Next stop Curitiba….a twelve hour bus ride with a stop over in São Paulo…probably the best service station food I’ve had and we arrived! The taxi driver pulled upto a residential street and despite us asking him to wait, sped off leaving us standing outside a metal gate with some dodgy looking characters hanging in the street. We pressed a buzzer and a confused seeming portugese lady came out and starting chatting away to us…oh no…we’d awoken a random old couple….a few minutes later and a husband who spoke broken English appeared and we went in…no this was our hostel for the next few nights…phew!
A really lovely couple owned the hostel but constantly shamed us by asking us twice a day “no portugese?”…google translate came into its element! Curitiba is definitely not worth a visit….possibly one night as a stop over but no more..unfortunately we were trapped waiting for customs to release Jess’ replacement bank cards so tried to string out the few sites….
When the number one activity on trip advisor is the botanical gardens and we turned up to find a couple of Palm trees and nothing else, we knew this wasn’t going to be an action packed stay….
Things to do in curitiba…
1. Eat sushi
2. Eat sushi
3. Eat acai (the best thing in the world when served with banana and granola)
4. Eat sushi
5. Visit sites that are closed for renovation
6. The hop on hop off bus – we tried to get on this twice and failed so we were determined to finally do this! It was actually fairly good…but this might be in comparison to the other poor choice of activities. We got a city tour and saw likely drug lord houses…(huge mansions with pools etc)…went to the Oscar Niemeyer museum (which was architecturally an amazing building and had an amazing photography exhibitIon by Sebastian Salgado called “genesis” – photos from Patagonia to Indonesia and the Amazon of both rubes and wildlife. We also stopped at a viewing tower, a hansel and gretal woodland walk and the Italian “gastronomic centre” for lunch. It seems however if you want to eat between two and six nowhere will feed you….so subway it was!
7. Sunday market – consisting of hundreds of people selling basically their hobby crafts…and there are LOTS of homemade barbie clothing stalls….a vintage car selection, scary looking clowns, and outside board games….
8. Morretes train – a train built in the 1800s running from Curitiba to the town of Morretes..a four hour train ride going 35km/hour through jungle, over hills with spectacular scenic views and sheer drops…sometimes a little painfully slow, but enjoyable none the less. We managed to upgrade ourselves to comfy seats in a carriage by “accidently” sitting on the wrong one. Once again, we featured in many Brazilians home movies who love to video everything and everyone in any situation, Morretes is a pretty town with a river running through…we had an eight real (£2 meal) consisting of slow cooked beef, rice and veg, and ice cream and a wander before getting a return trip back on a bus..
After six days and customs continually extending the time when Jess’ package would arrive I split ways and continued on my journey to Florianopolis with an English girl called Erica….