It’s about 15 hours from Foz Do Iguaçu to Florianópolis so I hopped onto the bus and took my seat, locked my bag and secured it to something that didn’t move then snuggled down with my pillow for a nice sleep. I don’t know how long I was out for before I was woken up by a tap on the shoulder. The bus was stopped and all the lights were on and a man with “Polica Federal” emblazoned across his jacket was shouting at me. So that confused me. I’d just woken up, hadn’t got a clue what he was saying, so obviously I resorted to staring at him blankly.
More rapid Portuguese from the angry sounding man with the gun. I searched my half asleep brain for something vaguely intelligent to say and it was at this point I wish my knowledge of Portuguese extended beyond, “Shut your mouth, son of a bitch.” Thanks, Brazilian friends. Even in my semi-conscious state I refrained from that and settled for, “No entiendo! No entiendo!” If in doubt, try Spanish. He tried a few more words then switched to English, “Baggage! Baggage!”
Oh, okay… yeah hang on… I fumbled with my keys to try and unlock my bag, not quite knowing why. He tried again. “Did you buy anything in Paraguay?”
“Paraguay??” I asked. Now that DID confuse me… hadn’t we just come from Foz Do Iguaçu? How did he know I’d been to Paraguay? Was I on the right bus?
He repeated himself, getting more agitated, “Did you buy anything from Paraguay??”
“Nothing at all?”
He looked disappointed then asked, “Where are you from?”
He studied me for a couple of seconds, waved his arms in exasperation and walked off. No, I have no idea what that was all about but at least I was saved from being dragged from my nice comfy bus seat for a search. I settled back in and was only woken up again when we arrived in Floripa.
Florianópolis has 42 beaches but today was the first day that we’ve had the weather to take advantage of this fact so me and a German lass from the hostel, headed to Joaquina to soak up some sun before it decided to rain again. Although it’s worth noting that Floripa (check me out, getting all local) is still fucking beautiful, even in the rain. Beautiful that is from the shelter of the hostel and certainly not from beach level unless you’re a surfer or a duck. Joaquina is stunning too, once we were there we settled ourselves amongst the dunes with a beer for a couple of hours. Loves it.
Bus To The Beach: R$2.95
Bottle Of Cold Skol: R$4
Being able to drink Skol on the beach without the fear of cops showing up, fining you and confiscating your grog? Fucking priceless! Brazil allows you to freely enjoy beaches as they’re meant to be enjoyed; with a bottle of beer in your hand.
But back to these dunes. For $R20 a man will lend you a sandboard so that you may slide down the dunes repeatedly for an hour or until your legs cave in because you’ve walked up too many dunes. I’ve tried sandboarding before, I was crap at it and didn’t expect to be any different this time. I found myself the gentlest slope I could away from the majority of people so they couldn’t point and laugh at me and pin me for the pussy I am and set off down the slope preparing myself for the inevitable bail and… hang on… wait a minute… I’m doing it! I’m sandboarding! Maybe I do have that “balance” thing I’ve often heard about. I stood at the bottom of the slope feeling somewhat smug.
Then I got cocky and headed to a slope with a gradient slightly more terrifying than the last but I could handle it. I was a sandboarder now, no slope was too… uh… slopey. Apparently cocky doesn’t get you to the bottom of a hill. Cocky doesn’t get you halfway down a hill. All cocky gets you is a painful lesson in which way your legs aren’t meant to go and you quickly realise that there are worse things than knickers full of sand, one of them being a gob full of sand when you face plant into a dune. My first thought when I pulled my face out of its sandpit and saw my sunnies half buried in the sand about a metre away was, “Ah fuck, not a another pair!” Then the pain registered.
I sat where I landed spitting the grit out of my mouth and trying to remove all the sand, mucus and blood from my nose. I think I may have a groin strain but I’m not too sure, I’m not very au fait with Injuries Suffered Whilst Doing Sports on account of the fact I don’t do sports, apparently with good reason. It also hurts to blow my nose which sucks because I’ve had a lot of snot exit my head recently. Like, an epic amount of snot. As in, if snot were money I could afford to bail Greece out, end world poverty and still have enough for the bus ride home. I have no idea where this snot is coming from and if I didn’t know better I’d say my brain was melting out through my nose. It took me about ten minutes to dare stand up before I hobbled back to the bus stop to make my way back to the hostel, sand chaffing at my lips. Yeah. Both pairs.
Stayed at: Backpackers Share House, Barra da Lagoa