01.07.2008 22 °C
We have now finally made a move from Rio, 2 days later than planned. There were two reasons for that extension - the first that the weather picked up so late, but most of all because we had fallen head over heels with the place, the hostal we were staying at and the people we met there. The hostal was indeed basic in terms of general comfort, and yeah it was a bit of a nightmare to queue for a shower, but that paled in the face of the great time we had there. Plus it´s the cheapest in Rio, bargain. We´ve done so much this week - including a very entertaining evening out with two lovely Isreali guys from the hostal to a hip-hop club (or, if you´re Brasileno, ´hippie-hoppie´), and were wonderfully out of place but very welcome all the same. We went up to see Jesus at Corcovado... he said his arms hurt. We were perplexed at the very well dressed foreigners floating around in fancy dresses and suits, then we found out that it´s possible to get married in the chapel under Jesus´ feet, which is exactly what happened at sundown. Rather oddly, however, the bride came up the escalator and had to walk past all of us tourists, which is probably the last thing she wanted on the big day (and just think of the potential for mishap involving the train of the dress and the escalator...) Anyway, the views were spectacular, and when I get a chance next I´ll put up some photos, so keep checking back here for when I get the chance to do that.
So Sunday finally came and we realised that it was time to move on, and after a lingering sit on Ipanema beach we mooched home to pack our bags and get moving. As we left, and said goodbye to the people in the hostal - Freddy, the Brazilian owner (and our Portuguese teacher) and Brian, the American who is co-running it, as well as the other travellers mostly from Latin America and a few from Europe - we each had a lump in our throats. The best way to leave a place, I suppose, is to be sorry to go.
So now, after a few bus rides (a relatively painless 12 hours this time), we´re here in Curitiba, a lovely little town which is the capital of the southern state of Paraná. The weather is lovely still and we´ve had a great time just walking around the city which still has preserved a lot of its colonial architecture - lots of baroque-looking pretty buildings. Yesterday we ventured on the bus to the botanical garden just outside the city, and today we checked out the art museum and a really, really tasty food market (including a taco stall with proper home-made tortillas - Dad, you´d have really loved it!). It´s very different to Rio, much more chilled, but it´s good to have a few more relaxed days after living it up in Rio. We had planned to take the train to the coast, apparently ít´s spectacular.. but as it turns out it only runs on the weekend, and we´re not staying till Saturday just for the train, so we´re moving on back to Foz do Iguazu and picking up an extra day.
Anyway, I´ll make a map of our next moves so you´ll have an idea of where we are, and also now that this is my tenth blog (whoo!) the links that I´ve made about the project *should* appear, so I hope you find them interesting, and I´ll add more as I find them. I´ll add the latest photos soon - there are so many from Corcovado I need a concerted photo session to figure out which are the best!
Love to all (and how is it July already?!?!?)