The Last Days in South America
With only 5 days left till my flight back to Europe, I arrived in São Paulo – the largest city not only in Brazil, but in the whole continent of South America (SA). I had been there once before, in the beginning of July when for the very first time during my trip I used Couchsurfing to find an accommodation within city limits and learn more about the local people and the culture. The experience turned out very pleasant, eventually leading to a few more Couchsurfing hosts not just in Brazil, but also in Peru.
This time, as I mentioned before, I was staying with Marlene – a friend I met at the end of July who, being a descendant of those Latvians that arrived in the new continent nearly a century ago, welcomed me and showed me the town of “Varpa.” Her apartment in São Paulo was conveniently located on the main avenue of the city – Avenida Paulista, which allowed me to explore the very heart of the 12-million metropolis at considerable ease. And then there was the breathtaking view from the top of the building where Marlene lives.
On the very last morning, just hours before my flight, and kindly accompanied by Marlene’s sister Dagmar, I also went to see the different animal species at the city Zoo. Although the park was immense and many kinds of animals were present, my favourites naturally being the big cats, it still left much to be desired. The overall image of the zoo was extremely poor – a lot of rubbish, dead fish in the ponds, water containers insufficiently cleaned (or not cleaned at all), the old concrete walls in need of desperate repainting. The only really interesting thing was the recently opened “The World of the Dinosaurs” with a group of mechanically operated life-size dinosaur models that “roared” and “motioned” their heads and tails.