Monday, October 06, 2008

From Rio to Sao Paulo

I took the bus from Rio to Sao Paulo, about a six hour ride in Executive class, cushier than the regular class bus. After my bag was stowed, I was given a blanket, a pillow, a newspaper, a bottle of Guarana (soda made from Guarana berries, with a kick like caffeine), and a little box of snacks in the shape of a bus. 
The top is a calendar, to boot! 

The bus ride was beautiful, through countryside with mountains and rolling hills. We stopped halfway at a restaurant, where many of the riders had a full lunch. I'd packed snacks, so I had a bowl of fruit and espresso. Then back on the bus, where amazingly enough after the espresso, I fell asleep for an hour. We had two movies on the bus, Runaway Bride (the worst claptrap I'd seen in a long time) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When this last was over, the DVD reverted to the screen of special features, on a loop. We suffered with the repetition of the sound for about 25 minutes until one of the riders asked the driver (closed off in his own compartment) to turn it off. Whew!

Patricia picked me up at the bus station and off we went to Carillon Plaza Hotel. We had trouble finding it as the entrance is quite dark. The room is very moderne: 

 Here's a closer look at the console next to the bed:

The lower part is the TV control, upper part manipulates the lights and radio (I think). You can't tell, but there's only one electrical outlet in the room that I can find, high on the wall by the TV. I'm plugged into the bathroom outlet and am sitting on the bed. Apart from the bathroom, there's an entryway with a table, two short pleather banquettes and a mini-fridge.

And here's a look at the view from the window. I'm on the 9th floor. Notice the planting in the outside windowsill!

You can't tell from the picture, but the neighborhood is quite lively. More on that when I've explored. I've got today and tomorrow off, so I have a chance to do just that.

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