The #Brazilliant adventure tour

starring Jane Harvey-Berrick,

Stu Reardon  and Franggy Yanes

with The Gift Box Team

Roberta and Esther




Today has been a day of contrasts. We left behind the beautiful lush scenery of Iguacu Falls and headed to the city of São Paulo.

The flight was delayed by an hour but I’m getting used to that.

I was surprised how green the city seemed from the air, sitting in a ring of low mountains, but it’s massive, with a population of 12 million. The traffic was incredible – solid 8 lines all going in the same direction at a snail’s pace. We later learn it’s because the river had flooded so diversions are in place.

It was so cool to meet up with Brazilian authors Paola Scott and M. S. Fayes who have become friends. Martinha speaks good English but to speak to the other lovely people, Google Translate was my friend.

First stop was the Rua de Arte, a kind of grafitti heaven where the incredible artwork is displayed on the walls, quite literally.

Time to be silly, time to have fun and explore a little more of this side of Brazilian culture. There were pop culture references and cartoons next to political statements. One image was entitled ‘the death of democracy’.

Next stop was the incredible Mercado Municipal (market) where it was a real foodie heaven, with hundreds of stalls loaded with the freshest fruits, dried fruits, nuts, fish and lots and lots of meat.

Brazilians love their meat and following a vegetarian diet isn’t always easy. I’m a little worried about Gergo who is vegan, so I stock up on nuts and dried fruits for him. He’s a big guy – I hope that’s enough.

Stu and Fran have been photographing the street life around them, and these beautiful night shots are Stu’s.

In the middle of our market tour, I went to sign in with my husband and let him know that I was still alive. Carol Dias, one of the lovely Gift Box ladies and also an author followed me out. She was concerned that it isn’t the best area and I definitely look like a tourist!

The dark note continued as we drove back to our smart, modern hotel. We passed whole streets of homeless people, making up their beds for the night with cardboard and sleeping bags. Some had no shoes, and there were children, too. That was hard to see. Apparently they come to the city looking for work, but there aren’t the Jobs here in the present economy. There doesn’t seem to be much help from the government either. And like all big cities the world over, there’s a drug problem.

When we arrive back at the hotel, I finally got to hug Gergo again, and his beautiful girlfriend Vivien. Sorry, ladies – he’s taken!

Dinner was a fun event, with three different languages being spoken. Isn’t it incredible that our book Family can be a reality when we live thousands of miles apart and don’t even speak to the same language. Wonderful!

More News tomorrow from our #brazilliant adventure with @thegiftboxbr









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