My host Mauro, who runs a bit a travel agency himself, arranged it all and I was picked up at 8:15am from just outside the apartment. The man of the house (Nelson) was such a sweetie and made me a nice breakfast, with plenty coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and all sorts of fruit. He's a retired lawyer and never stopped trying to be helpful and friendly, calling his son in law to check where the bus was.
|Very homely appartment|
|Nelson is a lovely man|
|The flat from the outside|
The bus driver was of Russian descent and I joined six others that had been picked up from various locations in Curitiba before being taken to the train station where our train was on the platform, waiting. There must have been about 16 carriages and most of them were full, so the tour is obviously very popular.
Each carriage had its own tour guide who told us all about the history of the train and the places we were going to see. The guide had German parents but was born in Brazil and spoke excellent English too.
|Going into the station|
|Pulling away from the platform|
The train did pull out of Curitiba very slowly and it took an hour or so before we'd started getting into the hills. It soon got pretty spectacular from there as the track cut through mountain tunnels and over rickety looking bridges as it made it's way towards the coast.
The train had originally been commissioned to help deliver local produce from Curitiba to the sea port but this has long been superseded by much faster road transport, so it's just for tourism now.
There were many beautiful scenes in the mountains and eventually we arrived at our stop, another old historic town called Morretes where we had a very nice lunch. I joined the other six, all from Sao Paulo. There was a retired couple, a young family with their son and a single lady. It was very pleasant indeed and they switched to English regularly so that I could keep up with what was being said.
After a little walk around the town, we popped in the bus to visit the port town of Antonina before driving back to Curitiba via the freeway, much quicker than the train.
I'm just going to relax for a few hours now until my bus takes me, overnight, to Santos. Perhaps I should have gone earlier but at least I'll save on one night's accommodation this way.