After 2 days in the city we decided to move onto Florianopolis (after Ben's recommendation) to a place called Lagoa da Conceicao on the South coast of Brazil. It was a world away from Sao Paolo and more like what I was expecting Brazil to be like. Where we were staying was in a quaint little fishing village, with mountains surrounding a clear water lagoon, and just around the bay were beautiful white sandy beaches...it was perfect!!
The worst part of the traveling was upon us again, trying to find our hostel from the bus station, in the heat of the day with our massive bags on our backs and speaking very sketchy Portuguese. But we managed to get some type of hand gesture directions from the locals, although they thought we were crazy for walking as they insisted it was really far, however, trying to save a few pennies we walked, and it turned out it was just round the corner - think the locals were trying to send us on a wild goose chase!
Our hostel was great - it was a real find! It had only been open 2 weeks and was owned and run by a young brother and sister, who had turned their villa into a hostel, so you actually felt more like you were sharing a house with friends, as they made you feel really welcome. We had the top room in the villa, which was massive, it took up the entire upper floor, with a spiral staircase leading to downstairs, where there was a lovely spacious decking scattered with hammocks perfect for relaxing. Not to mention the stunning views of the mountains and lagoon from our bedroom window.
Only being here for 3 nights we decided to get out there and start exploring. The hostel owners recommended a walk around the lagoon through the mountains to find a waterfall and a beautiful fishing village called Cachaciera. They told us it was an easy walk and should only take about an hour, however, we have learnt quickly that what ever time the Brazilian people tell you, if you double it, then you have about the right time, since the trek through the mountains actually took us 2 and a half hours, which meant we made it to the fishing port just in time to catch the last ferry back. Throughout the trek I tried not to become consumed with how dangerous this was, wondering through the mountains with no survival kit or supplies, no map, nothing! Plus I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes, which are apparently a special type of mosquito - I wasn't sure whether to be alarmed by this fact or honored that they chose to eat me. Matt was doing a Ray Mears and getting ready to set up camp in the mountains - I was beginning to panic!!! But it was well worth the effort, the scenery was amazing and we passed several little local villages tucked up in the mountains.
Once back we decided to treat ourselves to a fish feast in the oldest fish restaurant in Lagoa de Conceicao called Oliviera. We ordered a platter for 2 but the amount of food they kept bringing us could have fed a whole family - everything was delicious though. I don't think I have ever tried so many different fish dishes.
After our jaunt through the mountains a well earned day of rest spent at the beach seemed in order - Jaoquina beach was our chosen spot...wow! It lived up to all my expectations of what a Brazilian beach should look like, with a coastline that appeared to go on for miles, white sand that was so pure it squeaked when you walked on it. The sea was crystal clear and very refreshing. And parading up and down the beach like a catwalk were beautiful Brazilian people - not a place to come for the body conscious. I have never seen so many tanned, toned butt in the tiniest bikinis, they made me look like I was wearing granny pants and an over the shoulder boulder holder compared to what they were wearing. We both felt very over dressed, but I don't think Brazil was ready for our white wobbly bits!! We spent the whole day roasting ourselves in the 30 degree heat, occasionally dipping in and out of the sea and watching the surfing competition that was taking place. The only downside to the day was that we had both foolishly burnt our hands, feet and scalp; generally places you forget to apply lotion…ooop!
That evening the owners encouraged all the travelers to mingle by hosting a BBQ in his garden. This BBQ was nothing compared to your burgers and sausages back home, this BBQ was loaded with slabs of steak and spicy chorizo sausages…mmm! Once the caprina`s started flowing everyone was getting on really well and we met some really interesting characters from all over the globe.The night ended at about 4am after the owner had decided to take us to a local night club.
Our stay here was nearly up and it was time to venture onto Laguna. But we had both loved it here, wanting to stay longer and discover more of the sights and beaches - hopefully we'll come back. But until then next stop Laguna…