florianopolis, or rather ilha catarina

  • interesting name for a surf shop
  • view from the hostel
  • hostel 'lappa'

After leaving Ilha do Mel on the 1pm boat, on 15th of October, I hoped I'd make it into Florianopolis for sunset. But, after a few delays in connecting buses I only arrived closer to 10pm. It was also much colder than I expected eventhough it really isn't that far from Ilha do Mel. I got a bus to Barra da Lagoa, which is the area of the island so many people had told me about. The information guy told me to tell the bus driver to drop me off at Praia do Mole - that's where Sunset Backpackers, the hostel I'd be staying at was. I figred this meant it was a small stretch of beach with one hostel. When I got off the bus, I had no idea where the hostel was, and there were 2 big hills either side of where the bus stopped, which I really didn't fancy walking up, wiht all my luggage, wearing flip flops and a very cold drizzle coming down. After walking for ages I still had not seen the hostel and was starting to wonder if I would have to spend the night out on the street because everyh "pousada" i stopped at for directions was full. Eventually though, I found the hostel and after checking in I promptly passed out in my bunk bed.

The next morning I woke up and the day was miserably cold. But, the views from the hostel were incredible, overlooking the big lagoon. Also, the hostel beared more resemblance to a hotel than a hostel, with a cool swimming pool, lush gardens and an excellent entertainment/chillout area. I asked the guys at the hostel if any of them had been down to check the surf and some had, but said it was pretty crap - not worht going in. They also made it clear that I would need a wetsuit if I was gonna spend any time in the water. So, weather and surf being crap, I headed off to a mall to find a cheap wetty. Not sure if it was boredom or just being in a mall for the first time in a while, but I went on a bit of a shopping spree - asif the travel budget wasn't already taking a bit of a knock.

When I got back to the hostel the little surf demon in the back of the head kicked in again, and braving the almost wintery weather, I headed down to the beach in boardies and my newly aquired rash vest. Most of the guys in the water looked at me like i was nuts when I paddled up to them with no wetsuit. After about an hour or so of some average waves (they were big, fat and slow waves) I was really feeling the cold and headed back to the hostel. A while later my new found South African friends arrived from Ilha do Mel. I was pretty chuffed to see them. That evening we all pigged out on sushi.

In the morning, I headed out for a surf again. It was slightly warmer that day ad i stayed in for at least 2 hours but the waves were a bit worse than the day before. In the afternoon, Matt managed to find himself a rental board, so we went out for a late afternoon session. Again the waves were fat and heavy but some offered a really good ride. Matt didn't stay in for long because he didn't even have a rashie - the locals must think us South Africans are louco! After about 2 hours I left the water, happy with the session, but also really sad knowing that it would be my last surf session for a long time as the next day I'd head to Iquazu and from there on it would pretty much just be inland travel.

In the evening I headed out to the sister hostel which was having a Feijoada evening - I'd been wanting to have some feijoada for ages. All I can say is my mom makes way better feijoada, and I was left quite disappointed. After the meal, we all partied quite a bit.

The next afternoon, we all headed back to the main bus station to catch our overnight bus to the infamous Iguazu falls, that form part of the Brazilian and Argentine border.