Screw the tourist bus!
Day 76: Curitiba, Brazil
Happy Birthday Morgan!!
Today started with the idea of doing some tourist sightseeing before we head off to Iguazu Falls on the night bus. We wondered around the city, walking through large parks that dot the city, wondering back through the zoo, and eventually happening upon a giant organic food market.
We wondered the aisles, drooling over all the fruits and veggies. We bought some lovely peaches, bananas, and watermelon. Saben couldn´t help himself from buying some sugared figs and mangos. By this time we were starving and headed upstairs to find a restaurant. Fried food, ever last bit of it, with all this beautiful produce just inches away. Then in the corner, tucked away we saw the self-service sign. Self service joints almost always have some kind of veggies. To our surprise it was a sushi self service place! We were happy as…. well, we were really happy. So we filled both plates with gorgeous sushi, salmon with mango, crab and strawberries, spicy salmon, my mouth waters thinking about it. Saben even went back for seconds and all for less than $6 dollars a person!
Completely stuffed we set out to see some more sights. Every time we try to save a few dollars, we end up screwing ourselves. One would think that we`d have learned that by now. As we walked up the uncharacteristically quiet road in the middle of nowhere, we wondered how we could`ve missed the stop for the Ukranian Memorial. The tourist information office told us exactly which bus to take and that it would go directly there toward the end of the route. But at the end of the route, the driver told us to get out. So there we stood, in the middle of a rather poor unkempt neighborhood with no cars, buses or taxis in sight. The yards were small and mostly overgrown and miscellaneous metal pieces scattered over porches. “I don`t think this is it,“ Lin said looking perplexed, looking at the increasingly gloomy sky. “How are we going to get out of here?“ she asked rhetorically as the only bus in sight pulled away. We started walking back toward where we came from, hoping to see another bus heading the opposite direction to take us onward. We waited nearly 45 minutes before one finally came, and giving the driver, more than enough notice, we waved him to stop. He slowed down just enough to make us think he was going to stop and then, he just kept driving. Damn…
By this time, it was starting to drizzle and we really needed a bus, any bus, going in either direction. Finally another came along and actually let us on. We didn`t know where we were headed but were along for the ride thinking we would figure it out when we arrived. But, we arrived at a bus terminal, also out in the middle of nowhere. All the schedules we checked didn`t seem inclined to head toward any tourist sites, despite what the tourist information lady had said. We hopped onto a bus going back to the center of town to escape the rain. It took nearly 40 minutes to get back to town but we got a tour of the city as we stared out the rain dotted bus windows. It wasn`t the Ukranian Memorial and it certainly wasn`t the tourist bus, but we certainly saw more than we would`ve on foot. We got back a little early for the bus to Iguazu and since it was raining way to hard to do much, we went to the movies and saw ´´The Watchmen´´ before heading on that long, long bus ride.
So here`s a Traveler`s Tip for a rainy day in the city: Hop on a public bus headed anywhere and see the city on a serious budget. When you get to the end of the route, pay another fare if you have to and stay on if your bus doesn`t connect up at a terminal or another bus stop. If it does go to another terminal, hop on a different bus to see another side of the city.