What a day of quarterfinals! Brazil and Germany celebrated US Independence Day in style with good clean victories. The good news is that the worry of despondent Brazilian fans rioting in the wake of a loss has been delayed for a least a few days now.
There were no significant incidents over the last few days but there have been reports of people having tickets stolen on the way to games and in the vicinity of the stadiums. Like anything, “have it on show, expect it to go!” Keep your tickets out of site, especially as we progress through the latter stages of the tournament and they become increasingly valuable to maniacal football fans. Resist the temptation to boast about the tickets you have in public, as it will make you a target for theft. The UK FCO has issued some similar advice here.
Today’s games are Argentina vs Belgium in Brasilia (27C, 52% Humidity, clear) and Costa Rica vs The Netherlands in Salvador (27C, 78%, Heavy rain due to continue). Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, has seen some large protests and there remains the possibility of political activists trying to take advantage of publicity surround the game. Be aware, be early, and stay semi-sober until you get back from the match. In Salvador, the weather will be the biggest problem; this may require alternative routes getting to the match. Follow the advice given by organisers and, again, be early to prevent disappointment. In Recife, many people missed the first half of matches due to heavy weather impeding travel.
For tomorrow’s rest day… Not to worry if you’re sick of the sun and rain in Brazil. There’s the Wimbledon Men’s Final, the British Grand Prix, and the second stage of the Tour de France.
It was an unfortunate result for the would-be African giant killers yesterday. The scores belie outstanding performances, especially on behalf of the Algerians who pushed the near-favourite Germans to extra time.
There was a small silent protest at Copacabana in Rio yesterday of about 100 people. It was a non-violent demonstration against the World Cup and the misuse of state funds. As opposed to previous protests, this was well controlled and the desire to attack security forces not present.
Today’s matches are in Sao Paulo (23C, 58%Humidity, clear) and Salvador (27C, 74%H, slight chance of rain). The early game is in Sao Paulo between Argentina and Switzerland. Sao Paulo hasn’t seen much trouble throughout the tournament with statutory holidays imposed throughout the city on match days to ease congestion. That said, Argentinian fans have been a concern at other matches and have been branded as hooligans at previous international matches. The late game between the USA and Belgium in Salvador will undoubtedly see a large American presence (they bought three times the number of tickets of the next foreign fans). Although large groups of Americans are the preferred target for anti-western terror groups, these aren’t typically South American and there has been no reporting to indicate such a threat. There was one reported attack where English fans were set upon by a group of belligerent Brazilians. All the assailants were subsequently arrested but that doesn’t discount the potential for another occurrence elsewhere.
We’re down to the last two days of the group stages and all is going swimmingly. No incidents reported amongst fans however the Italian contingent has complained about Uruguayan propensity for biting in the box. When all else fails…
A sit-in, or rather a live-in, protest was set up last night in front of the local government buildings in Sao Paulo. Protestors will continue to try and capitalise on the media presence during the tournament. As we progress towards the elimination rounds, expect attempts at protest to increase and this to be reciprocated with efforts of suppression by the security services.
Today’s games are in Porto Alegre (20C, 100% Humidity, heavy rain early clearing towards game time), Salvador (27C, 94%H, slight chance of early rain clearing in the afternoon), Manaus (30C, 89%H, slight chance of rain), and Rio (30C, 94%H, clear). The Maracana in Rio de Janeiro had fan incursions in the first two games and none during the Belgium vs Russia game. Although this may have been down to a lack of enthusiasm on behalf of those fans, I suspect it has more to do with enhanced security presence following the embarrassment of the first two matches.
As we near the end of the group stages, fans who don’t have tickets to later matches may be tempted to try pitch invasions or incursions into venues; do not be tempted by such stupidity. It will only get you arrested and deported. Deportation may be a badge of honour when it’s done on a political basis but it will be a huge embarrassment when done for criminal reasons.
Curitiba is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Paraná. The city’s population numbered approximately 1,760,500 people in 2010, making it the 8th most populous city in Brazil and the largest in the country’s South Region.
While Curitiba has been known, for many years, as a safe city, crime rates have been on the rise in recent years.
Crime involving tourists is generally non-violent and related to thefts and pickpocketing. While neighborhoods throughout the city are generally safe, you are advised to be cautious especially in the area near the Main Bus Terminal; Downtown squares, while safe during the day, during the night these areas are known to be hideaways for drug dealers and robbers; the Historical Center; and the neighborhoods of Batel, Rebouca and Prado Velho.
The neighborhoods located on the south side of the city, including Sitio Cercado, Fazendinha, Pinheirho, Cidade Industrial, Tatuquara, are the poorest areas and should therefore be avoided as the crime rates in these areas are particularly high.
Tourists to the city are advised to remain cautious when crossing streets throughout Curitiba. This is due to the fact that crossing signals do not always work, and often require maintenance. Drivers in the city are also known not to respect pedestrians.
At night, you are advised to take a taxi when travelling in the city.
Afonso Pena International Airport is Curitiba’s main airport and is located in the nearby city of São José dos Pinhais. All commercial flights operate from this airport.
Bacacheir Airport is a smaller general aviation facility.
Curitiba’s public transportation consists entirely of buses. It is known as the bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Rede Inegrada de Transporte.
Moving around by car can be difficult in and around the city center. This is due to the many one-way streets and frequent traffic. The Trinary Road System allows quick access to the city center for drivers.
Natal is the capital and largest city of Rio Grande do Norte, a northeastern state in Brazil.
While the city of Natal was once safe, recent statistics have indicated that crime is on the rise, however it Natal is safer than other touristic cities in the northeast of Brazil, including Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador.
While pickpocketing is common, violent assaults in the city are rare.
If visiting the Forte dos Reis Magos, MS Risk recommends that you travel by taxi and avoid walking along the Praia Forte. This is due to a recent surge in assaults and robberies that have targeted tourists along the beach. Ponta Negra beach is also not secure, with armed assaults on the beach occurring at any time, including day and night.
MS Risk advises all travellers to the beach to avoid taking any valuable articles with you.
Augusto Severo International Airport in Parnamirim is located 18 kilometers (9 miles) from Natal.
Federal Highway BR-101 is the most important access to Natal, coming from the south of Brazil through the boundary with the municipality of Parnamirim. If travelling from the State of Ceará, the principle access is by the Federal Highway BR-304, through the boundary with the municipality of Macaíba, where you pick up BR-226.
When leaving Natal, an important access to the southern Potiguar coast is the RN-063, which is also known as the “Sun Route” (Rota do Sol). This route takes you to the beaches of Pirangi, Búzios, Tabatinga, and up to the municipality of Nísia Floresta. The North Shore is accessible from the Newton Navarro Bridge, following the Praia do Forte to Genipabu, and the Igapó Bridge, following the district of Igapó by BR-101 to Touros, and by BR-406 to Macau.
Natal is connected to all the 167 municipalities of Rio Grande do Norte, along with dozens of locations and Potiguar districts, through the Passenger Bus Terminal of Natal, which is located in the Eastern zone of the city.
Taxis in Rio de Janeiro are white and have red plates. Fares are the same, regardless of how new and comfortable the car is. Fares are regulated by the government.
Salvador is the largest city on the northeastern coast of Brazil and is the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia.
While Salvador is fairly safe, MS Risk advises all travellers to remain vigilant at all times. Always avoid deserted streets, especially after dark.
Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport is located 28 kilometers (17 miles) north of downtown Salvador.
The BR-101 and the BR-116 Federal highways cross Bahia from north to south, connecting Salvador to the rest of the country.
The bus station, or Rodoviária of Salvador, is located in Iguatemi district, with direct buses to larger cities in the country and to many destinations in the state of Bahia.