Rocky road to Paradise

When it comes to services Brazil reminds me a lot of Romania, but it’s funnier because I don’t actually speak the language and I can’t ask for information. I was on the bus from Sao Paulo to Florianopolis and I asked the driver to let me know when we get to Florianopolis. He told me it was the end of the line so I didn’t have to worry about that. But after this he woke me up in a small station telling me we’ve reached Florianopolis. I saw a different name in the station, but I assumed it was the name of the terminal, not the name of the city. I only realized I was in Balneario Camboriu when I asked for directions to the Lagoon and they explained to me we were two hours away. These are things that could only happen to me. In the end I made the best of this situation because I didn’t have to pay for the ticket and I only waited for 2 hours for the next bus.

Another interesting thing happened while I was waiting: a police patrol with dogs were searching the terminal. I was afraid they were going to search me because I had the pepper spray with me and that’s illegal in Brazil. But the dog started running after a bus that had just entered the station and they searched all the luggage, not allowing anyone to leave the bus. There were many people around the bus, so many that I couldn’t see anything. They were literally running with their suitcases around just to get a glimpse of the scene. In the applause of the crowd the police arrested a guy that probably had a lot of drugs on him since the dog could feel the smell from so far away. It was an interesting episode to watch, I’ve never seen anything like this.

Finally I got to Florianopolis which is referred to as Paradise. I was skeptical about this commercial strategy, but when I got there I could understand the difference between this region and other areas in Brazil. People are very calm, the rhythm of the entire city is slow as a perpetual siesta and it has a good vibe. It is situated on the Santa Catarina island, but it also enclosures other small islands and a continental part. It’s no surprise that it’s called paradise if you think about the fact that it has 43 beaches!

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It was difficult to walk around with my 30Kg backpack, but it was worth the trouble. I visited the old city, the central park and the old fish market. In the evening I took a bus to get to my host’s house. My Couchsurfing host lives close to Lagoa de Conceicao, a beautiful lagoon in the eastern part of the island. It’s a charming area with many restaurants and artizans’ fairs. We went for a walk in the evening and the next day I walked to Mole Beach and to Praia de Galheta. These beaches are quiet and charming. It reminded me a lot of a 20 year younger version of 2 Mai or Vama Veche.

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I’m really glad I’ve made the decision to visit this city. I think I could live here although I don’t like beaches so much and I don’t enjoy small quiet cities. But the impression it made on me was so strong that I could get over these inconveniences. In the end, I have 40 more beaches to visit, so I have to get back here.

 

 

 

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