April 14th – I was up with the Dawn and walked all around the waterfront business areas of the Lagoon that I’d not checked out before. Clear skies, warm sun, calm blue waters, quiet streets – very few people were up yet…it was heavenly. Looked at the Fish Market, restaurants, the Boat Works, the veggie market, the Sandal Store and several others. Still amazed at how expensive goods and food are. The boats bobbed gently at their moorings…everything was so peaceful and serene.
I’d decided my next Brazilian adventure after Florianopolis would be the Foz de Iguazu, which is an enormous waterfall situated on the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Walked a couple blocks along the lagoon to a travel agent called Digital Net and purchased my sleeper bus ticket to depart in a few days. The sleeper tickets are different from the regular fare tickets. The buses are two story, and the first story has about 8 sleepers, like a glorified lounge chair that lays almost all the way flat, and a foot rest in front. They cost a little more than the regular fare tickets which are on the second story of the bus, and are just regular bus seats but with great views.
My trip was starting to come together in my head as far as destinations, hostels and time spent in each area. I had been talking with enough other travelers and reading my guidebooks enough so that I had an idea of where I wanted to visit in Brazil. Back at the Submarino Hostel I spent a little time online and found a great site – http://www.onetravel.com – and purchased a flight from Foz du Iguazu to Salvador, Bahia.
Bahia is a state in Brazil along the east coast almost in the north-to-south middle of Brazil. Salvador is the main city that everyone flies into – like Portland would be for Oregon. I would not be staying in Salvador, but intended to go north along the coast to visit a turtle sanctuary.
In the early afternoon a few of us from the Hostel went to Mole Beach to watch a surfing competition. There were a lot of surfers out catching the waves – it was a gorgeous beach. Took a walk down the beach to a stunning outcropping of rocks that looked almost sculpted. Clouds were threatening in the distance that looked dark and almost purple, and then the wind picked up and the sun was obscured. We all headed back to the Hostel and had coconut cocktails in rounds of goodbyes to Sol who was leaving to go back home to Argentina.
Amidst all the partying and good-byes, I didn’t get to bed til almost 3 a.m.! Yikes! I’m not used to this stuff! Good thing I had my bag of earplugs – the rest of the group kept on going!
April 15th – I was up early and started working on the computer again, and learned everyone else had stayed up til 4 a.m.! They got up late and finally all departed to go watch some more of the surfing championships, as it was a three day event and still going on.
I didn’t join them this day, but instead walked around the Farmer’s Market just 4 blocks from the Submarino Hostel, visited the women who were busily doing their traditional Portuguese handloom work – VERY impressive, their speed, artistry and skill, and took a very long kayak trip around the lower part of the upper lagoon. I must have paddled at least 6 miles, and though most of it was not too far off shore, the last part cut across the entire lagoon, which is much wider than it appears, especially when you’re paddling.
Bedtime came early for me, but the rest of the group – get this – decided to go listen to a group of bands play all night that were in town – they didn’t even HEAD OUT til 10:30 p.m.!!! Somehow I don’t remember my youth being like theirs is…once in a while when I was in high school I went to a dance with an ultra-loud band that played from 8 p.m. til MAYBE midnight…but these folks here in Brazil are real night owls! Incredible, and once again totally grateful for the much loved earplugs.