Archive for May 25th, 2022

May 25, 2022

Rodovia da Graciosa to Morretes!

Again, looking in my vault for pictures, and bring to life in my blog as memory lane I dig up way south into the beautiful Brazil to find this gem .Now I have written several post on Morretes, and told you lived in Curitiba, and worked in Piraquara, and speak the language but always leave something out. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on Morretes , a town in the State of Paranà , and my road warrior adventures in Brazil.  Hope you enjoy the post as I!

Morretes is a historic city rich in colonial architecture, with preserved old mansions, which drives local tourism, in addition to having restaurants that offer the typical dish of the region: barreado. It was served to me alone in a big table full of dishes by ponte velha (see post). This along could be worth the trip me think!

The story of barreado goes as people gathered in harvesting and building churches and schools. In these efforts, they always served cachaça and meals with a lot of substance, such as barreada meat, which was considered simple and easy to prepare, and could also be reheated several times in a wood fire. which is made inside a heavy clay pot (clay cauldron), with a heavy lid of the same material, made of clay, which is always put on fire, to keep it always super hot, close to approximately 100 degrees Celsius. The dish consists of one or more types of second-rate and lean beef, such as palette, titty and duckling, seasoned with onion, garlic, pork bacon, black pepper, bay leaf and cumin and cooked until it falls apart. The preparation is mixed with cassava flour ,until it gets the consistency that gives the dish its name, and served with rice and sliced ​​banana. The secret in the preparation is the cooking time in the clay pot ,about twenty hours , enough to shred all the meat and keep it on the fire all the time. Once cooked, the meat’s fibers are loosened, resulting in a thick, flavorful broth seasoned with regional taste. To keep the flavor of the meat, it is necessary to seal the pan with a mass of flour and water to keep the steam inside the pan (cauldron). Banana brandy can be served as an aperitif, with wine being the traditional drink to accompany the dish, as well as grape juice.

The most scenic way to get to Morretes which I did in my Chevy Prisma ! Take the PR-410 , the Estrada da Graciosa, which ends in São João da Graciosa, a road that uses the old route of tropeiros (herds cowboys) toward the coast of Paranà State, connecting the town of Quatro Barras, in the Curitiba Metro Region to the cities of Antonina and Morretes The road crosses the most preserved stretch of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, marked by the tropical forest and the beautiful streams that originate in the Serra do Mar. From the bottom of the mountain range, you can take the BR-277 highway, which connects Paranaguá to Curitiba, taking the access to Morretes. (also done), The approximate distance from Curitiba to Moretes is 69 km on the Rodovia da Graciosa by Porto de Cima, (see pic) and then Morretes, The Graciosa road is a historic path between Curitiba and the coast of Paraná State. The landscapes are beautiful, going down Serra do Mar on a sunny day is a great tour. I took leaving from the center of Curitiba, it is 40 km along the BR-116, duplicated Rodovia Regis Bitencurt, to the portal of Estrada da Graciosa. Here the Estrada da Graciosa, Rodovia PR-410, is a 40 km long highway that crosses Serra do Mar, connecting Curitiba to the charming historic cities of Antonina and Morretes. Even today, Estrada da Graciosa maintains 8 km paved with cobblestones, with many winding curves surrounded by flowery slopes, peaks, mountains, waterfalls and beautiful landscapes.

morretes rodovia gracioza porto de cima 2008

The Graciosa State Park is a conservation unit located in the town of Morretes. Located in Serra do Mar, in the region, there are two important state parks: Graciosa State Park and Roberto Ribas Lange State Park. Along the highway, 7 corners rest stops are maintained, containing leisure facilities (barbecue grills, restrooms, viewpoints) that facilitate access for visitors who want to know the beauties of Serra do Mar. In the town of São João da Graciosa, at the bottom of the Serra, there is a fork in the road: the PR-411 goes right to the center of Morretes as well,

A wonderful and recommended ride at least once as I prefer going by car is the Serra Verde Train. The train leaves from Curitiba and crosses the Serra do Mar towards Morretes. During the tour, passengers will experience an adventure along the Paranaguá-Curitiba Railway, which passes through more than 70 km of stone walls, tunnels, mountains, dams, bridges and waterfalls. Serra Verde Express is the company that makes the route, with daily departures from Curitiba during the months of January, February, July and December , high season. From March to June and from August to November, the train leaves on weekends and some holidays. Check the days and departure times of the train. The city of Morretes is the terminus of the tourist train of the Serra Verde Express, which connects it to the capital of Paraná, Curitiba. The official Serra Verda Express train:

Some further information to know : Where the Estrada da Graciosa began is where Shopping Mueller is now located, on Av. Cândido de Abreu, 127, in downtown Curitiba.(see post), The duration of the trip by car and without stopping in the corners rest stops, the journey can be done in about an hour and a half. Always do please check the weather to avoid traveling in heavy fog or rain in the mountaneous area which can be dangerous. The trip has plenty of curves, which makes you think you on a grand prix course ! You should be very careful as the road has no shoulder and has many sharp curves. The speed limit accordingly is maximum on some stretches of 40 or 60 km/h and truck and bus traffic is not allowed.

The City of Morretes  on things to see

The Paranà State tourist office on Morretes

There you go another small spot in the world map for me but always thankful of the welcome and the experience by all locals. Something to remember forever. Enjoy Morretes, Paranà, Brazil as I did.

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 25, 2022

Back to Belize!

I like to bring back this wonderful experience in visiting delightful Belize, I have other posts in my blog on it but found pictures that should be as said my blog is my life’s history, It brings back many nice memories and good friends still around. For info, to get to Belize we flew from Mexico City to Chetumal (see posts),and then rent a car to go into Belize!!! My kind of road warrior trip criss crossing the small country of Belize, which is in Central America and the main language is English, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

We started at the top of the country on the road from Corozal, on the Corozal-Progresso road downward bypassing Belize City, then on the western road to Belmopan (the official Capital city), continuing to Dandriga, then Independance/Mango Creek, to Placencia. On the way back we did went into Belize City, and walking took a quant train for a pic!

belize petit train bus by market belize city jul14

We stayed at the Alan’s Paradise Resort ,wonderful accommodation, great hosts, funny people,and super views of the ocean not to mention the drinks at the bar and the Karaoke! This was real laid back living water all around you and boating, the kind of place good for visiting and should be great for retirement!

belize paradise resort back jul14

The official Alan’s Paradise Resort

One of the places we ate and now in my blog was the Calypso Beach Restaurant. This was in Belize City not stayed but wonderful fried fish whole from the catch of the day, and the local beer Belikin. Now part of the Wyndham group. The restaurant is in the back of the hotel by the small wharf.

belize calypso resto arriving jul14

The official Ramada Inn Hotel Calypso Beach Restaurant

The road warrior trip continue into other areas along the coast and the most was the company of friends , one has passed away RIP and the others are still in touch via social media. Memories forever I say! 

The Belize tourist office

The Belize tourist assoc on Placensia district:

A good private webpage on Belize:

There you go folks, a perfect little spot to enjoy in the Caribbean. A beautiful small country of Belize in Central America. Worth the trip to it!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 25, 2022

My Punta Brava!!!

Ok so this is pull from my vault and realise not in my blog yet so here are new pictures to the blog, older of my Punta Brava!!! This is a post from faded memories but still in my heart as if you have read my blog which is my life’s history,you would know this is where I was born a looong time ago. Let me tell you a bit more of the town and especially more pictures that I can show you.

Punta Brava is a town part of the new agglomeration of La Lisa under the new administrative arrangement after the Cuban revolution. Before , it was alone just inside the city limits of Havana. It is about 21 km (about 13 mi) of city center/downtown Havana. The town has about 1500 inhabitants, many of them new as the old have left !

While in my last visit in 2012, I asked my assigned driver to take me to my native town of Punta Brava, visiting family aunt and cousins (which by now left Cuba too). Now, only memories lingered, and some places of share family values and love. Far far away, it seems difficult to even write that upon my latest visit in 2012, the area where I grew up seems different….well unrecognizable…. well poorer. It seems to me like I was not from there. It required some days of adjustment for things to come back again.

This post is to me as a reminder of what it was, a lingering space in time of a once upon a time place call Punta Brava, city of Havana metropolitan area, Republic of Cuba. 

I remember again passing in 2012 by Cangrejeras a town just over 3 km where my maternal grandfather had his farms, taken lost to the revolution or stolen dream of many. Nearby, I went to a special intern school in a village call Machurucutu; now buildings gone.

Further away at Santa Fé, about 6 km was my nearest beach, and now has a huge tourist complex there call Marina Hemingway. Further away from Havana but only less than 2 km is Guatao, this is where I played youth baseball and the area cemetery is located where my grandparents are in peace. Also, nearby, at farm San Pedro is the mauseleum of General Antonio Maceo y Grajales, the greatest hero of our war of independence from Spain who died in battle here on December 7, 1896. This was always a festival until the revolution abolished it as everything else. Below me coming from Guatao on my Czech bike!

guatao me 10 yrs old road from baseball guatao to punta brava

On our way to Havana, we always passed by Arroyo Arenas and the nice church there (see post) this was about less than 5 km from my Punta Brava. On the other way still in Cuba’s old Carretera Central or main central highway (going from tip to tip of the island) the first town is Bauta at about 6 km. This was my last school in Cuba!

Bauta escula nyen van throi ultima escuela en Cuba de Pedro

All memorable places even if by now would not recognise them and no pictures. I do have of my first school in Punta Brava, this was the Sisters of the Catholic Church school that of course is also gone.

Punta Brava, escuela de las monjas, una escuelita mia

Also, my second school on the Central Highway on your way to Havana, this one was told still there with a name change.

Punta Brava escuela secon fructuoso rodriguez mi escuela

I could not take a picture but someone took it for me of my old home, now in dismal conditions but positivitely looking at it as a memorable picture and fonds memories of my childhood before 10. This was Avenida 247 no 5006. Perhaps someone can tell me how it looks today as the picture is from 2012. Next door to the right was my paternal grandparents’ home !

Punta Brava mi ultima casa ave 247 No 5006 dec 30 1971 sept10

Looking from my maternal grandparents’ home is the road to Santa Fe beach town, and just ahead my paternal grandparents’ home on the left side further on.

Punta Brava calle 50 fr abuela amparo tia Ondina house apr12

Punta Brava calzada to santa fe Feb12

And some souvenir pictures taken in 2012, most now gone sold or given away to other family members or close friends in town. These were objects collected by my maternal grandparents over the years since 1920! My boys are below third from right.

Punta Brava living room granma amparo house photos feb12

Punta Brava grandma amparo old glasses Feb12

Again, this is a memorable lane post and no webpages. Hope you enjoy with me these wonderful places of our lives always remembered as much as possible as it is 51 years that I left it! Last brief visit 2012.  As said , the time passes by and all we have is blurred memories of always. A time, a place, a dot in my world map, that is in another world. Hope you enjoy this personal post on my Punta Brava will always be there in my heart, and many memorable moments to share with family and close old friends still in FB.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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