Blogs from Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, South America

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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba 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 ... read more
Impressive buildings
All bread snacks, how do the Brazilians look so great?
old area of town, cobbled streets

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba July 23rd 2016

This morning we caught the 8-15am Serra Verde Express which takes you from Curitiba down the mountain to Morretes. This is a train trip for the train enthusiast taking you through 13 tunnels, over viaducts and on top of virgin rainforest. It took 5 years to build in the 1800's, designed to transport freight. It is still used for freight today but Curitiba has made this lovely passenger trip which can be done as a round trip in a day, with different carriage class. The standard one was all booked so we took tourist class which meant we had a snack, drink and guide as well as comfy seats.You can get another 3 classes above this.And we got a terrific guide who made a supreme effort to repeat everything she said in Portuguese to us in ... read more
farewell for us passengers on the Santa Verde Express
Fantastic bus system throughout
Outskirts of Curitiba

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba June 27th 2015

We recently read a review of the Serra Verde Express train journey, written by an Australian guy who has travelled extensively and done some interesting things, like kayaking across Sydney Harbour and horse riding in the Australian outback. He said that his sensational ride on the Serra Verde Express in Paraná, Brazil, was “up there” with all the rest of his travel experiences. This kind of recommendation cannot be ignored, so we decided to ride this train. Would it live up to such high expectations? It did! Our Serra Verde experience this week was certainly up there with all of our other travel highlights and the Atlantic Rainforest is up there with other outstanding scenery that we have been fortunate to see, like the Grand Canyon and the Amazon. This train journey, through the Atlantic Rainforest, ... read more
"Do not lean out of train windows!"
"Unless you are in Brazil!"
Crossing a gorge

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba June 23rd 2015

Oh, we are struggling with the Portuguese language and it seems to get harder the further south we go! Or perhaps it is just harder because we seem to be the only foreign tourists in Brazil right now! The word for bus station, in Portuguese, is “rodoviária” but the “r” is often, but not always, pronounced as an “h” so one needs to ask directions to the “hodoviária”. Now here in Curitiba (pronounced “Cuhichiba”) the bus station is also a train station for the famous Serra Verde Express, which we are going to journey on tomorrow. The train/bus station is called the “rodoferroviária” and it is pronounced as the “hodofehoviária”. Tomorrow, when we catch the train we are going to a town called Morretes and this... read more
"Rua 24"
Pedestrian street in the city centre
Curitiba is a garden city

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba February 28th 2014

Leaving SP marks the start of quite a hectic couple of weeks travelling. We had 4 nights/5 days there but from now until our pit stop in Buenos Aires its more like 2 nights accomodation and then a nightbus. The pattern goes - arrive somewhere early by the nightbus, check into hostel at some point, 2 nights accomodation then check out, leave our bags at the hostel then get the night bus to the next place. It can be a bit of a hassle I guess but when we add up how much money we save and how many days we save on not having to sit on a bus all day it makes perfect sense. I think our longest journey so far is 14 hours, but getting on at 8pm and waking up at 10am ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba February 22nd 2014

While in Curitiba I went on a tour of the Vila Velha state park. There are several rock columns there made of layers of different types of sediments. As the top layers are harder than the lower layers erosion causes them to taper towards their bases (see photo 1). Best to get there soon if you want to see them; the top fell off one of them three years ago. There are also man-made marvels in Curitiba. They constructed two spaceships, including attached booster rockets, from wood (see photo 2). Unfortunately the first one failed when they attempted to launch it but the second one remains there as a testament to a brave early space programme that was later abandoned. I was also able to get a rare photograph of one of the local trolls. They ... read more
photo 2
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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba April 2nd 2013

The MST demonstrates the potential of the peasant As the world’s 9th largest economy, Brazil’s rapidly growing financial clout is rooted in agriculture with coffee, beef and soya constituting its most valuable exports. Yet it is one of few nations to have never passed agrarian reform and social inequality continues to blight rural society with 3% of the population owning 2 thirds of cultivable land. Consisting of well over 1 million members, the ‘Movimento Sem Terra’ (MST or Landless Movement), one of the planet’s largest social movements, actively encourages the rural poor to occupy land belonging to others and grow foodstuffs in a subsistent manner, generally as part of a cooperative. Since its inception in 1985, the MST’s achievements are startling when considering they exist purely on donations and handouts. Its successes include the construction of ... read more

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba February 11th 2013

11-02 to 13-02: Curitiba Renowned for its architectural and urban creativity and an effective transport system: tubular stations, bus lanes, bi-articulated buses. Curitiba is also a green town with a Botanical Garden and lots of parks and recycling spaces. The most important building is the Basilica Minor Cathedral, neo-gothic style with 2 towers and a very beautiful interior. Downtown and historical center is full of color to remember the european influences: portugueses, German, French, Pols... The Botanical Garden is famous for his iron-and-glass greenhouse inspired by the Crystal Palace in London. The garden around is geometrical triangles shapes like in France. The German brought the beer, the french the bread, the Poles were famous farmers and used to sell everything they grow down to the market. The Italians have left some very good pizza. The Ukrainians ... read more
Street Curitiba
Bar Curitiba
Plaza

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba December 17th 2012

Kai sužinojau, kad Alanas su draugais ruošiasi šokti su guma (bunjee jump) pasisiūliau ir aš į kompaniją, kadangi tai išbandyti norėjau jau labai seniai, bet vis dėl kažkokių priežasčių nepavykdavo. O čia dar ir kaina gera, tik 50 realų. Taigi nuvažiavom į vietą iš pačio ryto, bet nieko keisto, kad brazilai dar nebuvo pasiruošę. Dar palaukėm kokią valandą, atvažiavo Alano draugai, per tą laiką šuoliams viską paruošė. Žmonių irgi nemažai, nes šuoliai buvo parduodami per grupinių pirkimų portalus. Dėl to kaina nedidelė, o žmonių daug. Belaukiant eilėje šuoliui sutikom vokietę merginą kuri šokinėja su parašiutu, bet šiandien irgi nusprendė išbandyti šuolį su guma. Taip pat su ja dar buvo vienas šveicaras, kuris čia atvažiavęs darbo reikalais, bei jo kolega brazilas. Sulaukęs savo eilės pasiruošiau šuoliui, aukštis maždaug 40-... read more
as ir vokiete
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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba December 16th 2012

Šiandien šeštadienis, Alanas nedirba, tad pažaddėjo šiandien nuvežti į maždaug 50 km. esantį gražų, seną miestelį pavadinimu Morreti. Bet iš ryto dar turi namie pravesti bosinės gitaros pamoką vienam studentui. Pamokai pasibaigus prisijungia ir Paulo ir visi tryse šiektiek pagroja, talentinga kompanija. Mokinys išeina, mes papusryčiaujam ir išvažiuojam. Kelias labai gražus, vingiuotas per kalnus ir džiungles, pakelėse daugybė gėlių. Jei butų saulėta, tolumoje matytūsi vandenynas, bet deja šiandien debesys užstrigę kalnuose. Pakelės kavinėj sustojam atsigerti kokoso pieno. Aplink skraido paukščiai, panašūs į lietuviškus žvirblius, tik ryškesnių spalvų. Atvažiuojam į Morreti. Nedidelis turistinis miestelis, šiekt tiek primena kitus senus brazilijos miestus, Parati, Salvadoro senamiestį. Tik šis ne prie vandenyno, o prie upės ir čia pana... read more
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