Second travel to the capital of the state of Paraná.
Destination Curitiba, second travel to the capital of the state of Paraná.
Bus travel from Belo Horizonte to Curitiba.
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Green landscape on a cloudy day
In January, I had my first holidays of my work as an English teacher. The language school had the holidays synchronized with those of the high schools: therefore, my holidays started in the week before Christmas, and would last until the end of January. Now I had paid work, I could afford a short travel. For some time, I was in real doubt about where to go. My desire is to travel to the Northeast, to the capitals as João Pessoa, Natal, Fortaleza, Recife, Aracaju. Other alternatives were Foz do Iguaçu or Porto Alegre. A friend of mine also wanted to travel, and she suggested to travel together. Her desire was to travel to Buenos Aires, but the travel expenses were too high for a week in the Argentinian capital. I then suggested to choose a city closer to Belo Horizonte: Curitiba. We then agreed.
Many trucks shuttle between São Paulo and Curitiba
Our first option was to travel by airplane, the most effective and time-saving option. Unfortunately, there were no cheap tickets from Belo Horizonte to Curitiba. The more time-consuming alternative, traveling by bus, was inevitable. The bus would first stop in São Paulo, a journey of about eight hours. Another six hours would be spent between São Paulo and Curitiba. The departure was scheduled late at night. We checked in and waited patiently at the rodoviária (bus station) in downtown Belo Horizonte.
The highway (‘Regis Bittencourt’) meandering between the mountains
I already had traveled three times to Curitiba by bus. The first time was in July 2005, when I was on my way to Foz do Iguaçu and Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. I was invited by a friend in Curitiba to visit her. She and her friend accompanied and guided me during my ten-hour stop in Curitiba. The second time, in April 2007, was not a real visit, but we were on the way to Florianópolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina. From Curitiba, some more ten hours by bus. In April 2008, was the third travel. This time I joined a large group of university students for their regional meeting in Curitiba. Most of them were lodged in the campus, while I joined a small group of seven people who preferred to stay in a much quieter hostel, in downtown Curitiba.
Entrance of a toll road
We arrived at the big bus station in São Paulo at seven am. We didn’t get out; only passengers with destination São Paulo left the bus, while other passengers with destination Curitiba took their vacant seats. It was raining a little that morning, but we also noticed some sky blue spots above us. We experienced some delay, when the bus entered the outer limits of Curitiba. The roads were somewhat crowded, causing some more delay upon our arrival at the bus station annex train station. I had suggested to stay in the same hostel where I had been in 2008. The hostel was at a stone’s throw of the a shopping mall, which once was the main railway station. From the actual bus station, we took the express bus to the shopping mall and walked about five minutes to arrive at the hostel.
Inside a bi-articulate bus
I immediately recognized the hostel. It gave me a familiar feeling when I entered it and progressed to the lobby. Our reservations were confirmed, we only had to buy an ID valid for the hostel company. With this ID, we obtained some discount, and we would obtain discount at any other hostel of this company. This hostel have the dormitories separated for men and women. My friend, Virginia, immediately went to her dormitory to refresh herself, while I took some time to open my laptop and see for some possible news and emails, before I refreshed myself. It was already one-thirty when we left the hostel, on our way for a first encounter with downtown Curitiba.
Shopping Estação: Railway station converted into a shopping mall
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom