Thursday the 27th of February 2003. Day 9
Took the 9.45pm overnight bus from the “Rio Novo” station in rio to Curitiba in Southern Brazil. The bus station was a nightmare (20 minutes out of Coba), with dozens of different bus companies coming and going. Each all the major states would have its own bus franchise. I took PENHNA to Curitiba. All bus departures were running an hour late and I took the conventional 12 hour bus journey for 66R (17 EURO). There were 3 crashes within the bus station over an hour. I could have taken a leito (reclining seats and pillows) for 166 R. The bus stopped twice at 1 am and 8.00am for snacks/toilets and arrived in Curitia at 11.00 am by passing San Paulo (no loss). The stop over areas were very professional. You get a electronic card coming in and you eat and drink, (all hot food 24/7) and pay going out.
Friday the 28th of February 2003 . Day 10
Got to Curtiba around 11.00am. Very nice bus and rail station. Tourist information point also available. Availed of free map and asked on how to get to centro. Advised to walk 2 minutes to bus stop (well a tube which you pay as you enter) and wait for the bus. 1.70R, asked a chap about my Hotel (Golden Hotel, but didn’t know. Knew it was in the centre. So jumped off at what I thought was the city centre. With map, only took five minutes to find hotel. Rooms 22R, and 33R with balcony and view of town centre (very traditional with cathedral). All included Buffet Breakfast (Which was excellent). Excellent clean and friendly city. Seems out of place, its so like German and Czech cities. 1.6 million people, the majority having polish, Ukrainian, Italian and German Ancestry. Very little mixed or African blood here. Very hi tech modern city with the best mass transportation system in Brazil and the 1st predestined streets in Brazil. Enjoyed my 3 days. Nice temperature, no litter, no hassles. As soon as I got off the bus, I jumped on the tourist bus which is a HOP on/off bus. For 10r, YOU CAN GET ON/OFF 4 TIMES. There were maybe 15 stops/attractions where you could get off. Nice opera house, Botanical gardens, parks. Nice pub Disco as well in the city centre (walk left of the caterdral). A bit like Copper Face Jacks (only older) Ha!