World Cup trip turns sour for Wodonga Fanatics after Brazilian bus troubles

A WORLD Cup tour with the Fanatics soccer supporters’ group turned sour for a Wodonga couple yesterday after troubles with Brazilian bus companies.

Hospital midwife Julie Terrill and her husband John Nyhan were left stuck on the outskirts of Curitiba, the city where the Socceroos played Spain this week.

They were told the Fanatics had been forced to pay $US51,000 ($54,212) to a coach operator.

“They said ‘we’ve had to pay the bus company more money’,” Ms Terrill said.

“They had to pay them an additional $US51,000 by 7am this morning and they said they wanted all the people on the outskirts of Curitiba by 7.15am.”

Ms Terrill was speaking from Sao Paulo after midnight local time yesterday.

“We were at a service station with over 30 buses and lots and lots of Fanatics — some said there were more than 1200,” she said.

“There were military police as well because they got involved in it and it became a federal matter with cop cars there and one had his gun out — it was a bit dramatic.”

Ms Terrill, who works at Wodonga hospital, said they arrived on the edge of Curitiba at 11.20am.

They waited for nearly two hours before boarding a bus, but they were then ordered off the coach before leaving at 2.20pm for the 400-kilometre trip to Sao Paulo.

“I don’t know who puts in the extra money, I guess they can’t make us pay,” she said.

“The staff were pretty unhappy about it.”

Ms Terrill said the standoff with the buses in Curitiba was the culmination of several days of drama with coaches, revolving around different rules for travellers in the various states.

Ms Terrill and her husband, a tax office worker, have followed the Socceroos across Brazil for the World Cup tournament and are due home next week.

She said overall the experience had been good.

“Curitiba was a little bit interesting,” Ms Terrill said.

“We got there on Sunday and it was as dead as anything and then on Monday it was still really quiet, with the restaurants closed.

“It turns out because Brazil was playing everyone decided to shut up shop.

“I can’t imagine Melbourne closing down all the shops because the grand final is on.”