sandy at the "Monumento da Independencia".



This is "ONE" side of the monument.



Dov knows how to enjoy life, and always has a huge smile. 

He is quite a gentleman.


The Ipiranga Museum (another "Then and Now" destination).

I know this is getting repetitive, but again, notice how clean it is....

Dov has told us that there has been a change during the last 10 years, and Sao Paulo has done an incredible job at cleaning up their city.



Sandy and I, on the steps of the Ipiranga Museum.
Beth joined us for lunch at Fogo de Chao, which is an excellent Churrascaria.

The company has another location in Beverly Hills, so we can continue to enjoy Brazilian food once we return home.

Click on the link for other locations...

(Fogo de Chão)


On the 20th of April, Dov had to attend to a business meeting in Rio de Janiero.  So... Sandy and I took care of laundry and other things.


Sandy and I have had 2 Saint Bernard's.

We have been surprised, again and again, by how many Saint Bernard's we have seen in South America.

They are not common, but we have seen them more often in South America than in North America.

A diesel Land Rover 110.

 

I would love to buy it, and complete the trip home in one.

 

The check book feels differently!


View, from Dov's motorcycle, as we drive cautiously around Sao Paulo.

This is the business center, and was much like the Wilshire District of Los Angeles.

Paulista Avenue........



We visited this museum and enjoyed a Goya exposition.
It is Friday, and we wanted to pick up the motorcycle before the dealership closed for the weekend....

 

Picture of Sandy "longing" for a BMW RT1200....

Between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, it is rush hour for the helicopters of Sao Paulo.

From our hotel room we could see helicopters flying, landing and taking off from nearby buildings.


On Saturday, the 21st of April, Dov, Beth and their son, William, took us for another sight seeing excursion of Sao Paulo.


On Saturday morning we dropped Dov's BMW off at his home....

Dov's Casa....

A quick stop to take a few pictures....
The Butantan Institute, which was opened in 1901.

It is a research center for venomous snakes.

Brazil realized that in order to develop the jungles, they would have to broaden their knowledge of snakes.

Therefore, the Butantan Institute was created.

A snake pit....

This was another "Then and Now" location....

I will post my "OLD" picture later, but I was surprised that this sign had a picture, which was nearly identical to my "Old" photo from the 1930's.

Typical Sao Paulo High Rise area.  VERY nice.



We drove by this huge bridge which was under construction.

It is located in the middle of a river.

It will be nearly 500 feet tall.

It will become a signature structure for the city Sao Paulo, to the world!

This is what the bridge will look like when completed.

It will be called the Ponte Jorn. Robert Marinho.

(This picture is courtesy of Google Earth).

 
The skyline, adjacent to the bridge, in the photo above.
Heliports are commonly seen throughout Sao Paulo.

The creativity of the heliport architects' is impressive!

Two identical buildings, sharing a unique helipad.

The "Next" stop was the shopping center of Daslu.  Articles in Forbes and Luxury Life Magazines describe it as one of the most exclusive shopping centers in the world.  Sandy and I have been to many shopping centers, from Fashion Island, in Newport beach, to Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills.  This center was in another league!

You could purchase Yachts, Fast cars, Helicopters and nearly anything else you could imagine!

The Daslu Shopping Center did not have open walk ways like the centers we were familiar with. 

It was more like walking through a huge home, where you walk from room to room.


To gain access to the center, you had to present a card to enter the valet area.

This is the entrance to the center.

Helicopters as art....
Sandy, stunned by the impressive center.
Dov walked directly to the "Vino"....
We knew we were in friendly hands, when the associate knew Dov personally!
Dov and his contagious smile....

Dov picked out about 6 bottles of fine wine,,,,

Dov and I....

Enjoying a bottle of fine wine....

The stores in the shopping center, merge from one store to the next....

Where we were sitting was a wine store/ book store and car dealer.

The Porsche SUV, behind me, was highly modified, as was the price.

The cost was OVER $400,000 (US).

Dov's son, William, spent much time with the sales associate.

William informed me later that the car had over 600hp.


You could also purchase an "armored" Mercedes Benz, only 15 feet from the wine area.

Nice display of model cars, built into the floor.



William, standing next to another highly modified car........ And he knows all the statistics!



$400,000 will still buy you a ncie car in Brazil!



I told Sandy the check for the Land Rover (used for only $38,000), would bounce.

She said, "If it is going to bounce, why not have it bounce $400,000.....

Hard to argue with that logic.....


It was hard to leave the dream world of "Daslu Shopping Center".



Another "Nice" lunch.

This time at Dinho's.

Sandy was such a good sport during some of the "hard" travels earlier in this adventure.

It is now time to live the "Good Life"!

It will be hard to leave our friends here in Sao Paulo....
Dov, his smile and Sandy......



Yes... The trip has changed a bit over the last few weeks.  But I am sure that "Adventure Riding" is still in our future, here in Brazil.  We are enjoying this respite of "Good Life".  After our post in Curitiba, Brazil where we visited the rotating apartments, My sister made this observation and sent Sandy and I the attached letter..........


Hey, Hey Dale and Sandy

Looks like you are having a great time. I am SO ASHAMED.  "We could not get inside the rotating apartments, but found these pictures on the internet."  You have gone soft. Did you even try taking hostages or anything??

You can climb vacant, decrepit churches, climb hills in dangerous areas of the city that residents have to yank you out of, and coax clergy, maintenance workers, government employees - but you couldn't finagle one of the eleven families to invite you in?  Should have got a box of Girl Scout Cookies......everyone loves those.  A little fun on the side too.....Sandy wearing a Girl Scout outfit and you her Scout Leader....the fun could have gone into the night.....

BUT NO....here you are just driving around the city, taking a city tour, just like a blue-haired tourist!! 

Well now....you just enjoy yourself while I sit at my desk and think of REAL adventure!!

Sis


Do you have suggestions on how I should respond to my sister?       :rofl




After lunch on Saturday, they took us to this unusual building.  As we walked into the building Dov asked us if we had been to this museum yet?  We responded "No".  He laughed and then informed us it was the "Unique Hotel".  It did look like an "Art Museum" when you enter the lobby!

Check out the "accommodations button", and "suites" and you will see why they named the Hotel "Unique".  (Hotel Unique).



Ultra Modern, it was!
When you stand in the lobby and look up, you are looking directly at the bottom of a pool of water.
The pool from above....
I loved the place....

It left Sandy cold....


The last stop for the day, was the high end market, which was across the street from our hotel.

Sandy got excited about going there, as we were in need of shampoo and tooth paste.

Well, the market was a better place to purchase a $5,000 bottle of wine - not toothpaste!


One fine Grocery store.... 

The area where they sold deserts and pastries looked more like a "French bakery" then a grocery store, so says Dov, who has been to France.



On Sunday (April 22, 2007), Sandy and I do what we love doing -- "Just putting around town in first gear".


Huge areas of homes like this....
Cathedral of Sao Paulo....
Beautiful Church....

 

Beautiful Day....


We were on a search to take "Then and Now" photos.  Typical intersection in the older section of Sao Paulo.



This is "Iglesia de Santa Ifigenia", which was one of the things we were searching for.... but the rain came down hard, right after we found the church!
We left our rain gear in our hotel, so we waited for two hours in the lobby of Hotel Sao Paulo Inn.

The loud thunder kept it interesting!


The following pictures are meant more as a footnote to this page.  As we left the hotel this morning, we drove about 2 miles along Europa Avenue.  If you have any doubts about Brazilians' living the good life, this may change your opinion........


Fancy European cars....
Land Rovers....

I wanted the white 110 on the far right....

This business will bullet proof your car....
German Porsche's.....
British Motorcycles....
And Italian Ferraris' and Lamborghinis'....
One nice old church broke up the car dealers into two areas....
BMW's....
Jaguar's....
Even Harley Davidson's....
and Ducati's....

We stopped for tooth paste at a regular market, and ran across this neat parking area for motorcycles.  A cable pulls out from near the bottom of the yellow post.  You run the cable through your wheel and then connect it to the yellow lid, which you lock your helmet in!  Clever!



That's it through Sunday.. the 22nd of April.


"Don't wake me -- I am enjoying this dream"


For "Brazil 4"  hit the "Back Button".....       For "Brazil 6"  hit the "Next Button".....


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