This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Serra Verde Express

Yesterday we took a ride on the Serra Verde Express, the tourist train that runs from Curitiba across the coastal mountains, descending from 900m to almost sea level near the coast. We crossed 60+ bridges and went through 13 tunnels. It was a three hour tour to remember as we watched the vegetation and felt the climate change as we went.

We arrived in the small town of Morretes, which was an important trading post for the Portuguese as they took goods up the river from the coast toward Curitiba. We "enjoyed" a typical meal of "Barreado," a sort of beef stew thickened with manioc flour and eaten with rice and bananas. There was also plenty of fried fish and fried shrimp, also typical of the area.

After lunch we got on a bus to the small town of Antonina, which was an important Portuguese port on the Bay of Parana, feeding goods up river to Morretes, and further by mule to Curitiba. The sea breeze was lovely and the colorful houses were charming. In typical Portuguese colonial fashion, many of the shutters were on the inside of the windows to demonstrate ones wealth at being able to afford glass. Also, in a town tradition, a ceramic plaque at the front door lists the name of the family's favorite song so that the once-a-month roaming orchestra can play it!

We returned via van across a winding cobbled mountain road, known as the Estrada Graciosa, arriving back to our home-away-from-home in Curitiba, our familiar Betania, in time for dinner. We are already enjoying ourselves here, catching up with old friends and seeing familiar faces.

Boys love trains.

Girls love trains too.

Crossing the Sao Joao Bridge on the Serra Verde Express.
Awesome gorge in the mountains!

Kiddos in front of the cross at the church in Morretes.

This is where we had "Barreado" for lunch.

Luana found some friends at the craft market in Morretes!

The small river town of Morretes.

Kiddos in Antonina.

The colorful colonial architecture of Antonina on the Bay of Parana.

Our home-away-from-home in Curitiba, Betania! We're in the same rooms as we were 1.5 years ago!

3 comments:

gmatloffphd@bellsouth.net said...

My goodness - this exactly mirrors our train trip during our time in Curitiba in the beginning stages (including eating the same food in the same restaurant!)- I am enjoying the following of your return as I envision doing the same one day not too far in the future with my boys. Be prepared - I'm going to have some questions for you when you get back :)

The Beholder said...

Thanks Gary! Will we see you at the reunion this year?

gmatloffphd@bellsouth.net said...

Matheus finishes his week at sleep away camp on the 31st - terrible timing. I was hoping to be able to go, yet Davi and I are in Mass. and we fly out of Hartford on the 31st back to Florida. I am hoping to make it next year for sure.