Monday, 2 May 2011

Swinging and surfing Floripa

After an over night bus ride from the border with Uruguay, there we were in Florianopolis, in the first non-Spanish speaking country of our trip. Brazil the promised land for the best carnival in the world, happy people and great food.
Floripa, the short name of Florianoponis connects with Ilha Santa Catarina, an island renowned for some great surfing beaches and lagoons. Not having ridden any waves since Panama, I was very much looking forward to some action.

At the bus terminal we rented a tiny car fueled by alcohol  and hit the road to the island. Without a specific place for spending the night, we spent the day hopping from village to village until sunset.
That's the advantage of having a car while traveling, one can stop, pause, play and fast forward at will, and its possible to get off the main path of public transportation lines and explore some places in depth.
By the end of the day we had reached the southern end of the island at pantano do sul and it was starting to get a bit late to find a place to stay.
After a few trials at some hostels that were either full or too expensive we finally found a possible good one.

The usual talk about what's included in the price was for the first time held in my mother tongue, Portuguese, but with a slight more musical accent.

-Is the breakfast included, I ask?
-ehrr...we have "morning coffee", the lady answers.

I know Helena doesn't drink coffee so I continue..

-Morning coffee?  Only coffee? no milk or tea?
-hmm, yes we have milk and juice she said.

This was starting to get better, and I started to wonder if this "morning coffee" was maybe a bit more than that, so I reply:

-And what about bread..or toast? with butter or jam?
-Of course, she replies, we have all that and cake and fruits.


We were all laughing at the misunderstanding, as it appears "morning coffee" in Brazil is a very very complete breakfast, probably the best in the whole South America.

Next morning we took our time having our "coffee" and headed to the beach of Joaquina, where very nice waves were breaking.
Surprisingly the water temperature was not as warm as what is usually advertised in the Brazilian telenovelas, and if it wasn't for the extra energy of the morning breakfast I would have needed a thick wetsuit.

It was a good day at the beach and we all got more sun tan than we needed.

Next morning we went back to Florianopolis and had lunch at the local market where the locals were getting warmed up for Carnival. The night before there had been a party and they were getting ready for the next one. People from all ages were swinging to the rhythms of the band playing at the center of the square. The swing to the music and the smiles, the naked chests of the men drinking their beer. We asked for one meal to share, and it was more than enough for the 3 of us. We were in Brazil.

Before the evening bus to Foz de Iguaçu, we still made our way around the center of the town, and took a rest at a park under a giant tree to escape the heat.
But Carnival is everywhere and nobody can escape. Even in the calm park in the middle of the city some samba dancers where showing a bit more than their moves.

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