Ibirapuera Parque

with high-rise buildings all round!
(more photos below)

The Sao Paulo metropolitan area is just huge, almost 19 million people, and Ibirapuera Park (Parque Do Ibirapuera) is a large park of almost 2 sq kilometers within the city area. There is only one other larger park, Carmo Park, within the Sao Paulo urban area.

Not surprisingly, on Sundays Ibirapuera is jam-packed with Paulistanos (people born in Sao Paulo) out getting some fresh (for Sao Paulo!) air.

We were there mid-week and it was very pleasant, if unseasonably hot for end-April at about 34deg C. But there is plenty of shade for ‘whities’ such as myself from a fantastic variety of wonderful trees and greenery.

I tried a fresh coconut water straight from a coconut for the first time too – delicious and refreshing. It’s supposed to be the perfect isotonic electrolyte and used a lot for that purpose by athletes in Brazil. On Google I also came across one reference where it was used as an intravenous drip in an emergency where a ‘medical’ electrolyte wasn’t available! Fantastic!

Here’s something I’ve been trying to figure out for quite a while: are there two types of coconut? For example, the hard, brown type we know about in Ireland that one has to break open with a hammer, and the big, green, softer ones above that you can drink fresh coconut water from and throw away the empty ‘shell’ afterwards.

In fact there is only one type of coconut and they are the same, just picked at different times! The soft, green coconut is ready for picking after 7 months if it’s the fresh coconut water you’re after, and if it’s the hard, brown variety, just leave them on the coconut tree for another 5 months before picking! Apparently you get on average 30 coconuts from a coconut palm each year!

Apart from people out walking, tons of roller-bladers and cyclists were also enjoying the pathways and roads in the park.

Turn through 360 degrees in an open space in Ibirapuera and it’s amazing to see densely packed high-rise buildings right behind the tree-line all the way round!

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