Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Santos, São Paulo: my hometown
One of my favourite memories of growing up in Santos is riding my bike along the beachfront gardens, so I felt quite nostalgic when a childhood friend sent me this video. The first image that caught my attention was the iconic black and white Portuguese pavement wave design (which you also get in Rio); it instantly took me back there. The kids in the video itself reminded me of the last time I went to Santos last year; it captures the beach culture perfectly. I remember being mesmerised by the skill of the kids on skate, surf and stand-up paddle boards.
Santos may not be on the tourist trail but I love it. It's about an hour from São Paulo by car and its beachfront garden at 5.335 km in length made the Guinness Book of Records as the largest beachfront garden in the world. There's also a football memorial, dedicated to the city's greatest players, including Pelé (my grandad was his taxi driver, remember), and a coffee museum - Santos has the biggest sea port in Latin America, which handles a large portion of the world's coffee exports.
I also remember getting a car ferry to Guarujá, which has some absolutely beautiful beaches.