I fled as soon as I could from the ugly town of Foz do Iguaçu and took the highway which leads directly to Curitiba. I felt like being back to civilization i.e. back to European standards: A well-maintained highway, very good signage, loads of filling stations and toll stations and - McDonalds.
The highway crossed a large part of the southern state of Paraná, which is a beautiful landscape of green, gently rolling hills, with trees, forests, fields, somewhat like the Auvergne or Alsace or similar landscapes in Germany like the Rheingau/Taunus/Westerwald region. Unfortunately for me, Paraná is also a very prosperous region, which means that the highway is full of trucks, especially in the surroundings of the cities.
Since this region looks very European it was no wonder that I met a couple of people with German ancestors. When I stopped at a filling station and spent some time cleaning one of my bags which was full of melted butter (wuerg!), not only the friendly Brazilian personel were very helpful, but also three different fiendly men stopped and talked to me in German (one in a kind of Plattdeutsch, the northern German dialect). However none of them got the idea to invite me to his home (which most of the Argentines I met did), so obviously the German genes work ;-))
When I entered my destination Curitiba, a real tropical thunderstorm broke down on me. Within a few minutes the streets were flooded and I was soaked. Some street crossings were converted to rivers - waiting at the traffic lights, I had to stand in the floods just above the ankles. Luckily I bought new Gore Tex boots just before I started the journey. Although my motoring suit also is Gore Tex, my feet were the only part of me that stayed dry. Finally, I had the most profound river crossing of all my journey not in the Pampas of Argentina or Bolivia but in the flooded streets of Curitiba. And with short interruptions it did not stop raining since I arrived here. Now I understand why Curitiba is such a prosperous place - and why the Germans feel like at home here.
I planned to spend 2 nights in Curitiba since after 10000 km in South America, I needed a complete motorcycle inspection, a new chain with sprockets and new tyres. There is a very friendly BMW motorcycle dealer in Curitiba but he did neither have the sprockets for the chain, nor the right tyres. He did the inspection though, but the chain and tyres were the more important part. However he phoned two (1) other dealers on my further way in Joinville and Florianopolis and arranged that I will get all the replacements there - so in the end he was utterly helpful.
Coming to Brazil I realized that I had forgotten how it feels to be in a country without speaking the language properly. It is really difficult to make yourself understood when e.g. the hotel receptionist does neither speak Spanish nor English. However, everybody is extremely friendly and helpful and tries their best to understand, help and explain. Even the discussions around what has to be done with the motorbike and how, finally was possible although hard work in a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and English.Posted by Winne Lichtblau at November 17, 2005 03:17 PM GMT
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!