Rio Again, But Slightly Off The Beaten Path

Wasn’t even six months since my last visit to Rio, and here I was back again for five days during the Memorial Day long weekend, thanks to 50,000 British Airways Avios miles which got me an economy class round-trip on American Airlines. Having been to the more conventional touristy places during my last trip in Dec 2017, I was more keen on checking out places that are traditionally deemed ‘nice to see but low priority’ on most to-do lists.

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Rio De Janeiro On The Beaten Path

I had the good fortune of spending a blissful week in Rio De Janeiro in December 2017. While riding the taxi to get to my hostel in the neighborhood of Leme, I couldn't help think how similar Rio is to Mumbai, a thought I also had for Sao Paulo but in hindsight, Rio is more comparable. After much deliberation, I have deduced that Mumbai is Rio without the breathtaking scenery and omnipresent street art. But enough about pointless comparisons.

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Two Days In Paraty

Paraty is a sleepy colonial town located in the Bay of Ilha Grande, home to a happy union between verdant mountains and warm emerald waters. The town shot into prominence in 17th century after the discovery of gold mines in the mountains of Minas Gerais. Paraty was used as a port to ship the gold to Rio de Janeiro, from where it made its way to Portugal. After the gold reserves were exhausted, the city fell into despair and made a comeback a few decades ago as a hotbed of tourism.

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Sights And Sounds Of São Paulo

If Mumbai and Brooklyn were to make a love child, it would be São Paulo. Mumbai, for its bustling mega metropolis vibe, and Brooklyn for its colors, artsy character and ethnic diversity. São Paulo draws richly from its make-believe parents in every way imaginable.

Paulistanos, as residents of the city of São Paulo are known are so ethnically diverse that many would pass off for being Mexican, Indian, Arab or Japanese. Interestingly, this city of 12 million people is home to the largest concentration of Japanese, Lebanese and Italian diasporas.  Some biological researchers have predicted that as the gene pool among humans continues to mix and evolve, all of us will look like Brazilians within a few hundred years.

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