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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Morretes, Antonina & Paranaguá

When in Curitiba I heard about an island called Ilha do Mel (Honey Moon island) quite worthy to pay a visit. So, as a good stroller I decided to check it out. There were 2 ways to reach the island. First heading to Paranaguá then take a boat. But, to reach Paranaguá besides go through the normal way (road) also was possible to go by train.  By train was 110km passing through the biggest rainforest reserve (Mata Atlântica) in Brazil on a 125 years old rail in 3.5 hours trip to reach Morretes (old historical town) to afterwards go for more almost 1 hour through normal way (road) to reach Paranaguá. The best part was, I could jump off the train before arriving Morretes to trek for more couple of hours to reach Morretes.

I still had plenty time, no rush. Of course I picked up the alternative adventurous way. I Went to the bus/train Station in Curitiba and bought my train ticket for the following day early in the morning.

Curitiba train station - Departure: Curitiba x Arrival: Morretes
 Guess what? The following day was gray and cloudy. Then I realised I was trapped. Anyway, I took the train pointing to adventure. Tic-tac… tic-tac… tic-tac… chooooooo chooooooo! ‘Smoke going up the sky’. Amazing feeling I got.

Tic-tac… tic-tac… tic-tac… 
 ‘Smoke going up the sky’. Amazing feeling I got.

choooooooo chooooooo...
Oh no! It’s getting foggy. And I couldn’t see much of the biggest rainforest reserve. Such a shame!

Bridge on rainforest in a foggy day

Once it was foggy and I didn’t see much that I supposed to see, I felt trapped. I paid thrice to go by train and it took twice the time made by bus. Nevertheless, I couldn’t jump off the train to trek, because the rain, fog and low visibility. Too risk getting into the jungle alone in these conditions. Anyway, I arrived in Morretes.

Morretes is very old small town. Now a days, very famous because its restaurants which serve typical regional dish called Barreado (meat dish). The city has many old preserved mansions, a church, a square, a river crossing the city and the restaurants. Very small city, but relaxing and beautiful though.

The river crossing Morretes city with restaurants on the right side

One of the bridges which connect the city



Other bridge which connect the city
 From there I decided to head north to another small city called Antonina on the coast, 30 minutes away by local bus.

Antonina is one of the oldest population in Paraná state, today a city, quite small though. Around 20.000 people. The city has a main “avenue”, old buildings, restaurants, fishmongers and a dock on the bay which leads the atlantic ocean.

Spy crows

Dock of Antonina

Antonina bay

Even it was cloudy and I started to rain, it was very warm

Antonina seen from the dock


Myself strolling Antonina city

Old building - Atlante Inn

Restaurants and bars

The main "avenue" of the city
 Even it was relaxing I didn’t stay. It started to rain when I was there, so I left to Paranaguá.
I arrived in Paranaguá at night and there was no boat leaving to Ilha do Mel. The next boat was leaving the following morning at 9.30. I had to sleep over.

Paranaguá seen at night
 I tried to find a place to set my tent and sleep, but I didn’t find any good spot. I went to the hostel in front of the deck where the boats depart.

 After a though day I deserved, or at least, I felt I deserve some luxury. Hot shower, comfortable bed and some pleasures of life as red wine and chocolate. Then I had a shower (it wasn’t hot and the register was giving shock to whoever tried to close it) and went to the market for groceries (Bread, cheese, chocolate, red wine, fruits (loads of them), biscuits, pasta, sauces and big gallon of water. I bought all these supplies to take with me to the island. I was going to spend 2 days & 1 night).

I had nice homemade food cooked by me and went to bed hoping to wake up with a bright shining day. I didn’t sleep well, at all. The mattress had a canyon on it. Wherever I lied I turned to the middle. Fucking hell.

At least it was a wonderful shining day when I got up.

Bright shining day in Paranaguá
 - A ticket to Ilha do Mel, please.
- Return?
- No, just one way. Thank you. (It costs 16 reais)

Boat departing to Ilha do Mel
 You know what, I’m going to steal this boat and become a pirate…

Fake pirate
 “Shit! It didn’t work well. It’s better find a good place and appreciate the landscape.”

- Everybody on board? Start it up!

Fish boats

Paranaguá seen from the boat departing to Ilha do Mel
 Ilha do Mel, here I go!

Yes, I found an excellent spot on the boat
To be continued...

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


It was such a noisy at the room the whole night. All the candidates were so nervous and anxious that they couldn’t sleep at all. All the time the door was being opened and shut. It was big mess ‘til the candidates leave for the exams. After such a mess and confusion, I could sleep no more. I was fully awake and it was 7am. Once I cannot sleep, I decided to enjoy the day. It was a bright shining Sunday morning. I took a cold shower and went to living room to have my breakfast. On my way to the kitchen I saw a sign on the wall.

Love more. Kiss much more. Cry with desire. Give away generously. Make mistakes. Do what fright you the most. Scream! Harmonise more. Care less.
 On Sundays morning Curitiba has such a traditional open fair at ‘Largo da Ordem’ place. It was quite early, so I decided to go to the Oscar Niemeyer museum which was in the opposite direction, a grove aside the museum and then come back to city centre to walk around the Largo da Ordem fair and do some sightseeing.
A dodger car on my way to museum
 Eye Museum or Oscar Niemeyer Museum is where display all works Niemeyer designed around the world. He is a famous architect. He designed Brasília, capital of Brazil.

Eye museum or Oscar Niemeyer museum 

This thing of wanting to be exactly what we are, still going to take us further. Just regret once. (Inside the Museum)

This life is a journey, it's a pity I be here just as a passanger. I do not discuss with the destiny. What appears to do, I'm in. (Inside the Museum) 
 I passed through the grove João Paulo II and went back to hostel to have another breakfast, drink some water and go to the fair, once the hostel was on my way.
The Largo da Ordem fair sells from handcrafts to candies. All sort of typical provisions were found in this fair. Typical food, candies, drinks, clothes, shoes etc. Everything a good fair has. On this day, this fair also had a motorcycle club meeting and old cars exposition. The fair is surrounded by good restaurants and cafés.

Old Cars exhibition

The Largo da Ordem fair seeing from up side
 Wandering through the fair I found a Mosque. 

The mosque Iman Ali in Curitiba
 Of course I went inside. ‘Salam Maleico’ someone welcomed me. Maleico salam I replied. Then the guy started to talk with me in Arabic. ‘Hey mate, I’m Brazilian.’ ‘Sorry, I thought you were Arabian.’ And then this guy told me the whole story about Islamism and many complicated names that I already forgot. I appreciated his kindness and I left, no before taking a photo in “Mecca”.

Inside the mosque. Mecca in South Arabia. The holy place where all islamic people pray facing for
 After eating some typical food at the fair, I kept my sightseeing. I went to Curitiba Cathedral (Catedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz de Curitiba is how the Cathedral is named) and I saw a different way of sleeping.

Cathedral Basílica Menor de Nossa Senhora da Luz de Curitiba

For those ones who keep insisting to drink, be careful. You might sleep on this position sooner or later
 I wandered for the whole city for few days, so I had time to wander around and to chill out watching movies and going for drinks.
The following pics show a bit about what I have done in Curitiba city, besides give you some notion about this lovely city.

Curitiba Botanical Graden is good for picnics, chilling out, reading, play cards or simply wandering.

Curitiba Botanical Garden

Curitiba Botanical Garden from a different view
 Tanguá Park is quite big park. Also good for picnics, chilling out, reading, play cards or simply wandering. But when I went there 70% of the park was crowded with cars playing loud songs.
Tanguá Park

Tanguá Park seeing from the mansion

Tanguá Park seeing from down side
 The Wire Opera House is used for proms, concerts, plays and special announcements.

Wire Opera House
 The German Grove is special. It's a small grove inside the city, but the trees are so high that the treetops hide the sun and insulate the sound. It's good for a slow walk and chat with a friend. It seems you're farway from the city. Oh yes, on the top there's a German Café.

Entrance from German Grove

Going up on the German Grove

Sight from Curitiba on the top of the German Grove
 Barigui Park is another huge park. Very good for picnics, running, skating, playing, chilling out or whatever you want to do outdoors. Along the lake you find few dock restaurants. Good for a beer during the day or a romantic dinner at night.
Barigui Park
 You can go up the Telepar Tower to have a nice view from the city.

Telepar Tower
 The Ukrainian Memorial is beautiful. But the day I went there was going on a footage and I wasn't able to get inside the Memorial. Such a shame.
The Tingui Park is algo good for running, relaxing, reading, biking, picnics and meditation.
Ukrainian Memorial at Tingui Park

Parana University
P.s.: On Sundays all buses cost 1 real. Good option to move around.

To be continued...