Tag Archives: Brazil

Running in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Wowies, this is some place! I (with shame) admit that when Claud told me which city we’d be visiting for the trip, my first thought was “umm, where is that?”. After having seen the 11 million strong (20 million if you count the ‘burbs) city, it is hard to imagine that I had never even heard of is a place so many call home. Cities are fascinating places where you get everything from fine dining and symphony performances (loved it, must go to these type of shows more often!) to cabbies who rip you off (yeah, buddy, I know you drove in a circle just to charge me extra, but my stupid Americano vocab does not include Portuguese – I trust my stern, disapproving glare taught you a lesson though, lol) and homeless people doing drugs right in front of you. While I can’t say it’s the most beautiful city I have been to, it sure is up there for entertainment – both people watching and the more traditional types!

Yesterday morning I struck out on my own (Thursday I was joined by Doug, from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, but he had to jet off to another coffee meeting – you know those java dudes, they just can’t sit still!) with a plan to run from our hotel to the major green space of the city, Parque Ibirapuera. It’s like the Central Park of Sao Paulo, with everything that goes with it – museums, beautiful trees, bike lanes, playgrounds, concert spaces and people of all kinds enjoying the picture perfect days we have had here.

To really get a sense of the size of the city, you should check it out on Google Earth! This little bit does not even do it justice.

To get to the park, I had to navigate the ~4km from the hotel. The area we are staying is the Jardim (Garden) district. Not a ton of green trees in this area, but plenty of green bucks! It’s an affluent part of Sao Paulo and so very pretty, with lovely cafes and upscale shopping (very upscale – the Asics store featured kicks for $400US!). All the private homes and apartment buildings are heavily gated, so as you run the sidewalks you see these signs and must be careful of cars backing out.

These signs blink and make sounds when cars are pulling out of their underground driveways.

The apartment buildings were quite nice, as evidenced here:

oh-la-la, or, in Portuguese, oh-la-la

The major issue with running through these streets was the constant stopping for red lights. As a country mouse, I really don’t understand how anyone gets any training done in cities, it is so frustrating to stop all the time. This guy quickly became my arch nemesis:

*shakes fist angrily at lil man*

I finally made it to the park and was able to get some real miles in – plus lots to look at to keep me occupied! There was what I think was a giant tai chi class of some sort going on, lots of runners (the ones in groups and pairs made me long for a partner)bikers, and birds! I was able to rack up a half dozen new birds as the miles clicked off, which was great. My favorites of the day were Cocoi Heron and Southern Lapwing plus an unidentified hummingbird (GD will help me figure it out when I get home). Here is some of what I saw as I happily plugged along:

Just like Central Park!

Planetarium – sadly not open when I was there, but I would have loved to check it out!

This was a weird log with holes cut in that people loved! Every time I went by it, kids and adults were all over it!

Bike lanes too!

I then started to make my way back to the hotel and as I was watching the street signs like a hawk to avoid getting lost, I saw this one:

9 de julho, the street. It’s like their JFK or MLK!

Our guide had told us earlier that streets can be named after dates that play an important role in history. We also saw 25 de marco and 21 de maio (I think it was 21 anyway, little fuzzy on that!). I have to remember to look these up – I like the idea of naming streets in this way, it’s like a mini history lesson.

Sao Paulo can be quite hilly and the tail end of my run had me hauling my tired legs uphill. Guess who was nowhere to be seen? And guess whose evil brother showed up over and over again at every intersection?

Ohh, you think you are sooo funny, dontcha??

Ohh, the pain! But when I hit “stop” on Garmy, I did have a nice sense of accomplishment, so maybe Mr. Green’s tough love tactic was a blessing in disguise. I then wished I could read Portuguese because post-run, this would have been fun to peruse over breakfast:

RW, Brazil Style!

Our plane leaves tonight and I am happy to say I managed to squeeze in 5 runs while here (2 at coffee estate, 3 in Sao Paulo) and did not have to resort to the dreadmill for any of them. Brazil has been checked off my running list and the sights I saw safely tucked into my memory. Being able to run in both the country and the city was a real highlight of this trip and I thank Claudia and Peet’s  for the opportunity!


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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays – Brazil Edition!

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

The internet has been spottier here than I expected, so apologies for the lateness of this post!

I got my independence on at Monte Alegre Estate with a run on their property this morning. It was breathtaking – the kind of run that makes you giddy from the OD of eye candy. I love to run when I travel and one reason is that you can be far, far from home and yet sill feel connected to a new place with the familiar action of putting one foot in front of the other. Monte Alegre was a spectacular place and although I tried to capture that below, you all know that pictures never do a place justice. So look at these , then imagine it a thousand times prettier, with super fresh air and perfect temperatures (50s at night, 70s during day and no sign of the dreaded humidity folks in the northeast are suffering through!). Yeah, it was pretty ridiculous.

Misty morning – where are the dinosaurs??

It felt other worldly in the “just before the sun rises” dawn

“Wowies” was my deep thought of the day.

Monte Alegre has about 20% of its property in preservation, as per Brazilian law. Here’s how it looked before the sugarcane and coffee (well, maybe not that far back as this is likely not virgin growth, but still counts as lovely forest!)

Looking back down to where I ran from – I was actually enjoying the hill work!

Blue skies have been the theme of the trip! Lucky dogs – apparently two weeks ago, the skies opened and it rained for days.

Coffee “cherries” (as our guide Jose Francisco described them) on the very beginning of their journey to your morning cup.

Kashi’s shadow bids you good morning!


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Brazil or Bust!

My sister-in-law Claudia has a special talent – she wins stuff! You name it, she has entered a contest for it and been declared a winner. But she outdid even her own track record when she won an all expenses paid trip to Brazil!! For 2!! After checking with her immediate family and (unbelievably) getting no’s from them (ok, they all had good reasons, but still!!), she asked me to join her. Would I (a travel fiend) like to go on a free trip to Brazil, a place I have never been before, and have some bonding time with my sis-in-law? Hmm, let me think. No, actually, let me expend zero brain cells and give an emphatic YES while jumping up and down wildly to quite possibly the easiest question of all time! We have our updated passports (this was a very good reason to get a new one in my married name), our VISAs, and our Mentos (Kisiel family superstition dictates that any and all trips must be accompanied by an unopened roll of Mentos to ensure safe travel. All flavors have been tested – including when sky diving- and perform equally well so you are free to pick your preference).  

I’m a fruit gal, myself

The trip is sponsored by a coffee company, Peet’s, and will last a week. We depart for an overnight flight today and will return in the dawn hours of July 8th. The next week will be filled with coffee, sightseeing, running (of course!), more coffee, plantation tours, café tours, some more running and then capped off with a little more coffee for good measure! Between the running high and coffee buzz, I expect to be in rare form.

Thank you Peet’s!

Lil sis and I have an ongoing competition to see who can run in more continents, countries and states, so finding a place to run is an absolute must! I found a running tour company that I want to run with in Sao Paulo but also hope to get out on my own a bit (it’s the best way to see somewhere new!). The rules for our competition are that you must run at least 3 miles (or 30 minutes if you do not have a way to determine distance – this contest began before Garmy and Prince Michael Garmy came into our lives) and the run must take place outside – so no treadmills allowed. Unless they are outside, in which case you might be able to plead you case to the judge, who would then say, “Really? A treadmill outside? Demerits for even attempting something so ludicrous when there is a whole big beautiful earth to trod upon!”

 Here is a map of all the states I have run in so far. I have 21 states, plus 1 capital district (DC) and 1 unincorporated territory (Puerto Rico) 🙂

Please don’t mind the missing chunk on the bottom. The map was apparently irresistible to my ‘ol bunny, Miss Amelia, RIP. She had a thing for paper!

My country list is Costa Rica, Ireland, Ecuador and New Zealand. My continent list is North America, South America, Europe, Oceania (NZ) and Island Chain (HI).

We will have access to the internet, so I will be blogging my coffee and running adventures, stay tuned! See ya on the flip side (of the world, that is, as we’ll be south of the equator)!

 Do you drink coffee? Have you tried Peets?

Do you like to drink coffee in conjunction with running?

What continents, countries and states have you run in?


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