I am writing to you from Ilha de Santa Catarina, in a little town called Lagoa da Conceicao. Most folks know the name of Florianopolis best, which is the main city you arrive in via bus or plane (bus was my mode of transport) to get to this sweet island off the coast of southern Brazil. It’s pouring rain out right now, so much that I’ve decided to have a pizza delivered instead of attempting to go out in search of something to eat tonight. I decided what a better way to spend a rainy night than bringing you all up to speed on my latest travels.
I spent two and a half weeks in Uruguay searching for Carnaval festivities, connecting with relatives (a cousin by marriage, Moises, and his sweet wife, Rebecca which I’ll write more about in this post) and searching for beach towns and the ocean that this “island girl” so loves to be near. I thought I might find a sweet secluded beach that had not been discovered or developed yet. Well I did find some sweet beaches along the Uruguay coast, but the water was definitely a lot colder than it was inviting. Not to offend the dear, kind folks of Uruguay, they truly have a beautiful country with equally kind, beautiful people, but there is a reason their beaches aren’t overrun with tourists and travelers. That Atlantic ocean is COLD!! =) There is the exception of Punta del Este, which is like a mini-Miami beach of the jet set from Buenos Aires and surrounds. But again, when I got in the water it was like those cold plunge pools at a spa you dip in and get right back out. I guess I will state the obvious–I’ve been spoiled with the waters from Hawaii but it was a great adventure nontheless.
I explored the coastline on another day with my cousin, Moises and his wife Rebecca. We went to Piriopolis, Punta del Este and Punta Ballena. These two people certainly know the meaning of hospitality! They took me on tours of their city, Montevideo on the first day we met, had me over for lunch on another day and if that wasn’t enough had me over for dinner the night I left for Florianopolis. I hope I can repay their kind hospitality one day…
I’ve added a new Picassa photo album of some of my favorite images from my time in Uruguay. So if you want to see more of that country than the few pictures I’ve shared on this blog, they are there for you to enjoy.
So as I wrote earlier, I am now on the Island of Santa Catarina off the southern Brazilian coast. From here I’ll be heading onto Rio de Janeiro and some of the most famous beaches in the world like Ipanema and Copacabana, but for now I am quite content with the beaches near me. Praia Mole and Praia de Joaquina are awesome! I finally have been playng in the ocean again. I also managed to find a sweet little pousada with a kitchenette for $35 a day. Quite a deal for these beach destinaions and also a rental car for the same. So I’ve been doing some serious exploring and it feels great to have some freedom of mobility too!
Ilha Santa Catarina is a really beautiful island that has 3 “lakes or lagoas” through the middle of it. Driving along the coast there are some sweet fishing villages that are still quite connected to their Azorean Portuguese heritage along with some fantastic fresh seafood like oysters and shrimp…and I had pizza tonight???? =) But I did have a shrimp pastel (like an empanada or meat pie for my southern friends) for lunch today with a nice cold beer. So yes, I’m really enjoying my time on this island and seeing island life from a Brazilian perspective.
Tomorrow I go to get my bus ticket to head onto Rio de Janeiro. I know that city will be an amazing adventure too, I’ve been kind of saving it to finish up my travels in S. America. I have a couple of other destinations in Brazil to see before swinging back through the USA to visit some family and friends. I will then be going on my way around the rest of the planet. I know I’ll need the “downtime” to regroup and hopefully get my visas in order. So mi amigos, I will say “Ciao” for now and “todo biem!!”