What do three, overworked teachers do when they find themselves with a free Friday?
Why, they hit the road of course!
A few Fridays past, myself and two teachers from my school, Liliane and Diego, hopped in Lili’s car and drove the 1.5 hours to the town of Ribeirão Preto, located in the state of São Paulo. It’s said to be called the “Brazilian California” because of its consistent sunny weather and economic foundation of agrobusiness and technology. Frankly, I did’t see the resemblance to California, and in fact, it reminds of many other mid-sized, Brazilian cities I’ve visited. But, as I was only there one day, I don’t profess to have a solid take on the place.
As with many mid-sized cities in Brazil, the “attraction” is the fancy mall, which we skipped.
Instead, we visited the zoo which was big on jungle and small on animals. Best of all, it was FREE. Flush with various species of papagaios (parrots), it also boasted a jaguar and a bear.
Of course, no stroll through a lush zoo is complete without a pit stop for beer!
Ribeirão Preto is famous for it’s Pinguim Choperia, which is located inside a historic, grand building and packed with tourists and locals alike. It’s said to have the best beer in Brazil; I would say it’s definitely yummy, and while I wasn’t personally a fan of the creamy head, I bet Guinness drinkers would like it.
All in all, a perfect road trip and day off from the classroom!