Sitting Room

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Interbairros (Interborough) Bus


INTERBAIRROS – As far as I can remember the “Interbairros” line is the only Iguaçuan line that is not part of the integrated system. Bairro means neighborhood and this is a trans-neighborhood or interborough line since it nearly crosses the whole town – with the exception of the “centro”, the city center area. The yellow-white-and black-striped buses belongs to Viação Itaipu (Viação is the name given to bus companies) runs from Vila “C” Norte to Porto Meira – roughly from the Itaipu Dam area to Porto Meira – a short distance from the Marco das Três Fronteiras (Three-Frontiere Mark / Three-Border Mark or Dreiländereckmeilenstein, roughly. I recommend a ride on this line since it is equivalent to a pretty good and cheap City Tour. Whatever Foz do Iguaçu has to show it will show in this tour. (The “interbairros” idea was copied from Curitiba’s Interbairro buses. The idea is that interbairros will connect several city communities without having to come downtown).

If your are in the top North area, in the area known as Vila “C” already mentioned, in the area of influence of the Itaipu Dam, the bus heads South to the Three-Frontiere Mark zigzaging East and West practically crossing the whole city. Leaving the Vila “C” the bus goes further North right to the Gates of Itaipu stopping acrosso from the Itaipu Visitor’s Center. Then it will drive down Avenida Tancredo Neves (a continuation of Avenida JK) and into the Vila “A” “touring the whole of Avenida Américo Sasdelli a nice avenue that also serves as divider between the Itaipu-built residential area and the new communites that sprouted on the opposite side. Here you will find the the house of ecologist and architecture students João Soldatelli, across from the Neighborhood’s Civil Police Station on its way to Avenida Gramado. This is new East-West link that travels to the Grande (Greater) Três Lagoas Area. I like Três Lagoas, a somewhat forgotten portion of town, that could as well be another city, had they a little bit more inhabitants. Remember: Três Lagoas has the city’s artificial beach, the WeekendFly Trike and Ultralight flight School and Tours is located here as well two of the city’s clubs are also based here (The Oeste Paraná Club and the Yacht Club).

From Tres Lagoas the bus will come to a side street by the BR (Brazilian Highway) 277 for less than a kilometer and then will take the BR to go to the Portal da Foz Neighborhood – the area I have already written about and proclaimed it as an ornithological neighborhood. True to the neighborhood’s theme, you will ride the entire length of Beija-flor (Hummingbird) Street till it gives way to Rua Mané Garrincha – in the area that declared football as the theme for its streets. From here the bus will travel along the Avenida Mario Filho, the double-lane avenue with lots of activity, Hospital, the Saint Francis’ statue, bars, restaurants, churches (catholic and protestant) and will finally enter the by now famous Republica Argentina. But will not run the whole length of the Avenida. A little past the Bible Square (Praça da Biblia), the bus will turn to the left and into the Rua (Street) Monsenhor Guilherme crossing the lower middle class area of Jardim São Paulo I and II. The next Avenida in the itinerary is the Felipe Wandscheer. The first stop of the Interbairros on this Avenue is right across the Hotel Suíça – here is another tip in case you plan to stay at this nice hotel. Other bus linea serving the Hotel Suiça and the whole of the Avenida Felipe Wandscheer is the Jardim Copacabana, departing from the TTU. It it may be of interest to know that most people in town are not quite used to the German name of this street. Traditionally this avenida has been known as Estrada Velha de Guarapuava (Old Road to Guarapuava) and an even older name for the road is the Estrada do Telegrapho (Telegraph Road). This is part of the first road built by the military of the Brazilian Empire as they traveled from Guarapuava to discover and claim for the Empire the area where the Iguaçu River says farewell to Brazil and empties into the mightier Paraná River. It is this point, this junction, that the word “Foz” represents. The military founded the Iguaçu Military Colony in 1888 without knowing that the Empire had come to its end and a Republic had been proclaimed.

The bus’ goal now is to reach the Avenida Iguaçu in the area known as Vila Iolanda – the area I already mentioned as being shaded and peaceful. To make a long story shorter, the bus is getting closer to the end of the its long itinerary, so the goal nopw is to get to the Avenida General Meira that wil take finally to the vicinity of its terminal in the area known as Porto Meira. Before the city tour ends, the bus will make stop, if somebody demands, at the Parque Remador – where a small Catholic shrine has been built. The terminal on this end of the Interbairros’ city tour is not a long distance from the The Three-Border Stone Mark, facing the Iguaçu and Paraná Rivers and peeping at Argentina and Paraguay. But, and this is a long but, do not, I repeat, do not be tempted to walk to the Stone Mark area because there are serious possibilities and risk that you might be attacked and robbed. I have heard and have even got involved in the process of intervewing and counseling people who have even been shot at while strolling in the area. I remember an Australian guy who went through this there. So, be smart!

This is the only problem in the interbairros city tour. You have to continue on to Mark by bus. Normally buses coming from the Friendship Bridge doing the Ponte (Bridge) – Porto Meira line, will go to the the Three-Border Stone Mark and Park if there are passengers in the bus. ....

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