Florianopolis Day 1 (Praia Mole Beach)

I woke up today at 10:15, just in time to miss the hostel breakfast.

I asked at reception if my brother had arrived yet, and they said no. I started to worry a little bit because his flight had flown into Sao Paolo yesterday afternoon. He didn’t know a word of Portuguese.

Around noon time I decided I was going to go to the beach for a few hours and would check back later since there wasn’t much I could do. I walked into my room to grab some stuff- and my brother was sitting up in his bed staring me in the face! I was completely caught off guard, apparently he had arrived at 5 in the morning and for some reason reception didn’t know.

We left the hostel to go for a small 1.5 hour hike to Praia Mole beach. It was a beach just over the hills to the South.

Me, my brother, and our new Brazilian friend Dan headed out for the hike. I didn’t realize it was going to be dirt and somewhat intensive so I wore only flip flops. My flip flops became uncomfortable so I ended up just doing the whole hike bare foot.

(Me and my Brother)

We got to the top of the mountain and there was a great view

(view hike)

We saw some interesting flowers

(flowers)

And some crazy huge ant mounds like a foot high and 8 inches wide

(ant mounds)

We eventually arrived at Praia Mole Beach

(beach)

(jump bro)

We grabbed a drink here from a stand and listened to some Reggae music.

We caught the local bus back to Barra de Lagoa just in time for the free hostel drinks and to relax.

We went out again at the beach, but it wasn’t very good. There were mostly all vacationing Argentinians here which are pretty closed off and cliquey. So after a couple hours we gave up and called it a night.

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Florianopolis Day 1 (Bus Iguacu Floriapolis)

The bus ride to Florianopolis was pretty smooth. It was only a 1 level semi-cama bus with no food served.

It was supposed to take 14 hours but what do you know it ended up taking 16. I don’t know how these busses always leave on time if they always arrive late.

Some loud portugese guy boarded the bus in the middle of the night, as they made stops all throughout the night. I didn’t sleep well when people boarded because I was worried about my bag. The guy ended up being friendly, almost too friendly so I was cautious. Somehow we managed to communicate using sign language as he knew not a worried of English and I knew not a word of Portuguese. I did manage to gather that he wanted me to marry his 17 year old daughter though. I also ended up meeting a couple from Chile that could speak some English.

We arrived in downtown Florianopolis at around noon.  The city was a lot bigger than I expected, I was expecting a small little beach city but in reality it is a big modern city. The currency here is called Reals and is worst a little less than 2x the USD.

(currency)

The bus station had an information center so I stopped in. I had the address to my hostel scribbled down and planned on just catching a cab.

The information desk was extremely helpful though and it seemed pretty easy to get there; a couple bus transfers . So I decided that I would just try the bus thing out since the bus was only $R3 and worst case if I got lost I could just grab a cab and at least it would be closer/cheaper to my destination. A cab the entire way would have costed me $R90. I was going to the East Island, Barra da Lagoa. I took a right out of the main bus station and walked for about two minutes and there was a local bus station. From here, I caught bus #330 which took about a half an hour to arrive to Lagoa da Conceicao, the main Lagoa bus terminal. I transferred to bus #360 and a half hour later I arrived at my hostel.

I grabbed some random food from a stand in the station, I was ravenous from not eating. It was something like a fried mozzarella Panini with fries for R7, or approximately US $4. About standard price for the US in a mall or a little low priced for a bus station, in my opinion.

After I crossed a foot bridge and walked up a steep hill, I arrived at the hostel.

(view from bridge)

The Beach Club hostel is absolutely beautiful, it is built into a hill on the ocean. It has a great atmosphere, free surf boards, body boards, and wet suits to use. Its 50 Reals a night which is pretty expensive for South America but worth every penny. The place is like a resort.

I checked into the hostel at the same time as a girl named Lee from Israel did so we got lunch together in town.

(food)

Every evening at 7pm we meet at the top level to have a free drink with this view:

(hostel view)

That night we went town to the beach where they have a beach bar and everyone chills out by the rocks, we met up with some other people from the hostel. Great day!

My brother was supposed to arrive at 10pm and I checked reception but he still hadn’t arrived.

 

Iguazu Day 2 (Foz do Iguacu)

I ended up going out last night with a 50 year old Dutch guy named  Haus I met on the bus.

We had a beer at the hostel (cheap, local beer at the hostel was less than $1 each) then strolled around to explore the city. My expectations were that it would be a small tourist town, but in actuality it was a small city. It isn’t the nicest city either, kind of run down.

Anyway, we ended up downtown and sat down to have another beer. A live band came on playing local music, it was a great experience. So naturally, we got another beer, then ended up getting pizza. This place was fairly “high class” for the area and the total bill came to only $15 for four beers and a really good pizza. Really varying prices around here though because today I got a sandwich for $10 US.

After that, Haus went to bed and I went out to meet with a couple Australians and some French people at another hostel.

Having a good buzz going, I was in search for Bambu. I got some directions, this place was in the middle of no where. Finally I got there and found out that I had gotten directions to Bambu restaurant.  Armed with some new directions, I finally arrived at Bambu hostel.

I got a giant rum and coke for us $8 and hung out there. I had to wake up for 7am to head to Foz do Iguacu (Iguacu falls on the Brazilian side) with my new 50 year old friend Haus so I headed back to the hostel.

I thought I got lost on the walk home for a while when I was really just around the corner. I saw a Shell station I recognized and found my way back. I was a little sketched out being lost and like I said it was a little sketchy so it felt good to be back in the hostel.

I woke up at 7am, with a slight hangover and only 4 hours of sleep. We strolled over to the bus station after a brief breakfast at the hostel of shitty toast and a half portion of frosted flakes and caught our bus Cruceron Del Norte to Iguacu Falls. We were told we would need about a half a day there.

(Cruceron Del Norte)

The bus was 50 Pesos. It was about 15 minutes before we reached customs, had to exit the bus and get our passports stamped, then re-entered the bus. Another 15 minutes later and we arrived. All together it took about an hour, of which I slept every possible minute.

Once we arrived at Foz do Iguacu, we paid our 140 Peso entry fee and got in line for a shuttle bus. The busses were all custom painted all differently.

(bus)

The park was extremely touristy and a turn off for me. The day was overcast until late into the afternoon, but the falls were impressive. We were constantly getting shoved around or trying to squeeze past people. The path was paved with handrails with a few different places to take pictures etc.

(Waterfall  1)

(tourists)

There was an elevator (of course with a line) to get to a high viewpoint.) The view here was the best, and we took some photos.

(waterfall 3)

I am not sure what this animal was (anteater or something?) But they had zero fear of humans as you can see. He was just kicking back around the park.

(animal)

Haus was getting on my nerves, I was tired, hot, and cranky. I wanted to get back but he was obsessing over pictures, and wanted to return to the falls since the sun was out. I told him I was going back and we could meet up later.

I got some icecream (awesome) and met some people in the pool at the hostel. I couldn’t communicate well with them, some from Israel and some from Spain? So I bailed. Haus returned and wanted to get icecream so I got more icecream.

After packing, I passed out of the night, I was so beat.