We had a fairly rough overnight bus, including a pretty cool elecrical storm and Jack having a small waterfall coming down his window (on the inside). On the upside, we were served Martinis - swings and roundabouts I suppose but I think Jack would be happy to trade his martini for a window that kept the rain out.
In any case, we arrived the following morning in Florianópolis, Brazil, a little bit worse for wear after not much sleep on the bus, but with a sense of relief that this place looked pretty amazing.
Florianópolis is a city on the mainland and an island which is linked by a bridge. The mainland is the more `city`part and the island is where the nice beaches are. We had been suggested a place called Barra de lagoa so we got on the bus and headed there.
We are staying at a really cool hostel just up the hill from the beach. It is about a 20 metre walk to the beach which has white sand, good sized surf and really nice water. It was our first proper beach stop of the tour and it was great to finally be able to go for a swim in the ocean!
Barra de lagoa is a pretty small place, with restaurants on the beach, a few clothing shops, bakeries etc but is generally a pretty small, sleepy place, which, after the hustle of Buenos Aires was a welcome change of pace. The other pleasant surprise is that it is relatively cheap. We had all been expecting to have our pants pulled down with money in Brazil, and i have no doubt we will, especially in Rio, but florianópolis is pretty reasonable.
The first afternoon we got seafood platters and drank sangria on the beach - just another day on holiday! On the way back, we stopped in at the icecream buffet (you load up your plate and pay by weight). Well done to Jack, who after eating a solid lunch, still managed to put away over half a kilo of ice cream, sauces and lollies.
That night we cooked a BBQ at the hostel which was great. One of the bonuses of having 7 people is that it becomes really cheap to do communal cooking. When it was just the four of us, we were eating at restaurants all the time because cooking for ourselves worked out to be the same price. We also bought some fresh fruit and some spirits and whipped up some coctails. Some peoples´coctail making skills were better than others, but pre dinner festive cheer was the winner on the day.
The next day we went and did a walk we had been told about. It was up a valley then along a ridgeline with beaches on both sides and great views of the lagoon, the beaches and the different small towns. It was a good, tough walk up some rough terrain, and after a jog in the morning was the most active day on tour so far. We came out on a beach called Mole which was really nice. Again, white sand, blue water and good waves. We had lunch at a restaurant on the beach at Mole, a few well deserved beers and jumped on the bus back for a swim and another BBQ.
Unfortunately, the next day it was raining. James, Jack, Nato and I did a surf lesson which was a lot of fun. We had a pretty classic instructor who would be more stoked than us when we got up on a wave - you would surf away with him whooping in the background! I struggled a bit with the knee which doesnt yet have full range of motion, but dont worry mum, i was careful and didnt push it!
We had planned on going to this big party as it was a public holiday, but with the occasional drizzle, we decided to flag and headed to a slightly bigger place called Lagoa for dinner. We walked around for ages, trying to find a restaurant that was open (being a public holiday) and eventually settled on a few big mixed grills. We drank some Caprioscas, which are ridiculously aggressive, along with every coctail you get in South America - don´t get me wrong, because i am all in favour of a good, aggressive pour, but some of these drinks are liking sipping on lime paint stripper with sugar.
We then moved onto another few pubs and ended up having a pretty large night. We got home around 3 and it is fair to say a good night was had by all.
Unfortunately for the rest of our time in Flori, we were cursed with constant overcast drizzle which is not overly condusive to lying on the beach. The boys did some more surfing lessons, we swam, did a bit of exercise, but mostly operated buffets. Over here, most restaurants are por kilo buffets, where you load up your plate and weigh it and you pay for how much you eat. There is also the same concept for ice cream. The lads have been approaching the 1kg mark of food and i am confident we will break it before we leave Brazil. It is not uncommon for us to go from the lunch buffet straight to the ice cream buffet.
Only other event of note is that we met up with Bridgette Kight and her friend Kate for a BBQ dinner at the hostel. Unfortunately, the boys were focussing a bit too much on the beers and not enough on the meat, so it wasnt our finest grilling effort, but we all like our meat a bit on the rear side, so we pushed on through.
Getting sick of the rain though, ready for Iguazu.