Brazil 6

It is May 1st, and I am sitting here wondering how I got over 1 week behind in posting pictures.  There are many excuses.  Our friends, Dov and Beth Koren kept us very busy.  We have had bike issues over the last two weeks.  And after 3 months on the road, we have things to care for, just like you do when you are not traveling (bills to pay, clothes to clean, maintenance to do, reading to prepare for the next section of the trip and etc., etc., etc). 

Fortunately, Dov has offered Sandy and I the use of their beautiful beach house in Juquehy, Brazil, where Sandy and I are taking a vacation from our adventure.  It is an opportunity to reflect on how lucky we have been to see all the sights we have seen during the last few years.  And the friends we have made during this adventure have really added to the journey.  It is difficult to meet and establish "New Friends" on a 2 or 3 week "trip", but on a journey like this, where you are not in a rush to get anywhere, it is much easier to spend time with people.  We are so lucky!

We have now covered nearly every mile of coast line on the western side of North and South America.  And now we are crawling up the eastern side of the Americas.

Well...... to continue.

On Monday, the 23rd of April, Dov took us on a tour of the older downtown area of Sao Paulo. He took us to Shopping Light, the Mappin Building, Theatro Municipal and then to the top of the 37 floor Banespa building, with it's incredible views!   We took many "Then and Now" photos of downtown Sao Paulo which I will save and post at a later date.

We now have our bike back from the shop, with new fork seals and tires.

Luckily Dov has bought various BMW's from the dealer, and was able to expedite our repairs.

Thank you, Dov.

This is the old Theater, in downtown Sao Paulo.

It sure was nice to have Dov as a tour guide (and friend).

Dov was very familiar with this area, as  he used to work in this part of the city many years ago.

(notice how clean it is here)

After 100's if not 1,000's of churches, I have forgotten the name of this one.....


Again, usually the older parts of town are dirty...

But it is very clean here.

Dov and Sandy, keeping an eye on me while I took many "Then and Now" photos, which I will post during our vacation in Dov's beach house.

Sandy - I said "Cheese!

To take one of the "Then and Now's" photos, we were on the top of a building, where you get real close to all the helicopters of Sao Paulo!

The Theatro Municipal, from a roof top!  I almost did not take this picture, or notice this building as I was focused on a "Then and Now", in the other direction!

Dov's Portuguese, helped Sandy and I get to this roof top.
In the background is the building and roof top we had just visited.

Helicopters are a constant sight in Sao Paulo.

Today we spent many hours on the roof tops of tall buildings.  If pictures of buildings bore you, you may want to scroll on down to the next page!  The next few pictures are from the top of the 37 story Banespa Building.  Near the center of this pictures is the Cathedral of Sao Paulo.

This is the same Cathedral, but the pictures is taken from 41 stories up in the Circolo Italiano building.

A Robinson 44....

From the Banespa Building....

Sao Paulo is NOT like any other "Large City".  It is one of the largest cities in the world!

Sandy and I visit tall buildings like this to help locate old buildings for our "Then and Now" photos.

We have learned that most "Then and Now's" are in the older sections of the cities.

Hidden in the "center" of this pictures is a church steeple we were trying to find!

During the 2005 and 2006 travels, I liked my Canon SD500 camera, but was frustrated by the 3 to 1 zoom.

During 2007 I am also carrying an S3 Canon, with 12 to 1 zoom, which is really nice for distance pictures like this!

(same church steeple as the picture above)

From the roof top of the Banespa Building....



The buildings go on and on in every direction, as far as you can see....

We were so lucky to have Dov take the time away from his business, to join us around downtown Sao Paulo.

We later visited the inside of this church.

This is the "Edificio Martinelli", which is also a target of our "Then and Now's.
This is the Banespa Building where we took many of the roof pictures....

Dov and Sandy, in Anhangabau Park.  The Banespa and Martinelli buildings are in the background.

The neat thing about searching for the "Then and Now's" is it gets us walking through many areas which you would not see as a casual visitor to a city.

I could retire if I had a dollar for every church we have seen in South America....

And every one is different....

For lunch Dov suggested that Sandy and I have lunch at the top of the Circolo Italiano Building, which is 41 floors tall.  Having lunch in the restaurant is the only way to visit the top of the building.  They will not allow you in "just to take pictures"!  So "I Bellied Up" to get pictures!

View from our table!

This is the Banespa Building, taken from the Circolo Italiano Building (taken at 12 to 1 zoom).
Another church....
At every stop light in Sao Paulo, dozens of motorcycles split lanes to the front of the line....

As they say.... "When in Rome, do as the Roman's do"!

or.... "When in Sao Paulo, do as the Paulista's do"!

On Tuesday, the 24th,  we visited Dov Koren, in his home, and took pictures of the city, helicopters and airplanes. They gave Sandy a gift.... a neat cover for water jars, which she had adored a few evenings ago.  The ridge line of buildings in the far background is Paulista Avenue, the business area of Sao Paulo.

Coming from "flat Corona California", the skyline intrigues me....

The view in ONE direction from Dov's casa....

Looking southeast from the same window.
Hanging around Dov puts a smile on your face....

He is always smiling....

As you can tell, Sandy is enjoying this rough and tough trip on a motorcycle through the wilds of South America!

Another Robinson 44, as it flies by the window of Dov's casa....
It is like a bee hive, with the helicopter activity!

This picture is also from Dov's place....

Later Dov took us to his other home which was located near the Radisson Hotel, where Sandy and I where staying.  This is a very affluent area, circled by high rise buildings.  Sandy and I had spent hours riding slowly through this area.

Dov had a business commitment, so Sandy and I returned to the Institute of Butantan, which is the premier snake "anti-venom" research center in the world.

Notice the arrows on the sign.  The Butantan complex is very large.

It even includes a hospital.

Butantan was a location for "Then and Now's", which I will post later.

The institute was started by Vital Brazil, in 1900, when there was a terrible Bubonic Plague outbreak in Santos, Brazil.  I did not point out the snake skin to Sandy, before I asked her to "Stand Here" for a picture!

Butantan has one of the largest collections of snakes in the world...  Some pictures....

To develop anti venoms, I knew they gave small injections of snake venom to horses, then extracted the horse's blood later.

I am not sure, but based on all the monkeys, in cages, at the Butantan Institute, I would guess that monkeys are also used for some type of research.

I am always surprised at all the places Teddy Roosevelt has visited.  Is there ANY place that Teddy did not visit?

We learned in Panama, that he was the first president to leave the United States during a Presidency, when he visited the Panama Canal during it's construction.

After he was President, he was a member of an expedition into the Amazon Basin of Brazil.

He has also been to the Butantan Institute!

It is the morning of the 25th, and our visit to Sao Paulo is winding down and it was time to leave the comforts (and cost) of the Radisson Hotel.  I go to the underground parking area to load the motorcycle and find the new tire was "flat".

The problem was easy to find....

Notice the screw, just to the right of this gentleman's hand....

This tire dealer is for "Motorcycles only".

After the tire was fixed the bike would not start!

Sandy and I had to push the BMW to the top of the underground parking, then "Bump" start it coasting back down into the garage.

I had my fingers crossed that the ride to Santos would recharge the battery!

On the way to Santos, we got off the highway, and had a problem getting back on the highway.  Here is a picture, under the highway, of the 2 policeman, which were sitting in a car, under the bridge.  They look friendly here!  When we approached them, they pulled their guns!.  There have been many recent incidents of "Bad Guys" on motorcycles shooting policeman from motorcycles!  Sao Paulo has been the first city we have visited where nearly EVERY cop wears a bullet proof vest.  It took only 30 seconds for their faces to go from VERY stern to "sincere smiles"!

After they realized we were harmless, their typical Brazilian friendliness was exposed!  They actually led us about 4 miles to the on ramp to the highway!  Yes... police escort with rotating red lights! 

Typical Sao Paulo neighborhood in the industrial areas.

Geography Lesson:

Brazil's elevation "Climbs" as you approach the coast, then it drops nearly 3,000 feet immediately before you reach the coastline.  This was a major obstacle, when the Brazilians were trying to get their coffee to the sea for shipping.  Just a few miles from where this picture was taken, is the famous railroad which hauled coffee from Sao Paulo to Santos for shipping.  This is the highway down to the coast.

Outskirts of Santos.  Some areas are very poor.

We had suggestions to stay in the city of Guaruja, on the island of Guaruja.  This is the coastline of the city of Guaruja.  Very nice!  Maybe next time we will get to eat at Rufino's Seafood Restaurant!

But, the bike was still acting funny, so we caught the ferry to Santos, which is also on an island.
We stopped at an automotive electric shop.

The owner pointed next door, to a battery shop, which had this collection of "Motorcycle Batteries".

We stopped within 50 feet of a place that had a battery for a 1991 BMW R100GS!

Good Karma has helped us a lot on this trip!

The bad news was the battery cost $175.00!  The good news is they had the battery!  The BMW dealer in Sao Paulo wanted $450.00 for the same battery from BMW.  Yes.... these prices are in Dollars, not Brazilian Reals!

That's it through the 25th of April, 2007.

Well, please continue.... We had guns drawn by police officers' on this page. 

On the next page we had guns involved in our travels again.  But not in the hands of police!

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

For "Brazil 5"  hit the "Back Button".....       For "Brazil 7"  hit the "Next Button".....

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