B'day on the most famous train journey in Brazil!!
Trip Start Dec 29, 2007
174Trip End Dec 22, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Thankfully we had chosen the cheapest train class which meant no electric doors and open windows, just what I like. We had a guide on our carriage too but she only spoke Portuguese, so we had no idea what she was saying! Our carriage group were all locals but lots of fun and had already opened the beer at 8am! So, excited about what lay ahead, I opened my first 2 b'day cards from mum and Luce which with the emotional words made me blub abit and then we were off.....or so we thought!
After about 2 minutes the train stopped reversed and back we were in the station. After some babble from our guide everyone started getting off and like idiots we sat there not having a clue what was going on!
We learnt other things too, she said the coffee in Brazil was rubbish compared to the Brazilian coffee you get in England because all the good stuff is exported and locals are left the poor parts. I must admit we have found the coffee very bitter and nothing like home, so now we know why! She explained that she was gay and that her girlfriend who didn't say a word didn't speak English and was the quieter of the two but that she liked to talk, so as you can imagine, we both got on quite well!! Such a nice lady and very open, she said this was very much part of Brazilian culture and that they were an extremely friendly society who liked to help people. The one thing that had surprised us about Brazil so far was the people in that when you think Brazilians you think, tanned, long dark curly hair and (for the men) gorgeous bodies and small bikini's, however so far about 60% of everywhere we had gone the locals looked European and not as we imagined at all, light hair and fair skin, I thought at first most of the locals were holiday makers!
Next a huge cheer and an hour later the train was running, great news! Off we set, our guide an older lady attempted some English with us now which was really kind then explained to the rest of the carriage in Portuguese where we were from and where we were going plus something which made them laugh, if only we knew, we were DEFINITELY getting a phrase book now!! After being given some snacks we were heading out of Curitiba, leaving the high rises and finally crossing through green land again, open spaces and farmland before reaching the Atlantic Forest of the Paranagua area and the beautiful Marumbi mountain range!
Despite the torrential rain at times and unfortunate low cloud on the journey, it truly was a beautiful train ride and lots of fun! Our first tunnel of 13, they left the lights off so we were in the pitch black (nice!) and everyone was making ghost noises and being silly so that was a good mind diverter for me and I made it out the other side!! The mountains were a lush green with a real tropical feel and we passed many beautiful striking butterflies and birds on route as we twisted, turned and curved through the valleys and round the mountain side. Most of the journey when it wasn't too wet was spent leaning out of the carriage taking in the views plus of course taking many photos and videos.
On route we went over some spectacular gorges, across one of the famous steel bridges, which with the sheer drops either side was pretty hair raising and passed waterfall upon waterfall and followed many curving rivers
On leaving the train, thankfully our guide pointed us in the direction of the bus stop as we wouldn't have had a clue. By now we had missed the 3 hour boat to the island that we wanted to take from Paranagua so instead got a mini bus to Pontal do Sul for the 30 minute boat journey instead. The bus ride went along the main highway through the forest with tanker and lorry upon lorry making its way to or from the port of Paranagua.
Then on reaching the boat, we paid our tax fee, all of a pound, got given our 'rave' style bracelet to prove it and bought a cold beer to enjoy the journey with....wow a full 7 days in one place just chilling, we hadn't done this since OZ and were really looking forward to it!!!