Learning to relax in Florianopolis
16.05.2009 22 °C
I´m coming to the end of my stay in Florianopolis feeling slightly sunburnt and wholly satisfied. Its been exactly what I needed, after the chaotic excitement of Buenos Aires, and in preparation for the Brazilian megacities. Tucauno House has presented the best hostel experience I´ve had. After just a few days it feels like family. Everyone does things and makes things happen together: going to the beach for walks, eating together, drinking together. There´s a great variety of nationalities here and I haven´t met a single person I haven´t liked. The House has plenty of room to just relax and be yourself too. I´ve spent quite a bit of time in a hammock just reading and dozing in the sun. Good food (and much healthier than Argentina), good beer, good weather and good company. More people should stop by in Florianopolis. As a holiday destination it has just about everything. I promised photos last time. Here are a few places I´ve visited roundabouts the island.
BARRA DA LAGOA
A small beach area near where I started my stay at the Backpacker´s Sharehouse. Don´t stay at the Sharehouse but do check out the beach here. There´s also a turtle sanctuary, which unfortunately I haven´t had time to visit.
COSTA DA LAGOA
A charming fisherman´s village accessible via a stunning three hour walk through tropical woodland bordering the lake.
One of the most popular beaches. Also worth checking out is Joaquina, with its enormous sand dunes.
FORTALEZAS DE RATONES
In search of a bit of island history a group of us took a daytrip on the ferry to see three abandoned Portuguese forts, positioned on small islands in a triangle formation at the mouth of the river. In the end they proved useless as a form of defense, but they make a beautiful exhibit of the Florianopolis´ colonial past.
BACK ON THE BUS
Tomorrow I´m heading to the big one, Rio de Janiero. It will invlove another 20 hour bus ride. Except this time I´m going to pay attention and it will actually be a 20 hour bus ride and I will get off in the right place. Honest. I´ve booked three nights in the Rio Hostel Ipanema which came strongly recommended by the guys here. I´ll have company as quite a few of my friends here at Tucauno will also be in Rio at the same time and a few of them even in the same hostel. I´ll also be meeting up with Kirsty from Estoril Hostel in Buenos Aires. It makes the prospect of arriving in a Brazilian megacity much less daunting when you know you´ll instantly be amongst friends. I´ve changed my flights so that I return on June 15th from Rio rather than Buenos Aires. This saves me having to pay my way back down, and gives me just under a month to explore Rio and possibly fit in a couple of other places as well. Salvador in Bahia, Northeast Brazil, is a possibility. That´s one of the artiest places where a lot of the famous singers and poets hail from. Rio should be enough to keep me occupy for a while at least before I think too seriously about anywhere else though.
Last night I had a very odd nightmare in which I took a plane to Rio and ended up in Nottingham. I called the travel company and asked them why the plane had gone to Nottingham. They didn´t know. I asked if I could get the next plane out to Rio. No. I walked the streets of Nottingham in despair. This was a disaster. The streets were grey and rainy and there were some men in clownsuits. I was very relieved when I woke up in a hostel bed in Florianopolis. Not that I have anything against Nottingham, but its not on my itinerary and if the next blog I write is from Nottingham you know something will have gone very wrong indeed. Yes. Anyway. Rio here I come!