A weekend adventure led to Paranapiacaba, an old train outpost that is enveloped in a thick white fog on most days. Behind the thick curtain lie train carcasses and a small village split by train tracks and British and Portuguese influence. Even so, the passenger train doesn’t quite reach Paranapiacaba, and the hikers and mountain bikers arrive en masse by bus.
Our group was brought together through couchsurfing, so 11 strangers met up in São Paulo to venture by train to the town apparently close to the coast. It was a day filled with Portuguese, mud, new friends, rain, fog, but surprisingly no biting bugs or leeches (harkening back to a similarly wet hike (well, horse ride) up a hill in India). A short, muddy hike through a very green forest came as a welcome break from the concrete surrounds of São Paulo, and our mostly Brazilian group came as welcome reminder of my progress in Portuguese.