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Day 7 - Cidade Foz do Iguaçu - March 5, 2013

Since we were the last to exit the bus and had taken our time to find the restrooms, the crowd had thinned a bit when we found the taxi stand.  There were 3 taxis and about 7 groups in line.  It took only five minutes or so as taxis came in one by one for each group.  I showed the driver the address for the pousada (B&B), which I had written along with the phone number.  He nodded, handed me back the address, and loaded our bags into the trunk.  We both got into the back, and I noticed that the meter was showing 16.60 already.  The taxi started to move, and the meter clicked over to 16.90.  I leaned forward, reached across his shoulder, pointed to the meter, and said "Do meter!"  He pushed a button which changed the # of passengers from 2 to 1, but the meter did not reset, and he said something in fast, staccato Portuguese that ended in "minutos."  I took it to mean that it would reset in a minute, but that was not the case.  About 10 minutes later he asked for the address again, called the pousada and asked for directions, and proceeded.  A minute later he stopped along the street in the rain, looking around.  He finally found the place, half a block in the opposite direction, so after some honking (more AT him than by him), he pulled up to the place.  They raised the security gate and we got out.  Thankfully the rain had decreased to nothing, and Silvana, our hostess stood at the door of the house to greet us.  The driver opened the trunk with a key, and we took out our stuff.  Once the bags were secured out of his reach and we were standing behind the car, I asked him, "Quanto?" (how much?).  He replied "Treinta!" (30) and smiled.  I asked "Trienta?!  Por que?" (30?  Why?), and I was not smiling.  He gestured over his shoulder with his thumb toward the front of the car where the meter was.  I had to ask K how to say 16 and she told me, "dezes-seis,"  So I told the driver, "Do metro von deze-seis zu treinta"  (the meter from 16 to 30, in very incorrect Portuguese), and he says "Nao entendo" (I don't understand), so I point again "Meter dezes-seis zu treinta" and he nods and smiles.  And I said "POR QUE?"  He says, "Entendo.  Quinze."   (Understand.  15)  I should point out here that Mauro had an app, and he was able to look up the approximate taxi fare for this city from the bus station to the pousada was around 17 Brazilian Reais, shown as R$17.  And I had called the pousada to make the reservation, and Sylvana, our hostess, had also told me R$15-R$17.  So I knew that R$15 (approx US$7.50) was an appropriate fare.  I paid with a 50, so he saw I had the money, and he counted out 35 in change.  For an attempted minor larceny, it was all very friendly.  Kind of, no harm, no foul.  I was annoyed, but did not let it ruin the day.  I even felt a little victorious, despite my terrible language skills.

If not for the assistance of  Mauro and Silvana, both of whom went out of their way to find the information and tell us, we would have paid double the cab fare.  While it's not a big amount, the principle of honesty can be preserved.  The most important lesson for us was to really leverage the local people to find out things like the correct fare, then to politely insist upon something in that range until they realize that you know right from wrong on the price quote.  K also looked up how to ask to set the meter to zero, but the next guy will probably try a different trick on us.

It was about 8AM, and Silvana, who speaks English, signed us in and told us she had one room available immediately, and a somewhat larger one available in the afternoon, should we want to wait.  We took a look at the available room, and it was just fine.  Then Silvana showed us to the breakfast room and proceeded to feed us ham, cheese, fruit, bread, cakes, coffee, and juice - all fresh and delicious.  Then we retired to the room (#5), turned out the lights, and slept until almost 1PM.  It was a blessed rest after the uncomfortable night on the bus.

Pousada Bella Casa

The place is called Pousada Bella Casa (the beautiful house), and Silvana, who works the business along with her sister, gave us some nice literature about the town and the nearby sights, restaurants, shopping, and the like.  The rain had gone and the sun had come out, so we launched out to explore the town.  First stop was the Bradesco bank, where we got some more Brazilian cash.  Then we walked the streets, looking in the shops, watching the traffic, and soaking in the atmosphere.  We followed some signs to the Katharina Hostel Bar, maybe for a mile, just for something to do.  The city is laid out in a grid, so no problem with getting lost or returning.  The Katharina was a pretty nice hostel, and we stopped there to enjoy some beer in their patio, checking the email and making some calls using their very good internet connection.  We returned to our pousada to refresh, and Silvana was there with a big smile, as always.  

Because we had taken the room to sleep in the morning, we were not in the main house, but in a separate structure (with two separate guest quarters under one roof) in the front courtyard.  There was a small amount of traffic noise, mostly screened by the excellent air conditioning.  We had slept very well using ear plugs.  In contrast there was a very large amount of noise from our neighbors next door, an Italian family of husband, wife, and daughter of 5 years old.  It must be true that Italians are a nation of passion, because all three expressed their passion constantly and vocally with high volume.  I mentioned it to Silvana, and she told me the family had been there for 11 days, and they were getting tired of each others' company.  She offered to move us, but since we had already slept in the bed, we declined, and returned to the room to refresh.  There are two doors to the separate house, and this time the outer one was closed, and the Italians' room was open.  We came in and went into our room, under the glare of the wife.  Apparently we invaded her territory.  About 10 minutes later Silvana came by with a key, and almost begged us to look at another room.  We did so, and Room #1, inside the main home, on the courtyard, with the door next to the pool, was gorgeous, spacious, and wonderful.  No traffic noise.  No family noise.  There was construction noise from a building next door, but only during they day from 7:30 AM to maybe 6PM.  No problem for us, as we would always be awake by then.  Silvana insisted that we should move, and so we did.  The new place is much better suited for us, and we could leave the Italians to work out their differences and we could live in peace.

Room #5 (and #6 behind, with Italians)
Bella Casa Outer Courtyard


  1. Auito!! mi dispiaci! io vorrei un bichieri vino roso! lol Italianos!

  2. You should have typed that in ALL CAPS!!! lol