A Travellerspoint blog

Florianopolis one last time

I decided to leave carambei if my boss wasn't helping me with the flight home to Canada. And she wasn't, so I decided not to finish the semester, there really wasn't a point.

Anyway, I went off to see Renan again and we had a nice morning looking at the lake and the sea.

In the afternoon I found bar do arante and it was amazing. Right when I'm feeling my worst the travel gods point me in the right direction and bring me back on track. I ate a lot of seafood and drank the free cachaca. Satisfied.

That night I chatted with renans neighbor and roommate in Portuguese. We managed to actually say a lot of interesting things.

Lake

Lake


The sea

The sea


The sea

The sea


I dunno

I dunno


Church

Church


Church

Church


Pantanal do sul

Pantanal do sul


Pantano do sul

Pantano do sul


Birds

Birds


Things are looking up

Things are looking up


Pantanal do sul

Pantanal do sul


Bar do arante

Bar do arante


Crab

Crab


Fish

Fish


Bar do arante

Bar do arante


Bar do arante

Bar do arante


Bar do arante

Bar do arante


Violinist

Violinist

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Boteca in ponta Grossa

I tried to find this place but the map was wrong. I walked around some pretty sketchy neighbourhoods and then finally found it when I found the right street.

The servers were friendly and the cod fish balls were an amazing explosion of delicious in my mouth. Well worth the trip.

Codfish balls

Codfish balls


Me vs. Codfish ball

Me vs. Codfish ball


Boteca

Boteca


Weird bathroom

Weird bathroom


Boteca

Boteca

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Iguacu Falls

We had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out to see the falls at about 10 a.m. It was drizzling and not so nice, but that meant we were prepared for the massive amount of mist drifting out from the falls.

This place is immense, it's like Niagara Falls times 10 and it's amazing that Brazil has taken the initiative to protect it, unlike the Canadians who had virtually no opportunity or inclination to do that in the past.

It was very much worth the trip.

At night, we had a really homey dinner at a cozy restaurant Emporio des Artes. The duck was overdone but my mom and dad liked their fish and chicken curry.

That's all I have to say about the whole thing.

Dad had some sort of terrible blood coagulation in his leg and it turned purple, so we went to the doctor as soon as we got back.

On the park bus

On the park bus


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls


Iguacu Falls

Iguacu Falls

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Finally went to Iguacu Falls

So, I picked my parents up at the airport in Curitiba but their rental car didn't have any insurance. When they added the insurance it was going to cost more than the actual rental, so we decided not to get the car after all. We hurried off to the bus station and managed to catch the last bus home to Carambei.

They hung out at my house until it was the weekend, I took Friday off so we could go to Iguacu. We had a barbecue dinner in Ponta Grossa and then headed out on the bus at 10 p.m. We started to walk to the bus station in a sketchy part of town with pit bulls viciously attacking us through the fences in front of various homes. It was getting kind of crazy. Suddenly the manager of the barbecue pulled up beside us and offered to drive us to the bus station. He tracked us down to make sure we were safe and brought us there.

We got the luxury first class seats in the bus, and they gave us blankets, pillows and a snack pack. We slept well and woke up in Iguacu.

Our hotel was not far from the waterfalls but it was raining, so we checked in and headed out to see the bird park, which is right across the street from the waterfalls. We got right up close and personal with toucans and parrots it was really cool and definitely worth the diversion.

After the park we took a nap and then went to see a Disney style cultural dinner and dance show at Rafain. My parents didn't see any carnaval dancers, so this was their only chance.

The waiter tried to charge us for a bunch of stuff we never ordered, and the resulting argument caused us to miss the last bus home. Bleh, stupid waiter. The show was entertaining, but it was a disappointing end to the whole thing.

Dinner at my house

Dinner at my house


Barbecue in Ponta Grossa

Barbecue in Ponta Grossa


Luxury bus

Luxury bus


Luxury bus

Luxury bus


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves acai

Parque das Aves acai


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Parque das Aves

Parque das Aves


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show


Rafain dinner show

Rafain dinner show

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Hiking in Pico do Marumbi Park

I had to meet my parents at the airport on Sunday, so I went to Curitiba to see Franciele again. I had an idea to go to Pico do Marumbi Park together because my guide book said not to go alone. There had been some armed robberies there in the past.

Franciele was happy to get out of the city, if only for one day, so we took off in the morning for the park. A man was selling pinhao on the way there and we picked up a bag of them to enjoy for breakfast the next day.

We drove down a windy mountain road, all the way to the bottom and then parked our car on a dirt road somewhere near the park entrance. We took the chance of getting our car stolen or towed, and didn't bother parking in the paid parking lots.

We followed the main path and climbed all the way up to the railroad tracks. There was an old seemingly abandoned station, which led to another functional train station. We got a little lost, because we followed the train tracks to a bridge, which we crossed, but it was terrifying for me. When we came to a second, more dangerous and terrifying bridge, I convinced Franciele to turn around and go back. Fifteen minutes later, of course, a giant freight train came barrelling down that same bridge. If we hadn't turned around, there would have been a huge problem, which might have involved jumping off the bridge and perhaps dying.

From there, we hiked up the mountain to a small waterfall. The park ranger told us we could go and see a nice waterfall and it would only take 1.5 hours. It was not easy, we were basically scrambling up the whole way. However, it was a lot of fun, like climbing a giant playground obstacle for hours.

There was a point when the mountain "trail" became about 85 degrees and we got really tired. But (!!!) we hadn't seen the waterfall yet, or so we thought. The sound of the water was getting further away the more we climbed, so we figured that we must have passed it. When we climbed back down we realized that yes, this small stream must have been the "waterfall" the park ranger described to us. We laughed and then sat down on the rock and ate the best cheese sandwiches of our lives.

The way down went by really quickly and soon we found ourselves at Franciele's car again. It didn't get stolen or towed and we were exhausted, but hungry for some barreado in Morretes. It was a nice night and there was a farmers' market, so we bought some cachaca and banana candies for my parents and wandered around until we found a restaurant serving the delicious beef stew. We also got a nice cold beer and enjoyed the rest of the night nursing our tired legs.

Franciele drove back and we went right to sleep.

Stained glass at train station

Stained glass at train station


Franciele on the path

Franciele on the path


Marumbi

Marumbi


Train station

Train station


The "waterfall"

The "waterfall"


One red tree

One red tree


The hike

The hike


The "waterfall"

The "waterfall"


The "waterfall"

The "waterfall"


The "waterfall"

The "waterfall"


Going down

Going down


The train station

The train station


Pinhao

Pinhao

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Extended the visa and beer "festival"

My boss' son drove me to the police station to renew my visa for another three months. I was a little worried it wouldn't work, but the police officer was more interested in planning his weekend with his friend on the phone than actually reading my application form. He just stamped it without looking at anything and we left with a fancy new sticker in my passport.

I had already bought a ticket to Florianopolis for the weekend again, but I learned that there would be a beer and hamburger "festival" in town the day after I bought my ticket. I asked boss' son if he could stop at the bus station so I could cancel my ticket and he was nice enough to do that, so then I went to the party on Saturday instead of Florianopolis.

As I was walking there, Deleon my ex Portuguese teacher saw me in his car and brought me to the festival. I ate a churro and tried each of the three beers on tap. I was a little bewildered. Three beers does not a festival make. I was disappointed and not in the mood for the band, so I watched only a few songs and then went home.

Me vs. strawberry churro

Me vs. strawberry churro


The band

The band

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Beach dayyyyyy

I made it to Florianopolis an hour late, and Renan was waiting there for me. He had to go to work, but he just wanted to show me the bus to Santo Antonio de Lisboa before he went. So, we walked over to the bus station and went our separate ways.

I took the bus all the way to Sambaqui and walked 3 km back to Santo Antonio, enjoying the cool morning air. The rest of the day would become unbearably hot, I was glad I was near the ocean this weekend.

When I arrived at Santo Antonio, I saw a quaint oyster shack, but they weren't open until 12, oh how typical. So, I attempted to catch another bus to the fort at the north of the island. I ended up waiting forever because I didn't know which one to take and not all of the buses would stop for me. I finally decided to walk down the street to the next stop where yes, the right bus stopped for me.

I took this bus all the way to the end, where the old fort is. It had beautiful views of the mainland and ocean. Back in the day it must've been so lousy and boring living there, looking out for attackers, but the cachaca and seafood must've been amazing. It would have been the simple pleasures that made life on a tropical, humid, mosquito infested, deserted island bearable.

Anyway, when I got there, it was closed (of course) and I had an acai berry sundae outside the gates while I waited for it to open. That acai berry stuff is awesome, how have I not tried it before?!

After the fort, I walked down to the beach, where I slept in the shade for three hours. Then, I walked down to Jurere beach, which was more of the same, but it was packed and there wasn't any shade. By the time I walked down the length of the beach, I was hungry again and tired, so I went into town and found tomatoes, peanuts and grapes alongside some Uruguayan beer. I was doing alright, and I walked back down to the beach to eat by sunset.

When it got dark I took the bus all the way back to Renan's place, it took two whole hours. I fell asleep a few times on the bus, but it was OK because the system is really easy, you always take the bus to the end and just switch to the next one until you get where you want to go.

No one was home when I got there, so I just took a shower and went to bed. I fell asleep as soon as I flopped down on the mattress on the floor.

In the morning Renan made me eggs and coffee. He even brought me back to the bus station and I took the same bus home, as well as bought another ticket to go right back next weekend.

Sambaqui beach

Sambaqui beach


Sambaqui beach

Sambaqui beach


Sambaqui beach

Sambaqui beach


Walk to Santo Antonio

Walk to Santo Antonio


Church in Santo Antonio

Church in Santo Antonio


Church in Santo Antonio

Church in Santo Antonio


Fort

Fort


Frozen acai berry thing

Frozen acai berry thing


Fort

Fort


Me vs. fort

Me vs. fort


Me vs. fort

Me vs. fort


From the top

From the top


Out the window

Out the window


Little museum

Little museum


Me vs. fort

Me vs. fort


From the top

From the top


Fort

Fort


Me vs. beach

Me vs. beach


Praia do Forte

Praia do Forte


Praia do Forte

Praia do Forte


Praia do Forte

Praia do Forte


Praia do Forte

Praia do Forte


Jurere beach sunset

Jurere beach sunset

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Kalinka disaster

I hitched a ride with my students again on Friday night. One of them has a class at the college nearby Kalinka, the restaurant I wanted to try because it has such rave reviews on Trip Advisor. So, he dropped me off there. I was kind of excited to go there because the atmosphere looked so chill and amazingly beautiful.

When I got there, the photos were realistic. A beautiful wooden patio with soft white lights greeted me. I sat down and felt something digging into my posterior. Oh, it must just be the splinters from the wood and I ignored it.

I ordered a beer and a hamburger, the waitress said it was their specialty. The beer came, and it was cool and smooth. They sent me the person who spoke the best English and he explained it was locally brewed and that the BBQ hamburger was very good.

Twenty minutes later (at least) it appeared with ice cold fries. When I tried to take a bite of the sandwich it just crumbled and the insane amount of sauce exploded all over my face. I asked the English waiter to get it cut in half. They had already given me a butter knife to cut it with, which was already a disaster. This time, I wanted it cut thinner, like... horizontally??? And I made the motions with my hand. My hamburger came back in pieces like dog food. I told him I wasn't paying for that so they finally brought me a thinner one.

I tried to enjoy the crappy John Mayer cover band and attempted to eat my new hamburger, finally. A few minutes into it, some guy came to borrow my chair. I let him have it, obviously. Suddenly I felt that weird stabbing in my butt again. When I reached down to see what it was, I was rewarded with a giant gash on my thumb. Seriously??? WTF was this restaurant's problem??? I told everyone who had anything to do with my experience at this establishment, and the English speaking waiter said it's not their fault I got glass in my hand. Oh really? Whose was it then? It certainly wasn't mine...

They left me alone for a while and the waiter told me someone at the chair guy's table wanted to buy me a drink. I asked why, and the waiter lied and said he didn't know... I asked for the drink advertised on a card on the table, a cucumber martini. Sounds refreshing right??? But of course, they didn't have it (why advertise it if you don't have it?) and he brought me some chocolate abomination instead. Thanks for that, old man at chair guy's table... I guess... and I waved and smiled thanks.

The old man at the table came over and launched right into his pitch. He used my iPod to tell me he wanted me to go to his hotel and take a shower. Needless to say, I was furious. I translated back that I wasn't a prostitute and that he was a bad influence on the young men at his table.

Something must've gotten lost in the translation because he abruptly said "I'm not gay!" and left.

Well... that was one way to get rid of him I suppose.

After that drink, I wasn't feeling too good, so I figured it was best to leave, on the off chance the waiter and that man were in cahoots and had slipped something in my drink. I went to the cash to pay (only for the beer) and saw one of the young men from the old man's table on the restaurant land line. WHO ARE YOU!? They WERE in cahoots!!! The waiter told me he was the owner. THEN I was REALLY pissed.

Now I was not only angry, I was also afraid I had been drugged and that these strange men who owned this terrible restaurant were making arrangements to bring me back to their hotel against my will. I was even more furious than before. I told them that I wasn't paying for anything, and that I was shocked that the owner of this fine establishment would imply that I was a prostitute. I ran out to the nearest bus stop as fast as possible. I was waiting for the bus, frightened I would suddenly black out, but it was better to pass out at a random bus stop than in that bar.

The bus eventually came, and I was feeling feverish and a lot more drunk than I should've been after one beer and a martini, but I was safe at the intercity bus station. My bus to the beach left a half hour late and then I was off, never to return to Kalinka again.

The first attempt at cutting the burger

The first attempt at cutting the burger


This is what the chef did

This is what the chef did


WTF!?

WTF!?

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Beautiful city

In the morning I woke up at 7 and left. Renan thought I was mad, but I really wasn't, just a little perplexed at the way I was manipulated. The reason why it ended up that way remains unclear to me.

Anyway, I walked down the hill and just missed the bus on its way back to Florianopolis. So, I kept walking in the direction of the bus until the next bus came, and of course, I missed that one, so I waited in the next covered station, because it had started to drizzle.

By the time I got to the city, it was about 8 a.m., but way too early to do anything, so I wandered down to the suspension bridge, which is now abandoned, and meandered around in the pedestrianized shopping zone, which was empty on a Sunday morning.

The historical museum didn't open until 10, so I attempted to find some breakfast. I finally did, but they only had some pastries. That was fine, and the fresh squeezed juice was exactly what I needed. I waited there until the museum opened, amongst the old men presumably hanging out while their wives were in church at one of the cathedrals nearby. I wish I could've asked them what they were doing there drinking beer so early on a Sunday morning.

The central park was beautiful, with a giant fig tree that is said to grant you fame and fortune if you walk around it three times. I was too tired to try it and find out. :P

The former governor's palace was converted into the municipal historical museum and it was just lovely. I spent a good part of an hour admiring the interior decor.

Soon, it was time to get back on the bus and go home. I was so sleepy that I couldn't even bring myself to get off the bus when we stopped for 15 measly minutes for lunch. When I finally made it home I was famished.

Suspension bridge

Suspension bridge


Pedestrian street

Pedestrian street


Fig tree

Fig tree


Santa Catarina Historical Museum

Santa Catarina Historical Museum


Metropolitan cathedral

Metropolitan cathedral


Oldest building in Floripa

Oldest building in Floripa


Inside governor's residence

Inside governor's residence


Inside governor's residence

Inside governor's residence


Inside governor's residence

Inside governor's residence


Inside governor's residence

Inside governor's residence


Inside governor's residence

Inside governor's residence

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

The beach!

So I slept all the way to Florianopolis, it wasn't too bad, but it's way better to do this type of overnight travel in China, where there are actual flat beds to sleep on. I woke up a little groggy, but it wasn't as bad as sleeping in a chair, like you have to on holidays in China.

Renan was supposed to meet me at the bus station, but he was an hour late. So, I just got changed and cleaned up in the bathroom, trying to kill time until he came.

Renan was pretty smelly, he had the smell of clothes that were left to dry in the shade and then grew some gross bacteria on it. He brought me to his house, which is at the top of a HUGE hill. Then he said we had to take a shower and eat lunch before going to the beach. This took an extraordinarily long time as well. We didn't get to the beach until 2 p.m. at least. We also had to stop at his friend's house before we went, but his friend wasn't there. Sometimes couch surfing is not so great... sigh. I really appreciate the hospitality and effort, but sometimes people just don't get it.

When we finally got to the beach, bees were chasing us, but mostly Renan, probably because of the smell, I don't know. After we found a good place to relax, I finally had a little snooze. I woke up in an hour and Renan was escorting me back home. We got back at around 4:30 or 5, and he immediately told me he had to go and "get some medicine" and he would be back in 30 minutes and that I should wait for him. Mhmm, "medicine", right.... I told him that I wanted to buy him dinner and that maybe we could go together... he said he didn't eat dinner until 10 p.m. at least and that when he came back we could go get dinner then. I fell asleep waiting for him.

I was woken up at midnight to eat some stew and rice, not the dinner of seafood at a beachside shack that I was hoping to buy him. I was sad and told him so, he seemed confused.

After that, I went to bed and told myself I'd wake up early to make up for the egregious amount of time I wasted staying with this weirdo.

Top of the hill

Top of the hill


Renan before he did all that weird stuff

Renan before he did all that weird stuff


Campeche beach

Campeche beach


Campeche beach

Campeche beach


Campeche beach

Campeche beach


Campeche beach

Campeche beach


Campeche beach

Campeche beach


Campeche beach

Campeche beach

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Mexican food

So, there's only one bus to take from Ponta Grossa to Florianopolis early Saturday morning at 1 a.m. My last student on Friday offered me a ride to the bus station, so I got to Ponta Grossa at about 8 p.m. With all those hours to kill, I had to find something awesome to do.

I looked up the top restaurant on Trip Advisor and it was Montecito, just north of the bus station. I downloaded the maps and went out looking for this place. I got really lost and kept walking around the wrong park. I asked some police officers where to go and they told me to go in the wrong direction. When I finally figured this out, a nice taxi driver put me in the right direction. At that point, I was really feeling like crying. I don't think any police officer every gave me the wrong directions in my life! I was so frustrated.

After he got me on track, I wasn't that far away at all. I found this atmospheric place quite easily. I grabbed a seat on the patio and sipped a big beer until my "piggy" burrito came. That's what the waitress said was their specialty, "piggy burrito"... OK gimme the piggy!

I noticed this guy was sitting all alone and so I asked him if he wanted to eat with me, he said his friends were coming soon, but we could all eat together. Hurray!

We talked for many hours, they all spoke wondrous English, it was a really nice night. Luana owns a hair salon in Ponta Grossa, so maybe if I'm there in the daytime sometime, I'll actually get my haircut from someone who speaks English.

Montecito

Montecito


Me vs. chopp

Me vs. chopp


Chopp vs. cactus

Chopp vs. cactus


Cactus vs. chopp

Cactus vs. chopp


Lonely guy

Lonely guy


Me vs. burrito

Me vs. burrito

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Stuck

In the morning, I went down to breakfast and there was a full array of pastries, including key lime pie, fresh buns, ham, cheese, yogurt and cafe com leite.

After that, I went back to the bus station to try and find a bus to any, and I meant ANY of the FIVE villages listed in my guidebook. They were all held up as exemplary architectural wonders of Ukrainian immigrant engineering. None of the three companies could provide me with any means of getting there and back in one weekend. Some of them were as close as 10 km away. The bus station workers advised me to take a taxi. Forget it. I gave up on the Ukrainian splendour.

Without anything to do for the rest of the day, I walked without any hope to the Ukrainian museum. My guidebook said it was closed on Saturdays so I had zero enthusiasm for the effort of finding it. Which was a little confusing because the Google map I downloaded was wrong and there was no address for it in the guidebook. I was amazed to find a nice old lady with purple hair waiting in the lobby for her visitors. She was very happy to see me and she showed me around, repeatedly saying "Prudentopolis" and "Ukraine" over and over again, until she believed I understood the point. I wasn't allowed to take any photos. Although it was quite interesting and a nice homey collection of miscellaneous old Ukrainian things, once again, I was feeling uncomfortable in a small museum, being watched like a hawk.

The only other sight in town was the Ukrainian cathedral. It opened at 10, so I waited outside until some young families showed up for their childrens' baptism day. That was really nice and a special day for them, so it was interesting to watch. I chilled out there until the bus left for Ponta Grossa again at 11:30.

This trip should've been a day trip, but I'm stubborn, so I left at night on Friday. I should've done more research about those small villages, but I was just too sick this week to care about it. All in all, I had a good breakfast and I saw some nice traditional architecture and some sweet families being happy. Success despite the disappointment.

Breakfast at Hotel Burack

Breakfast at Hotel Burack


Giant church

Giant church


Ukrainian museum

Ukrainian museum


Ukrainian church

Ukrainian church


Ukrainian church

Ukrainian church

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Explosion

My wonderful students drove me to Ponta Grossa again after our 6 p.m. class. They even drove out of their way to take me to the bus station, so I could buy a ticket leaving at 8:10 p.m.

I got my ticket, but I needed to charge my iPod. I went to a sketchy looking outlet that didn't have a cover, and as soon as I plugged in my adapter, it sent a huge blue electric shock into the device. At first I laughed and thought it was funny, but when I looked at the metal prongs, that shock was so big that it actually took a chunk right out of the metal and blackened the white plastic.

I went to complain to the manager people, but they told me that it must be my fault. I had a strange plug they don't usually see there, so I must've triggered the jolt. Uhhh, no you are wrong, I have used this plug in every other outlet in your crappy bus station, sometimes for many hours, while I wait for your hopelessly off-schedule buses. It was only the first time that I took a chance with this particular outlet, that didn't have a cover on it. Maybe you should put the cover on it, so no one else potentially shocks themselves into oblivion. They didn't understand a word I said, so of course, it's my fault and the plug will stay as it is until someone dies.

The bus was only 20 minutes late, a success by Brazilian standards. We drove off into the night and I found a hotel close to the station quickly after I arrived. The owner gave me a cheap rate after I showed him how empty and pathetic my wallet was.

I spent the rest of the night complaining to Jeremy on Skype. I can't even justify how late I stayed up, while I was sick, blowing my nose into a toilet paper roll I stole from the shared bathroom. I felt like absolute crap in the morning.

Big chunk out of my plug

Big chunk out of my plug


The offending outlet

The offending outlet


Hotel Baruck

Hotel Baruck

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

The long sad ride home

I woke up too early for the ferry, but the workers let me come with them, so I enjoyed an empty repositioning cruise for about 20 minutes.

Somehow, I made it to the bus station, but I was two hours early for the next trip to Curitiba. I tried to find a bank, but they only sent me to a sketchy looking ATM, no thanks, I'll take my chances with my card at the rodoviaria in Curitiba.

On the walk back to the bus station, I saw a nice cozy park where I could dry out my soaked towel and shorts from yesterday's disaster.

Trying to wake up and be happy

Trying to wake up and be happy


My repositioning cruise

My repositioning cruise


Goodbye Ilha do Mel

Goodbye Ilha do Mel

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

The terrible terrible day

All night, there was some crazy party, including my immediate neighbours, who were having sex so violently, the fan on my wall threatened to fall right off its shelf. They brought the bongos and guitars and starting singing "blahblah Ilha do Meeelllll" over and over again, it never ended.

I turned the iPod up and attempted to sleep. I got snatches of it until 5:30 a.m. The plan was to get up real early at low tide, and walk 8 ish kilometres out to Fortaleza, the old Portuguese fort. It's a lot more difficult than it sounds.

At first, I climbed entirely the wrong mountain. I was faced with a dangerous cliff, which had some menacing rocks at the bottom. There was no way, I was going to find my way down the other side of it. So, I went back to try and find the right way I found a white flag in front of a clearly marked path over another part of the same mountain. I dunno what my problem was, and why I didn't see it at all the first time I climbed the mountain.

This led me to another beach with another white flag on it. I followed the path behind the flag again, but it only led me to a weird hippy camp, full of garbage and poorly constructed shelters. The trail narrowed and went into the dark jungle. I was a little afraid of the crazy hobo that might live there, so I didn't go any further.

I walked to the end of the second beach and almost gave up, because I didn't see anymore flags anywhere and the rocks looked extremely dangerous to climb. I decided to either figure out what to do by 8 a.m. or go back and just take the ferry instead.

On my sad, defeated walk back to the ferry docks, a couple of fishermen told me that I could climb the rocks at low tide, no problem. It was just getting to be low tide right now, so I went right back. I scrambled over the like a crazy person, scratching up my knees, feet and hands on the barnacles until they bled.

When I finally got to the next beach, past the rocks, I found a small guest house which was connected to the road to Novo Brasilia Finally, I found my way to the other side of the island. From here on out, the walk was quite easy, but the blazing sun beat down intensely once I got to the next beach, the beach leading to Fortaleza.

My first stop was this port, which was built to keep the Spanish away back in the 1700s. It looked like it was close by, but it actually took an hour to walk there. A nice peaceful walk of course, but also hot, sweaty, thirsty and hungry. I ate my two oranges when I got there and regained some energy to climb up to the lighthouse.

So, I did another hour walk down the beach and climbed up the easy stairs to the top. I could see from there how far I had travelled, and all before lunch! I had two more oranges and booted it back down to the Novo Brasilia ferry dock. I had just made the 1 p.m. sailing back to Encantadas. I made a complete circle of the southern tip of the island. The north, is inaccessible by law, so I considered Ilha do Mel finished.

After lunch, I grabbed some cold beers and went down to the beach again to sleep off the rest of the day. I looked through my photos and put my camera down on my towel. A fatal mistake. As I was snoozing, the tide came in and swept my camera out to sea. I ran after it and retrieved but I thought it was a goner. I had been waiting for it to die since I washed it last year as I was cleaning pickle juice out of my bag in Singapore. There is no explanation as to why I had pickles in the same bag as my camera, and also how I forgot that camera in the bag as I cleaned it out. Let's just move on.

With very little faith in drying out the camera, I moved my towel back a lot of metres and took the battery and SD card out to dry. It's almost too painful to say, but I fell asleep again. The tide caught up with me and swept all my belongings out to sea AGAIN. But this time, it was so much worse. I ran around picking everything up, my journal, my water bottle, my camera battery, my camera, my shorts and my towel, but as hard as I tried, I couldn't find that SD card. All my pictures from this weekend's beautiful adventures were gone into the ocean. It was as if the island itself was camera shy and took its photos back from me. Maybe I had taken a secret photo of something! It all seemed so cosmic at the time, but really I know it was only my own dumb fault.

As I walked home, dejected and angry at myself, yet again, I saw a sign for a blues festival and heard one of the bands playing English music. It was 20 reals to get in and they took my master card. Oh my yes. I took a quick shower and came back ready for the show, feeling a little better already.

The whole thing was quite laid back, only a few people danced while most everyone watched with beers in hand. Again, the English music was a relief and I had a nice night, dancing by myself, despite everything that went wrong and all the open sores and blisters on my feet. I got tired at about 10, so I went back to my shack, where it was surprisingly quiet.

Encantadas Grotto

Encantadas Grotto


The lighthouse

The lighthouse


Grotto

Grotto


Cannons at Fortaleza

Cannons at Fortaleza


Ilha do Mel

Ilha do Mel


Ilha do Mel

Ilha do Mel


Ilha do Mel

Ilha do Mel


Ilha do Mel

Ilha do Mel

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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