Spent the morning by the pool. Really hot though and regretted being led by cost of the flight and gone with an earlier one!
Flight goes well although we got to the airport early. Really small airport with 3 gates in the same place. Our flight wasn't even put on the departure board so it was a bit hit and miss that we got on. I wasn't sure it was our plane even.
Arrived and got a taxi to the hotel. Thanks Paula, yes should have got the bus (sorry) but decided to get a taxi for speed. I was so hungry!
This is a very huge country and I don't think until we got here, we fully understood how huge it is. Flying over the forests and land there's nothing, maybe a house or farm here and there but nothing for miles. Then get to a city; it's huge! All the cities are far larger than London, Bangkok etc. such a lot of high rise buildings. It seems to me that there's no towns, just huge cities. Could be wrong though.......watch this space. From here we go to Matinhos (hopefully) for just over a week by the beach.
The Hotel Nikko - arrived in the road (we knew this because the taxi slowed down) and thought oh no, bit run down street, a dud! Pulled up outside a really impressive hotel with carpet outside. Walked into the reception and it's absolutely beautiful. All marble. There's a koi pond with a marble bridge over. We're checked into room 1305. Asked what floor and the guy said 13. This building doesn't look from the outside more than 3 floors high, bit that's an illusion. Behind the front of it, there a high rise attached. Yes, we're on the top floor! We have to keep the curtains shut! :)
We pottered down to a shopping mall down the road. It's more like a food hall, think a shopping mall with some designer stores and the rest restaurants. That's it! Missed happy hour by 2 mins so we had unhappy hour. Back to the hotel for a drink at the bar......there isn't one. You can have a drink in the restaurant though, so we did. Problem is, the receptionist speaks English, no one else does so whenever someone wants to say something, they call him up to the restaurant. Funny! We could always get by. I have my dictionary and it's had a lot of use over the last week or so.
This morning we ask the receptionist about the Serra Verde train. He tries to sell us a trip. 250 each. That's £50! I don't think so! Anyway, we make our way to the station to enquire. Couldn't find the station; it was hiding behind the bus station. Anyway, get there, find the ticket kiosk. Do they speak English...? No! Yes, we're in Brazil but this is touristy. Come on. So we go into the office and ask someone who does speak English. Get the information and go back to the ticket kiosk. We find the economy tickets all sold out for Friday when we want to go so we buy the touristic tickets which are surprisingly more expensive. Funny that! Anyway, the train doesn't go quite as far as we'd have like so we'll get the bus afterwards to Matinhos where we're going to be staying for the following 9 nights. We'd chosen a guest house, emailed and using my text within said email, used google translate to ask if they had availability and how much. Had replies to which I'd replied. However, found out today a) they want a deposit of 50% which would be ok were we in the UK and would be able to transfer money unto their account (wouldn't want to) and b) a dear friend had rang them to check whether they in fact did have availability, and they said they didn't. So, booked another place which isn't as good and also, (they'd forgotten about TA) left them rubbish feedback on Trip Advisor. so there!
Got on the hop on bus and went to the museum of Oscar Niemeyer museum which was AMAZING! Then we'd planned to go to the Wire Opera House (Opera de Arme). Bus stopped, I said to Guy, I think this is it, he asked the conductor who said it's the next stop. It wasn't! So we got off at Parque Tangua. Not happy! Never mind. Wandered through the park. There's no animals...? Why? In Penang there were monkeys, monitor lizards and loads of other things. Where is the wildlife? There was a lake and waterfall which smelled of smelly, stagnant water.
We have 2 tickets left for the hop on bus, so tomorrow we're going to the botanic gardens and maybe the opera de Arme. Who knows?. It's a secret...till tomorrow. We also have to go to Madolossa which is the largest restaurant (allegedly) in the world. It sells typically Brazilian food so should be good.