April 17th – Up early and saw Janet and Fynn off – what a lovely young couple from Germany traveling for many weeks together around South America on the beaten route traveled regularly by the Europeans. I had not heard of the route before this trip, but it covers most of the countries in South America along a particular course, and all the Europeans know of it.
Juli0, the owner of the Submarino Hostel, gave me the bus connection information to arrive at the southern part of the island, from where you can take a hiking trail up over a saddle to a private beach not accessible by any other way than hiking or boating. Myself and two other female travelers staying at the Submarino Hostel headed to the bus, made our connections, got off at the correct bus stop (thanks to the bus man who understood where we were going through hand signs and broken Spanish) and actually found the trail!
It was up, up, up on a wet slippery track, alternating between smooth slippery rock surfaces and smooth slippery mud. After a half hour ascending on the trail, a bleeding man with bandages on various parts of his arm and head came passing by, warning us to be very careful, that he had slipped and injured himself. His friends had gone on to the beach, as he didn’t want them to change their day plans for him, but he had turned back and was going down to get better medical help.
After he passed we discussed it and decided to continue but to pay even more attention to our footing. The hike was supposed to last only 45 minutes, but it took 1.5 hours. One of the girls was hiking barefoot, which slowed us down considerably – her flip flops had no grip and she felt more secure of her footing in bare feet.
We finally arrived at a lookout platform which had tremendous views and we could actually see the beach to which we were heading. Another half hour and we arrived, and walked to the end of the beach where a river emptied into the ocean.
It was gorgeous and warm. We spread our beach towels out on the sand and sunbathed, and occasionally went for a swim in the river. It was incredibly peaceful hearing the sound of the surf crashing on the shoreline not far away, feeling the heat, smelling the negative ions, hearing the bird calls. So tranquil. We each slept in the sun awhile, completely relaxed, melting into sand, consumed by natural sounds, absorbed into Mother Earth herself, returning to simple Is in timelessness.
Too soon we realized we should start heading back to catch the last bus for the hour ride back to Lagoa. Our hike back up over the saddle and down to civilization took only 45 minutes, and after purchasing a beer at a nearby market (mercado) to celebrate a great day, the bus arrived and we boarded.
Back in Lagoa the night was black, the moon was full and gigantic, and I was hungry. I dined at “DNA Natural,” a restaurant in town, savoring salmon, salad and a lemon drink. On my walk back to the hostel, there were craft stands set up all along the main road, with vendors selling beautiful jewelry, books and crafts, lit by candle light and the full moon.
It reminded my strongly of the type of scene one would have experienced in southern California during the 60’s and 70’s. The young vendors were all dressed in the hippie style clothes of that era, with beads, hair styles, body art, jewelry – it was amazing! I felt like I had stepped outa place, outa time. The whole day had been like that, actually. In the southern part of the island while waiting for the bus, I saw old VW buses driving around with surfboards on top, their sides painted with bright artwork of psychedelic colors and designs. The prices for beer at the Mercado were many reals cheaper than anywhere up around Lagoa, and hippie-dressed youth were riding bicycles in the late afternoon sun around the quiet, sand-sided streets. I could have sworn I had been transported back in time to the early 1970s in Santa Cruz, California, and I began to wonder about that snooze on the magic beach…where was I now, really?
Under the magic of the full bright white moon, I fell asleep in my little hostel bed for my last night in the Florianopolis area. Tomorrow I would be on my way to the Foz du Iguazu on the borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil – one of the largest waterfalls in the world. More wonders and discoveries lay just ahead.