Monday, March 5, 2012

Re-energizing in Joinville

A quiet town with a million inhabitant and a hundred year of history is actually not a small town. We found Joinville on couch surfing as we plan to head south of Brazil and we love smaller town, with friendly neighborhood.

Joinville is near to beaches, river and places to hike. After the carnival excitement in Rio de Janeiro and non-stop hiking in Ilhe Grande, it's a good place to get some rest and quietness. We are glad to be received by Eduardo and his family.

A weekend of rest turned out to become 11 days of stay!

Due to change of plan of our friends in Hong Kong, they hesitantly canceled their South American trip and we are unable to meet them in Uruguay. Hence, we are unable to get some stuffs we need from Hong Kong by hand and that we don't really need to go Montevideo right away.

So, we skip Uruguay for later and go Paraguay for a short trip instead. Ciudad del Este in Paraguay is nicknamed 'Supermarket of South America' and it is a shopping paradise to Brazilians, with everything half priced, compared to Brazil!

We need our freshly re-issued BNO from Hong Kong to enjoy visa free to Paraguay. With help of my good friend, express FedEx of 2kg documents from Hong Kong to Brazil, along with some extra materials cost HK$1200! Well, as the delivery claimed to be 3 days, it was okay...But on the delivery day, we are told that the parcel was stuck in custom and we need to pay R$120 (HK$570) for tax, which is 1.3 times more than the reported cost of the items! Even the local say this is robbery! We've got a 60% import tax, then 13% delivery tax then another fixed amount of tax when the goods arrive Brazil. I don't get the difference but these taxing items all got some fancy title.

The parrot is the same age as Adley

The good parts are: We've got a private room, a beautiful house to stay with a nice kitchen to cook and some happy audience who enjoyed our food. The family love our fried noodles and Brazilian called it yakisoba; we met the energetic 80 years old grandmother, but 18 years old at heart, who is an artist with exhibition around town and made lovely painting on tea sets and glasses used in the kitchen, she also gave us two handpainted handkerchiefs; band practice with Eduardo and see that he is a good drummer; sun bathing at the beach and picking fresh mussels in the sea; hiking with Eduardo and his friend Victor, who always have a whiskey bottle at hand and camp under the rain in Monte Christo; gentle and handsome Eduardo who is caring, loving and open to share thoughts in politics, religion, work, love and travel; Papa Sergio is passionate and friendly; Mama Rosemary is loving, gentle, laugh like a singing bird (i'd really enjoy hearing her laughter!) and worked very hard to keep the house, garden in perfect order. She also hand makes a pair of earrings for me and a waistband for Adley.

The family and circle of friends are pleasant to be with. We are glad to share 11 days of our journey with Eduardo!

Photo: Eduardo is so camera sensitive! I'm wondering if there is something like 'Brazil got talent', he might become a celebrity!

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