I crossed from Argentina into Brasil around noon. It was a complete breeze. The folks in the Argy customs office had no idea what form to give me, or so it seemed, and more or less printed something off and said "adios". And once I got the the Brasilian border, the lovely girl in the booth filled out a form, chuckled a bit and said "bienvenido a brasil".
10km later I arrived in Foz do Iguacu to closed shops and empty streets. It was Semana Santa (easter weekend) for these very religious people. I sent an email to Xyko, my local moto amigo, earlier in the day informing him of my plans. In proper Brasilian fashion, he told me to call him when I came into town. Once in town, I headed for a bank, none of which accepted my card. I tried to call him but my phone was without credit. I tried to buy credit but the system was down. I ended buying a phone card, tracking him down, and trying to remember any bit of portuguese I could to supplement his english. He ask me where I was, and to stay put, as he was on his way. 20 min later he showed up at the cafe. He told me to follow him to his sisters house for lunch. My man with a plan. I put my moto in his garage on the way to meet his family and was greeted with smiles and open arms. The feed me delicious fish with veggies, shrimp risotto, salad and an ice cold cerveza. Life was good, and I was falling back in love with Brasil. After a fun lunch speaking portanol (portuguese and espanol) we headed to his house where he and his wife insisted that I shower, do my laundry and rest as I needed before we hit the town for traditional food and beeeeer. I tried to graciously decline out of respect, but they wouldn't allow it. Later in the night we went into town to meet another fellow rider. We shared a large plate of fish, rice, papas fritas, veggies and, of course, cold beer! I am, once again, treated like a king with hopes of returning the hospitality in the future. Riders look out for one another.
I left Foz do Iguacu the next day rested and determined to reach Curitiba. Shortly after departing the warm, humid jungle town I intersected some strong storms. The funny thing about what I wrote a few days ago regarding being IN my environment and experiencing the elements more completely is that when it pisses rain, you are most certainly IN it. I came in and out of a few storms but none as bad as what I would experience leaving Curitiba.
The country side in the state of Parana is rich with vegetation, rolling hills and curvy clean roads.
I made it to Curitiba just after dark to Curitiba Eco hostel just outside of town where I met some chaps from Sao Paulo who kindly took me out for some saturday night brasilian socializing. It was a highly entertaining night on many levels. For some reason the girls I spoke with (to practice portuguese of course) thought I was a brasilian acting like a gringo. Seriously, they thought I was faking an English accent and lying to try to pick them up. In fact, one girl got mad and basically told me to piss off!!! Hilarious! Either my english is horrible or my portuguese is getting strong. I even flashed my Cali ID for proof. But the fact that there were no other tourists and my sao paulo company confused these folks. Either way I had a blast and met some nice new friends!