We have arrived in Brazil! Everything is quite different, but not too strange. In the airports most signs are in both English and Portuguese. Those that are not, quite unsurprisingly, are only in Portuguese. In context the meaning is usually easy to understand. Hamburguesas may not make sense by itself, but prominently featured beside a place selling cheeseburgers it becomes quite clear. Tinto in a sign displaying virbrant colors of paint and painting supplies also makes sense. We navigated the Såo Paulo airport with the willing assistance of a Brazilian that sat behind us on the flight - most helpful. I am sure we could have managed on our own. We had time to enjoy a small lunch in the airport at this place:
I used my handy pocket dictionary for the words I did not know. This is the House of Bread and Cheese. We had 2 sandwiches, an Italiano which had some kind of salami and was kind of "bread-y," and a Peruvian which had turkey and was kind of "cheese-y." So it all made sense. And with no assistance at all, we were able to pay and connect to a flight, and make our way to the city Curitiba, a 45 minute flight on a new, clean and comfortable Embraer jet.
At the Curitiba airport, we deplaned down the stairs from the rear of the airplane and walked across the tarmac to waiting buses. These carried the passengers around a large cargo handling area back maybe half a mile to the terminal, and there we were greeted by our host, Mauro, who drove us back to his house where we would stay for several days. Mauro's English skills are quite good, and we were able to understand each other most of the time. He lives in a nice, modern 3-level house with his wife Camila, and two small dogs - Ozzy and Estopinha. Our room is open, airy and very nice. And we have the use of one full bathroom all to ourselves. A nice basket of towels, snacks, and a personalized letter to welcome us and give us instructions and internet password was also provided. We took our showers and changed clothes, having almost 2 full days on our current set. We then went to some small shops to get SIM cards for our phones - no problems, and continued on for a short driving tour and walking tour of Curitiba hosted by Mauro. After some time we met his wife, Camila, and drove over to a restaurant called "Mr. Green Healthy Food." Our meal there was fresh and good and not too large, and reasonably priced as well. We learned that Mauro and I have something in common. For both of us our wives are truly the better half of the couple!
Cars are very expensive in Brazil, so motorcycles are prolific. They are all sizes and shapes and ages and there is dedicated bike parking everywhere. The downtown area is nice and had plenty of snacking and al fresco dining options. The temperatures were in the mid 70s, and not much cooler after sunset - very nice and relaxing. See what you think about the place:
After a nice dinner of salad and sandwich with fresh healthy juices, we had dessert of the famous Brazilian Açai fruit, frozen and blended into a slush with some granola on the side for a topping. Stunningly delicious!
We returned to the house and talked for a bit, and then headed up to bed around 10:30 PM. A long day, and a very good one!