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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...
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Log entries 91 - 100 of 2968 Page: 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15



Dec 18, 2023 12:00 AM Flying home for Christmas...

Flying home for Christmas... Bye, bye hot South America! The airbus flying over Atlantic was almost full but the miracle happened: I was angry to get the middle seat in the economy cabin. But when finally announced "boarding completed" I recognized that I am solo on the four middle seats! This never happened before. It was 10-hours flight Sao Paulo to Lisbon. What a comfort! I was feeling like in the first class! Sorry, the hot meal was poor on TAP, but it was served with a quality Portuguese red wine...
We landed in Lisbon at 5 am local time. I had enough time to wash, to shave and to go to the new gate. We were in the air another 4 hours flying Lisbon to Warsaw. What a shame: on this European flight TAP acts as a low-cost airlines: only a glass of water is included, for the other food you have to pay extra!
I landed in the snowless, foggy Warsaw on the middle of the day and now I am waiting for the connection to my Gda?sk. The next expedition - a sentimental journey to South America is almost completed. Thes was another great, successful voyage!



Dec 17, 2023 12:00 AM Airports, airlines..

Airports, airlines.. Lovely Curitiba is not strong (sorry to write it) regarding tourist info. They do not have info office or kiosk in the town. Language (few people know basic English). Internet sources are not updated...
How can I get to the airport (17 kms) on a cheap? Uber costs like 12 dollars. But I recognized that there is the city bus 505 going from my hotel to suburb Boqueirao terminal. You pay 6 reais in the tube and board bus from the tube. On the last stop you just change the platform to the stop of the orange bus E32 going to the airport as a shuttle. People in the hotels didn't know that. So I publish timetable for the travellers - for the backpacker this info is worth at least 12 USD. In elegant Curitiba airport I was waiting only quarters - no lines to the security control - you can go through with your water!



Dec 16, 2023 12:00 AM Cultural Curitiba

Cultural Curitiba The capital of Brazilian Parana state shines like a jewel within the other prowince capitals of Brazil. Well designeg, with great samples of architecture, well organized and having interesting history and many green parks could be an ideal target for the tourists. I believe, it will be. Also because Curitiba lies on the level around 900 m above the sea and climate is more mild here.
I spent a sunny day strolling around Curitiba. They have also inexpensive tourist doubledecker bus starting from 24-hours Street, but I always prefere to walk my way... They have a kind of the old town with color houses and cozy Rosario Church (on the picture), flower clock and fancy pedestrian streets full of shops. It is Christmas time (34 deg Celsius today) - many Christmas trees are around and markets full of seasonal gifts are well known here. I have a good time in Curitiba!



Dec 15, 2023 12:00 AM The fantastic rocks of Vila Velha

The fantastic rocks of Vila Velha 25 kms from the big town of Ponta Grossa there is very interesting State Park famous for its sandstone rock formations. It is in the middle pf nowhere so I was forced to use uber to get to the park gate. It costme 35 reais. The entry ticket costs another 112 reais but seniors have a 50 percent discount. Once you have your wrist tape you can leave your small backpack in the locker for free and the frequent park bas will take you about 1 km uphill to the trailhead of the sandstone range. Great views are waiting there! The most popular rock formation they call The Vup - see the picture... Hot, hot, hot...
Once the safari bus will bring you back to the park info center you can jump for another bus which will take you to the two holes in the ground (like canopy) but it is not as interesting as the sandstones. Allow 4 hours to see both loops. I wad lucky to find the lift to Ponta and then the bus to Curitiba. Lovely, interesting day?



Dec 14, 2023 12:00 AM 12 hours in the bus...

12 hours in the bus... No way. The only day bus was departing at 5.40 am and I was forced to call the uber car to get to the rodoviaria - bus station. They collected the luggage and informed that the toilet is in the back and the water in the plastic cups is free. It was a long journey in the green landscapes of Parana province. Pinheiros - umbrela like trees are nice attraction of this region. We were caling small towns jumping on the humps and coming back to the main road and again and again. There was one half an hour stop for the meal (9 reais per kilo) at the roadside restaurant. We finally arrived to Ponta Grossa with 2 hours delay - just before sunset. Hotel advertized on booking.com is stinky and dirty. Too late to look for the other one...



Dec 13, 2023 12:00 AM Iguazu Falls. act 2

Iguazu Falls. act 2 To get to this magnificent falls on the Brasilian side you have to board city bus 120 heading to the airport and then onward to the nearby park gate. Prepare 5 reais for the driver and take care in the tight metal reel counting boarding people - you can easily be locked with your luggage! The 120 bus will deliver you to the National Park emporium where you must buy the entry ticket for 100 reais, no discounts!
Then you will boatf park double decker to travel another 6 kms into the park - to uthe stop near Cataracts Hotel, where is the beginning of falls trail. 1,2 km long concrete path built in the canyon slope opens at the beginning view to the falls on Argentinian side (but from the distance) Then you will pass San Martin Island and you can photograph the great falls which from Argentinian side are not visible - like two-tier Rivadavia.
Belgrano Fall is further and the view of central Garganta do Diablo will open - in fact what you see it is the huge cloud of water drops. They built the solid concrete walkway to the bottom of Garganta but if you will decide to go there you will not see anything new, but you will be 100 percent wet. Between Garganta and the trail there is fantastic and powerful Floriano fall very close to viewing platform. Is the Brasilian side better then Argentinian? No, it is just different and require less effort...



Dec 12, 2023 12:00 AM Through the border...

Through the border... When I was crossing here the border 39 years ago there was no bridge below the warerfall - I used the ferry to go from Argentina to Brazil. Later , due to the growing international traffic they were forced to build the bridge. For the tourists it is easy to use, but not for the private drivers, who are waiting in kilometer - long lines on both sides for the control. From the bus terminal in Argentinian Puerto Iguasu for 2000 pesos I boarded junk bus (but with air conditioning) It departs every hour 7.30, 8
30 etc We collected few more passengers on the city stops and finally aproached the bridge. It if far from the town and it is not a good idea to walk there. On Argentinian side everybody was forced to disembark the bus with all its stuff and go through the Arg immigrations. They are computerized (no stamps) and it goes fast. You will board again the same bus on the other side of the building to drive through the bridge.
On the Brazilian side there is no control. Nobody asked you to get off, some people are waiting outside. For what? I asked the driver - he said -No control! and departed to the city: Foz do Iguacu.
Foz is much bigger and wide in comparison to Argentinian brother. Be careful: Foz has two bus terminals: one for urban and suburban traffic and the other (rodoviaria international) for long dostance. Foz is not small and cozy like Puerto Iguazu. I war forced to take a taxi to get to my pension in the side street. The day is hot. I do my laundry getting ready to the new look of the falls tomorrow. They pay 4,82 reais for the dollar. Don't bring older or dirty US notes - they do not like them and you will get less!



Dec 11, 2023 12:00 AM Jesuits Missions

Jesuits Missions Today they pay here already 920 pesos for the dollar! Great news for the budget traveller! For 4500 pesos I bought a bus ticket for 4,5 hours ride to San Ignacio. At the end of 17th century Jesuits established on both sides of Parana river mission settlements for the local Guarani Indios. They were working and praying together in the peace. The number of missions was growing. It is estimaded that more then 100 thousand people was living in the "Monk's Republic" hundred years later.
Spanish king ordered monks to go home. Enemies did the rest. Now we can visit only the ruins of some missions - the others are covered by jungle. Today I visited well preserved and easily accessible Mission San Ignacio Mini. Entry costs only 2000 pesos. And it was definitely worth!



Dec 10, 2023 12:00 AM Storm over the selva

Storm over the selva I did not sleep well last night. Heavy thunders, lightnings, heavy rain non-stop. It happens in the tropical selva zone. No internet connection today in the morning. I was writing until the 1 pm when the rain finally stopped. What a pleasant temperature I experience after the storm: only 25 deg Celsius under the coudy sky! In the afternoon I took a walk to the Point of three Frontiers. At the confluence of Parana and Iguazu rivers there is a monument of the conjunction of three borders: Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. It is popular tourist destination but in fact there is not much to see except the huge rivers and Barazil -Paraguay froendship bridge. Nice walk anyway,.. Prices in Argentina are crazy. They ask for 2600 pesos per kilo of bananas. But the bottle of 0,75 dark argentinian rum costs 2200 pesos. What will be your choice if you have 3 USD to spend? :)

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Dec 09, 2023 12:00 AM Iguazu Falls, act 1

Iguazu Falls, act 1 Arriving to Argentina only few people know about huge inflation in this country. In the bank officially you will get 370 pesos for 1 dollar, on the street - up to 900. Some Cambios - Money Changers apply official "tourist rate" - 870 if you will show the passport. But first you must find them... I did!
I stay on Argentinian side of the most beautiful Iguazu Falls. To get into the National Park take in Puerto Iguazu frequent bus "Cataractas". For 2000 pesos it will take you to the park gate where you will pay 20000 pesos for your entry ticket. No mercy or discounts for gringos.
Toy train (included) will take you only 1 km to "Cataractas" station. They will not tell you that the rest of the track is closed due to damages on the trail to Garganta.
Then you have a choice of two walking trails: superior built on the rim of the few consecutive waterfalls - you can walk as far as Mbigua - the rest to San Martin and Garganta is destroyed and they do nothing to repair.
Lower trail (Inferior) with some stairs up and down (300m plus 2,5 km) is suprisely rewarding. It opens the views from the bottom to San Martin Island and the waterfalls you were walking on the top (superior trail). This was my third time at Iguazu and I was enchanted again by the views and luch vegetation around. It took me 5 hours to walk both trails. It was very hot, but most of walkways are partly shaded. Wonderful day!

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