View from the Hostel
After almost two months of traveling I had finally arrived in a place I could just relax and chill out. I arrived in Florianopolis in the early morning. Florianopolis, or as the locals tend to call it, Floripa, is a major metropolis in southern Brazil. The southern section of Brazil is amazingly developed, basically a first world part of the world, and almost as expensive. Floripa is half on the mainland of Brazil, while the other half is on the island of Santa Catarina. I didn't really spend anytime in Floripa actually, I was looking for a smaller area with a nice beach and not many people. Luckily I found just that in Barra da Lagoa, about 1 hour by local bus across the island.
Barra da Lagoa is a small fishing village which was on the east coast of the island with an incredible 6 km beach. There was not many people around due to it being off season, but it was still an amazing spot. My hostel was about 30 seconds from the beach and not a big place at all. I think in total it could take abotu 30 people, but some nights there was only about 15. The first day I spent lying around on the beach, it was a little overcast but still warm enough to just sit around, which I did for the next couple days. On day three I rented a scooter with another guy from Whistler who was also staying at my hostel. We went way up the coast of the island on our scooters, had some delicious crab cakes and breaded prawns on the beach somewhere.
We washed down the food with some beers and continued driving around on the desereted island. the island apparently is quite a party destination for southern Brazilians, with something like 60 beaches and a handful of little villages full of seasonal housing.
That night we discovered that about 2 hours away there was a massive Oktoberfest party in a German-Brazilian enclave. Two guys from the hostel and I signed up and a guy drove us to the party while we had a few beers in teh back of the van. Our driver was obsessed with Formula One racing, and let us know with his insane driving skills. Having drived in Peru and Bolivia I was unfazed and was honestly more excited for this crazy city than listening to when we were supposed to come back and meet him, I think he said 5am.
The town, Blumenau, is basically a Nazi safe have from the looks of things. Its a totally idealized German town in the middle of the Brazilian countryside. It was like stepping into a crazy tropical Aryan nation, all the people there looked German, as did the town itself. Blonde haired blue eyed people in Ledehosen were stumbling around buildings with geranium boxes and double shutters. The only thing out of place was the lack of German being spoken, they even had Ohm Pa Pa music. Anyways, we sat down in awe of where we had stumbled into. There was virtually no tourists around anywhere, but the well educated Brazilians in the south were all interested in what the hell we were doing there. No sooner than we had arrived, or at least it seemed that way, we were being escorted out of one of the tents by a group of 4 Brazilian girls.
The girls and a couple of their guy friends invited us to head to their apartment to continue the craziness of the night. After maybe an entire second of contemplation we felt it was neccessary to continue with these awesome Brazilian people. For a moment someone brought up that we had to be at the bus at 5, but we felt that was just a recommendation by the driver, after all he couldn't just leave in some strange town in the middle of the jungle. Well after about 2 hours partying at this girls apartment, we went to find out bus, but sure enough, he had left us. Oh well, we walked back and woke this poor girl up and she let us sleep on the ground. The next morning, after discovering where we were, we also found out we didn't have enough money for one of us, let alone all three of us, to get back to our hostel.
Thankfully, there was a Brazilian hero amoungst us, one of our new friends from the night before. David told us he didn't have work that day, I'm still not sure if this was true or not, but he offered to drive us back to Floripa, a 2 hour drive each way, for nothing more than McD's. We were sold and a couple hours later we were back at the hostel.
After a couple days of relaxing and attempting to surf, its a lot harder than it looks, I ended up packing my bags for one last bus ride to get to Rio.