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Published: July 23rd 2016
We arrived in this city early in the morning on an overnight bus from Foz do Iguacu. The combined bus train station in Curitiba is near the centre of town, very safe, with cafes, shops and tourist information. From here it is a short walk to hotels and restaurants. Curitiba is the capital of Parana province in Brazil, home to around 2 million diverse inhabitants such as Japenese, large Arab community, Jewish, Negro population and mixed others.Walking around today what is evident is what you see in much of South America, the haves and have nots. In the large shopping mall we went to; expensive designer labels are evident everywhere, and the food court sells coffee and cake for around 30rials for 2 people. But out in the street we bought a buffet lunch for 10R per person, which included salads, individually cooked meat, hot veges and dessert. And our tea was a kebab each and great local beer (Antartica) for only 33R total. Street food is so cheap as is the fruit from the local shops. 1R for 6 bananas.Curitiba was developed in the early 17th century and the Portuguese brought with them their blue tiles, love of grandiose architecture
and churches. Streets are mostly cobbled in the old area, impressive street art decorates the walls.A massive bus system is in place and bike lanes, streets are immaculate in the inner city area but step outside and at times it is like a rubbish dump. Contrasts are so extreme.We stayed at the Ibis Budget hotel a short walk from the train station, costs less than a youth hostel. The rooms are tiny, but had a TV and heating, own shower and toilet, very functional with staff that tried hard to speak to us in English.In many places today people tried to speak to us in English, people are really friendly and very proud of their country.Full marks to the lady in the bus station luggage shop who solved our adaptor problems. Australian andArgentinian electric plugs are slanted and no one had a charger for them, this lady instead worked out we could use a USB charger system. Beware there are two voltages in places so we are charging using the lowest one.Tomorrow we leave Curitiba on the Serra Verde Express.
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