27.03.2008 - 30.03.2007 34 °C
Fri 27.03.09 Bus
The trip to Ilha Santa Caterina promised to be lengthy (6 hours to Sao Paolo, 12 to Florianopolis) so to offset our guilt about the sedentary day ahead, we went for a run. We check out the old fort up of the hill, complete with cannons from the 1600s then along the beach north of town. On the return Andrew made use of the chin –up bars, making him struggle back up the hill then we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and chatted with Wim & Martin before we said our goodbyes. We approached Sao Paulo around 7, just in time for their famous rush hour traffic, causing us to change our plans. We were hoping for a few hours to get a quick taste of the city and a bite to eat before jumping on the bus to Florianpolis at 10 but not wanting to risk missing our bus, we sat an ate an uninspiring meal in the bus terminal before boarding our third overnight bus.
Sat 28.03.09 Armacao
Arrived in Florianopolis, the main city on Ilha Santa Caterina. The sun was shining and we noticed it was already 30 degrees at 10am. On a whim in the tourist office, we decided to head to Armacao on the east coast of the island, south of Flori. After beating the price down a little, we checked into Bell Company Hostel, located right on the beach overlooking the water.
We then went out for a late lunch and had our first attempt at surfing with a 5’10” short-board borrowed for free from the hostel. Back at the hostel a guy (Jeremy – who hopes to run for the Greens as the federal MP for Stonnington, usurping Peter Costello) had bought 25kg muscles for R$40 (AU$26) and was cooking them up. Exhausted from travel, we went to bed earlier than the rest of the crew, who kicked on at the Elvis bar – the only place open in town, literally next door.
Sun 29.03.09 Armacao
Enjoyed breakfast on the Hostel’s terrace overlooking the water, enjoying the sound of the waves crashing below. Brimming with confidence & bravado we took the hostel’s short board and headed to Praira de Matadiero (lit. Bullfighter’s Beach), a bridge & a short walk over the ridge to the next bay where we joined up with some boys from the hostel. They’d hired a long board so all afternoon we took turns trying to carve up the waves. There wasn’t much success in the water from anyone really, especially on the short board but we did solidify our tans and later satisfied our appetites with dinner out at the same place as last night with good, large meals so it was a good day all said.
Mon 30.03.09 Armacao
Our task for this day was a 2 hour hike to a beach called Lagoinha d’Leste (lit. Small Western Lagoon) promising deserted sands and good waves. The walk took us along the Praia de Matadiero, then up through coastal rainforest over a ridge before the growth started to thin into scrub, heathland then grasses. We saw dozens of different butterflies, wildflowers and birds before the terrain became wild - dominated by the wind and granite cliffs and outcrops. The beach itself was very nice and well worth the hike. It was about 1.5kms long with nice sand, clear water, small but nice little waves and no more than 6 people on the long stretch at any one time.
After having a swim and basking for a while, we walked to the other end of the beach and hiked out, up and over the ridge for 30mins or so to reach the nearby sleepy fishing of Pantano do Sul to catch a bus back to our hostel in Armacao. We made dinner and then watched a bizarre Charlie-Chaplin style live comedic mime theatre show which our hostel owner was clearly very chuffed about, but was actually really crap. After the show, the local fisherman were getting drunk with some of the other guys at the hostel and busting out the kind of karaoke that could be used as torture in Guantanamo bay. We had a few drinks which turned into a lock-in, but nothing too late or crazy.