The title translates to "A Perfect Day," and so it was! Today we returned to the train station, again about 8:45, for deja vu all over again. The trains were running and we were introduced to our guide, Terezina, who showed us to the waiting area. We presented our tickets and boarded the train - only 2 cars, self propelled (no locomotive). Both were Litorina Luxo cars and each had a bar with bartender, hostess, photographer, and bilingual guide. We were shown to a table at the back, and had two nice leather chairs facing each other. As the train started we were offered a white sparkling wine (sweet-ish, not Champagne), then coffee (Yerba Mate for me) and a small breakfast. Then we were fed a steady diet of Heinekin beers and our glasses were never empty for the rest of the 3.5 hour journey. I will stop typing and let the pictures do the talking for a while.
I know, we live a tough life here in South America, but someone has to do it! We wound our way out of the city and through a couple of small towns, then we entered the rain forest. Less typing and more pictures again:
The train stopped at a "keyhole shrine" for about 10 minutes, allowing a walk in the forest and some photo opportunities. The rain forest was full of hydrangeas and other flowers, plus ferns, plants and trees everywhere. It smelled wonderful and clean. We took several photos at the stop and many more as the train started down the mountain toward the coast and Paranaguå Bay.
The train ultimately stopped in Morretes, a small town at the foot of the mountains where the temperature was around 100 degrees F and the place was jammed full of Brazilians enjoying the sunny Sunday - in the parks, in the restaurants, on the street, everywhere! The train company owns an interest in a restaurant there where they serve a local delicacy known as barreado, a sort of beef stew, along with crab croquettes, salad, fruit, fried shrimp, and fried fish. The barreado was quite delicious, and is prepared in this restaurant in the traditional earthenware pots, cooking for more than 24 hours (some say up to a week). You have the meat in a stock served in a crockery pot. You mix the stock with coarse farina flour, then add the meat on top with sliced banana and white rice. What do you think?
To be continued...