Thursday, 15 May 2008

Campinas, Brazil

Next city in Brazil to make it sound less like a vegan heaven since really, it's not. Campinas is the second largest city in the state of São Paulo, with approx. 1 million inhabitants. However, the conference was arranged in a fancy resort-style hotel (Royal Palm Plaza), where I also stayed, and it's badly isolated from the city with just motorways on every side. Even the nearby shopping mall is hard to reach on foot. The hotel had a really nice pool though, and that's where I spent all my lunch breaks. I guess swimming instead of eating can't be too bad for the health if not done for too long, can it?

The hotel breakfast was nice with lots of bread and jam and heaps of fruits. And of course the stuff I didn't touch. Oh, and cereals, which are quite tasty with fruit salad. Lunch, well, they had a lunch buffet and it did have all sorts of beans and salads, but I figured that I wouldn't be able to eat the price's worth of veggies and hence would be paying for the meat too. The nearby shopping centre also didn't have any veg food other than the supermarket. For dinners, we went to town a couple of times, but it seems vegetarian restaurants in Brazil are generally only open at lunchtime. The regular restaurants would first say they have nothing vegetarian, but after asking about some specific things would generally find or make something vegan.

And then there was the banquet. The other thing about Campinas is that it's the place where Brazilian coffee got started, and the conference banquet was held on the very first Brazilian coffee farm. Which sounds way cooler than it was. There isn't really a trace of coffee-growing left now, just a touristy place that does use some coffee beans for decorations. And it seems I just don't like coffee, even the Brazilian kind. I can stand a cup per day but don't enjoy it and more would be torture. Sorry. Anyway, the only vegan thing at the super expensive banquet that I hope to be reimbursed of was the starter salad. I thought the veggies were too until I tasted them, a buttery taste. Should've asked.

Well, I didn't see much anything of Campinas other than the hotel, so that about concludes this one. At the end of it I went to the bus station and the queue for tickets to São Paulo, but then noticed there was a counter for Rio de Janeiro also, and given that my new friend in SP would be busy, I decided to go where I haven't been before and sat 7 hours on the bus to Rio. But that's the next post.


Guess Who said...

I know what a wonderful gift would be for you now-- A HUGE pack of coffee! lol

You won't mind torture cause you should have sisu, right?! B-)

Anonymous said...


dreamy said...

Ah... with all these travels I don't htink you can go on a fast anytime soon! hahaha..

Kumudha said...

So much of useful info in this blog for vegan travelers!

Jari (travelling-vegan) said...

Hmm, so maybe a coffee fast?! Gosh, that'd be terrible! :-P

Anonymous said...

Just to make it precise, Campinas is not the second largest city in São Paulo. It is right that it has around 1 milion inhabitants. However, the city of Garulhos is larger than Campinas, with 1.2 milion of inhabitants.

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