This is Part 3 or a three-part story of my trip to Florianópolis. To get yourself up to speed, start with Part 1.
Brazil has some beautiful beaches; Brazil also has some beautiful people.
Usually these two things can be found together, but sometimes you find yourself wanting only one of these things at a time (like when you want popcorn, but you aren’t at the movies).
The greater Zona Sul area of Rio de Janeiro is great if you want the beach with the company of hundreds of other people, but as the Brazilians love to say, it is muito cheia (and there is even a hand gesture to accompany this). Sometimes, despite all the talent at the beach, you want to enjoy it alone.
It takes an 18 hour bus ride and a two-hour hike through the jungle to realize this dream of mine, but it is well worth it (like when you decide to go all the way home before rapid-firing; I am sure you have all sacrificed some comfort in the short-term for a larger payoff in the future).
Accompanied by two of the stellar Submarino Hostel crew, I trek through the jungle, and after some incredible vistas and a disgusting amount of sweat, we arrive at Lagoinha do Leste.
This was the beach I had imagined when I imagined Brazil: a deserted beach tucked between two mountains, warm water, a long shoreline, surrounded by green (jungle, that is).
We spend the whole day relatively alone (a beach vendor wanting to sell me jewelry still manages an appearance), and for the first time I nap uninterrupted by anyone or anything on the beach (not even those damn mosquitos). It can only be described as glorious (it is as if a unicorn with a mane of rainbows was carrying me across a river of a million smiles and children’s wishes).
Once the sun begins to head behind the mountains we walk to the opposite end of the beach where a repurposed cruise ship rescue boat shuttles us to a motor-equipped rowboat where we join approximately nine others (half of whom are shrieking and scared shitless – the swells are intense) to be taxied back around the mountains to a small fishing town.
Here we enjoy a hearty and surprisingly filling meal of feijão, rice, three types of shrimp, fries, an entire fish and of course, caipirinhas.
Next comes the weekend, and since I came to Florianópolis being rained upon, it was decided that I was to leave Florianópolis making it rain (HA!).
Luckily the Submarino was now filled with a slew of people from across the world ready to join in. The fine crew at the hostel scheduled for what they called a “transfer” (which I still don’t understand; I think it may be some sort of translation hullabaloo), but what I prefer to call: a magic van.
The way this works is that everyone pays a set price (very reasonable) which includes admission to a club and transportation to and from the venue. Once dropped off you simply inform the driver what time you would like him or her to return and then (here’s where the magic happens), when you make your way out of the dank, dark, sweaty mess that is a nightclub, your ride is there awaiting you AND they already know where to take you (even if you don’t remember anymore!).
However, do not miss the van or you may forever be lost in limbo only to find yourself waking up underground in a parking garage in Barcelona or in an ice bath (not fun, I know from experience).
Our venue of choice for the night features an interesting drink purchasing system where you get a wristband that you load like a debit card to be scanned for drinks at the bar. I still don’t know how I feel about this.