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Grand Prix of Brazil 2005
Getting used to my new surroundings and visit the City. (Day 3)

Another day I think is going to be Sunny and warm.............wrong! Cold, wet and rainy! No big deal, I'm in Brazil! :)

I phone a friend (Jose, the owner of "Slick Models") to invite him and his wife, Debora, to have lunch with me. Their English is waaaay better than my Portuguese (remember...one word). Jose was not sure if I had been to Sao Paulo before. Once he and Debora realized it was my first visit, they said they would pick me up at the Hotel and show me some of the City. Which I wanted to do anyway.

I was really happy about them doing the driving, especially in the City. The first thing Jose tells me, as we are going to his car, "You must keep your camera out of site. Put it in the glove box in the car and keep it under your jacket when we are walking". I was a little concerned about this comment. He explained that there is a lot of crime in the streets, muggings etc. so best to keep temptation out of site.

They took me to the Mercado for lunch. We parked the car in a garage at the top of a hill, in the city close to where all the street venders and  lots of shops are. I wanted to take pictures, but Jose assured me that was not a good idea, unless there are police around. That was when I noticed a severe lack of police in the area.

Once at the Mercado Police were visibly present. It is probably why it is such a nice building. It's kind of like an indoor market and food court. The food was good as well. I had a deep fried piece of Cod, which had been mixed with some different spices and herbs then encased in pastry like a giant "Won Ton" followed by a sandwich of different meats and cheeses, (Not that I needed it!) that turned out to be just too much and I could not finish it.

From there we take a walk back up the street of Shops and street vendors, which incidentally is packed with people in the shops and on the sidewalk, also cars and "MotoBoys" driving down it (a one lane street).

Jose and Debora decided it would be best to take me to the top of the Bank building so I could get a good view of Sao Paulo. If I remember correctly the top was about 45 floors up. Unfortunately because of the weather it was not the best of views, but you will get the idea from these pictures, 1, 2, 3, 4 Close up of the street before, 5 Heli pad with trees and grass at the top of the buildings, 6, 7, 8 Cathedral and Government building, 9, 10, 11.

Back down to ground level and a walk to the Plaza in front of the Cathedral with a Statue of Padre Jose De Anchieta I gathered he was the founder of Sao Paulo (but again, my Portuguese is no good yet.). Also in the Plaza is a monument, which I was told is "Point Zero" of Sao Paulo, which I took to mean the "center". There were Police all around the Plaza, so no problems taking pictures.

It was a great afternoon in the City, and I hope you have enjoyed what little you have seen of it with me.

We drove back to the Hotel where I had time for a little nap and get cleaned up for Dinner.

I had arranged a Dinner meeting with one of the owners of AMD models, Michel. He speaks perfect English, so it was quite relaxing for me. We spoke of the history behind AMD and future plans for the company, (which I cannot reveal at this moment, but it will be good!) also what WOLF, ACE and ORANGE House models were getting up to in the future. Michel happens to be the man behind MTR SPEED decals as well. (Just released are decals for the 1:20 scale Lotus 78 and 1:12 scale Yardley McLaren M23, check them out in the AZRM News.)

The time flew by as we discussed Formula 1 in the 70's and 80's and compared to present day. In a very short period of time we developed a great friendship.

I will definitely be going back to Brazil.....all this and I have not made it to the track yet. :)

I asked Michel about the best way to get to the track as the Hotel had given me a quote of $400.00 Reais per day! (Approximately $175.00 US). He thought it should not be more than about $75.00 Reais each way. Jose had also suggested the same amount for a Taxi.

So I decided that in the morning I would get up at 6:00 am and get all my camera gear in my Back Pack, check the weather to see what to wear, then with Mono-pod in hand I would venture to the Taxi stand for about 6:30 am and say in my best Portuguese "Interlagos Por Favor". But that would be in the morning.

On to Day 4...................