We made it to Brazil. Technically our first stop was Porto Alegre though we only stayed a night and didn’t really do anything. The start of our Brazilian adventure was when we arrived in Florianópolis, also known as ‘Floripa’; a city predominantly on an island in the South of Brazil, infamous for it’s 42 beaches!
We arrived fairly late so we decided to stay one night near the old town where the bus station is. We had a very fancy lobster dinner at Rita Maria Lagosteria, though very pricey, it was pretty spectacular. The next day we headed deeper in to the island. There are apparently many local buses you can catch, or taxis. But we opted for an uber; a 40 minute journey for $BR26 = £6.50 – such a bargain especially when lugging around backpacks.
Speaking of bargains, we stayed at one of the nicest accommodations we’ve had this year. The island has so many different areas, we were unsure where to stay. In the end we opted for Haute Haus near Lagoa da Conceição. It was a guest house but more like staying in a mansion, complete with beautiful grounds and a swimming pool! The gardens surrounding the property were my personal favourite as one day, when I was standing on our balcony, I caught sight of what I initially thought was a dragon walking across the grass! I grabbed my camera, pushed Dave in to the door (apparently) and sprinted down the corridor and outside the house where I discovered an Argentine black and white Tegu lizard! They are the largest of all Tegu species, and males can grow up to 4.5ft!! Of course, see photos below, this lizard was even bigger than the Monitor lizards we saw in Singapore.
Unfortunately, we seemed to be a little unlucky with the weather so didn’t actually have any sunbathing beach days but we did walk to Joaquina beach nonetheless. Joaquina is one of the highest ranked beaches and you have to walk over the sand dune to reach it. There’s a rocky/cliff area where lots of people climb around or sit overlooking the waves. I thought the steep, slippy rocks looked too dangerous for my taste so I waited for Dave to return. However, when Dave came back exclaiming ‘you wouldn’t believe what I just saw!’, turns out he’d just seen an enormous wild tarantula crawling over the rocks, I couldn’t resist, and ironically this is what swayed me to clamber over the rocks too. Unfortunately I didn’t see the tarantula for myself but we did see a man sat right at the lowest rocks’ edge against the enormous crashing waves. We watched him for ages because we thought he was absolutely mental! He looked as though he could have been engulfed by the waves every time. We actually ended up chatting to him later and he told us he came and sat there every weekend to just listen to the waves. I showed him some of the photos I’d taken of him too (see below) which he was thrilled about and asked for our email address to send him a couple.
We’d seen quite a lot of people sand boarding the day before and decided we wanted to try for ourselves. However, when we got to the dunes, they were completely deserted. In off-season, they must only run on weekends. We still had fun running around just the pair of us in these huge lonely dunes. I even found a piece of cardboard (like the flimsy backing board of an IKEA book case) and we tried our own card-boarding down the dunes. It sort of worked. We have some hilarious videos, mostly of me falling over.
Our last day in Florianópolis was of course a sunny one. We were fortunate that the accommodation let us hang around for the whole day before our onward night bus at 9pm. As they had no other guests arriving, they even let us keep our room for the entire day free of charge so we were able to enjoy some pool side time and see Lagoa da Conceição in all its glory in the sunshine. The lagoon is a hotspot for windsurfers and sailers alike and we sat and watched them tear across the lake at such speed. In case you’re wondering, there is a small river out of the lagoon that feeds in to the South Atlantic Ocean.
Thanks for reading and join us next time as we head to Sao Paolo!
Sophie & Dave