Saturday, 19 February 2011

Traffic in Sao Paulo

This just about sums up my experience of driving in Brazil! It is never simple to go anywhere. There are one way roads everywhere, you can't turn right on red and more often than not, you can't turn left across a main road. Which means you really need to know exactly where you're going! If you are not in the correct lane, who knows where you'll end up! We've done a lot of driving since we've been back, and I will illustrate a few interesting situations we've found ourselves in.

On our way to our prospective apartment, we were using David's iPhone's GPS to direct us when we noticed that to turn left, we first had to turn right, left and left again, thus allowing us to cross the road, rather than just turn left. In my diagram, the red shows where we wanted to go and the blue represents how we actually did it! Notice that the first right turn takes us onto a "one way" road that in effect has us driving on the left side of the road. And this is not the first road I've seen in Brazil like this!
As we were returning from the ministry center (about an hour and a half away), we were driving back on one of the main highways, which has been under heavy construction and development in the past year or so. Being away for three months, our usual exit strategy didn't work. We were in the process of changing lanes to get over to the right to take an exit, but instead found ourselves on an overpass taking us where we didn't want to go. Thankfully we had our handy GPS and used it to navigate through some back streets to avoid the increasingly heavy rush hour traffic on the main drags. The red shows where we wanted to go, the blue shows where we ended up!

And if this isn't enough, Sao Paulo has a weird system called Rodizio. It means cars with license plates starting with a certain number can't drive in the center of the city from 7:00 to 10:00am and 5:00 to 8:00pm (i.e rush hour) on a specific day. So on Wednesday our car is out of commission for those hours.
Of course, this just makes life that much more interesting, and I still love to drive! So if you ever find yourself behind the wheel in Sao Paulo, don't forget your GPS!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. aha! makes driving in Dhaka look easy, although very crowded.

  2. Glad I'm not the one behind the wheel!!!
    Aunt Barb

  3. Very exclusive photo and article thanks for sharing.


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