Travel Journal

Back to Maringa

(Thursday 5 March 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Oi Gente (Hi folks)……. as they say here!
I bet you’ve missed me popping in to bug you !! We left you the last time when we were off to a birthday party…. I was wrong the dinner was served at midnight!! The hour here changed that night also, so we are now 3 hours behind you.

We travelled a couple of days later, back to Maringa. We had to spend 10 days here doing things various, as it was over Carnival we thought we may get a taste of things here.
Most of you may think Rio is the only place that “does” Carnaval.
Rio is mostly for tourists, while Sao Paulo and Salvador is where the Brazillians head for if they can.

The floats…. Big lorries decorated with the most amazing things… some of them look at least 50 ft high!! Some of the decorations on the lorries are animated and scantily clad women are dancing within the decorations. The carnival lasts for 5 days…. So pacing yourself is a must!! :-|

Now what seems to happen here is once you have decided where you are going to spend Carnaval ; you then have to decide what “bloco” you want to attend then buy a tee shirt which allows you to join the bloco. The tee shirts can range from £5 to £20 depending on the bloco you want. Each Bloco have musicians on a lorry….. some of them pop stars here. So by buying your tee shirt you can follow your favourite singer all the 5 days and nights!!

Another way to watch more of the carnival is to buy a space in a stand, that way you watch the decorated lorries and pop stars passing you…. This option is more expensive.
The least expensive way to experience Carnaval….. is street parties… you have no way of seeing any of the lorries or the stars but you hear the music ….any time there is music…. feet and bodies move here. The dancing is fast with a lot of bum, bum moving!!
The ladies you see in the skimpy costumes here barely covering their naughty bits are well rounded, at least size 16-18… the bigger the bum the better !! We did see in a shop a latex prosthetic bum addition ….just in case yours was not big enough…. Seriously this was honest to goodness addition to pad out your posterior… I feel I have no need of that!!!! :-^

Well we saw nothing of the Carnival except on the T.V.
I had a bad stomach problem that took me off my feet for 4 days, still feeling a little weak yet…. Talking to folks here they said nothing much happened, so luckily we didn’t feel too pissed off.


Mike is doing so well with his Portuguese; he has managed to get me sorted at the Pharmacy and get supplies from the supermarket. Coco water is brilliant to settle the tummy, and we have been getting soup for me…. Making sure it has no Garlic.
Yesterday we walked in one of the parks… Mike saw little monkeys there when he was running…. I saw Nada !! What we did see was loads of people using exercise equipment supplied by the government on the path surrounding the path… Thought it was a great idea. We also saw wagons selling sugar cane juice….It was a large very vicious looking roller which the sugar cane was pushed through…. Twice. Two canes about ¾ m long gave about 1pt of juice. The amount of flies and bees around them made the whole thing look very hazardous. I decided not to taste it.

We did see some huge beautiful butterflies….Borboleta’s. I looked like a complete idiot trying to photograph them as they hopped from flower to flower…. Must have jet propelled tongue as none of them stayed still longer than a millisecond….I tell you I take my hat off to these wild life photographers, I wouldn’t have the patience. …Still I managed to snap one, so look on the photos.

We did find Maringa a lovely green city…. But it rains a lot, infact one morning was positively cool…. 24c and I am saying cool??? We must have acclimatised a little. Later on though it got much warmer….

Now the difficulty you have is ….Air-con in the car or no air- con and windows open. There is a big scare campaign on the T.V. about people getting robbed and watches/ wallets and handbags stolen when the cars are at traffic lights if the windows are open. In the big cities there are a lot of poor people drawn by the idea of money, in reality if they are not educated there are few jobs. There is no social hand outs so don’t work ….don’t eat.
At traffic lights there can be an army of people selling water, newspapers and various other gadgets. This is also where you get the entertainers…. men juggling road cones… clowns juggling balls, kids doing acrobatics. When the lights turn red out they pop onto the carriageway… Now they have to be savvey as they only have around 6 cars that can see them do the tricks, they have to watch the lights and time it well enough to pass by the windows of these 6 cars before the light change green.

In other parts of any of the large cities here you can see families sleeping on the streets. I must admit seeing these young kids living on the streets does make you realise life sucks for some people. If we are near a supermarket I buy juice and cake for them…. The restaurants here also will give you a carryout box to take home what you have not managed to eat…. If we see people around that are poor, I get the box and give it to them….. I know they have no choice of what they are eating, BUT at least it’s something.

Another thing you see here in rural areas are little shack hamlets along the side of the road. Houses made of wood and plastic or wooden crates. There are some with Horse and cart. Most have a little garden and some even a wreck of a car outside that does move but slowly at 20mph. These people are called “ Sem Terra” ….. Without land.
The farmers will leave an area of around 4m between their field and the edge of the road… this allows people like this to grow some cash crop… Sugar cane, soya etc. The children in these Hamlets were being given some schooling, and the adults employed to help with harvest at times….. There are big water Lorries that supply water into large blue water buts…. I’ve no idea if they pay for this, and ask any Brazillian and they avoid talking about them so info is hard to come by.


On our way home from Maringa we stopped at a garage…. The way to the pumps are always fraught with the usual pothole situation.. but at least everyone’s speed is low. At these places you can usually eat pay by kilo (load your plate and then weigh it to see how much you pay). As long as you time it for around 12ish the food is fresh and good….

Well out we get and I head for the Loo…… A queue, and the women didn’t look Brazillian… there must have been 15 in front of me… never seen so many foreigners in one place!!! I found out they were Aussies travelling around South America for 8 months. They had just travelled from Rio having spent Carnival there and were on their way to Bonita. I asked how many were on the trip …..29!!! I looked around for a coach and saw nothing. I was told they were on a lorry bus… Well when it passed us I thanx God I was not on it…. No air-con, stuffed in this high yellow box with windows… and they paid for it !!!
It was proudly emblazoned with “Toucan Tours.. an experience of a lifetime…” Yeh and would take a lifetime to get over it!!!
I have been having nightmares about these youngsters…(20-25 yrs old) in this bus travelling South America, I would feel like I was on a prison bus!!!

Well we arrived back to Ilha around 5pm, we were shattered and did refuse a night out with amigos. They were going for Sashimi…… raw fish Ugh!!! We really do not like it, so instead had cake and went to bed.
I have two tasks for next week… Get the intercom and gate working as we have no idea if anyone is there unless they yell !
The other task is…. Good lord senior moment totally forgotten what is is….. bodes well for next week !!!
Oh… remembered now get the damned tree cut.>:-)

Well folks enough me blabbing how’s things with you ???

Laur x

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