April 18th, 2011 – Up early, though no one else at the Hostel was – they had all stayed up til the wee hours celebrating Rosy’s upcoming birthday by baking a cake and eating it before passing out! Therefore, Julio was late in arriving to put out the breakfast buffet, so I got on the Internet and checked email while waiting. Breakfast was finally ready at 8:30 a.m. I ate and headed out for a last morning stroll along the beach.
This was to be my last day in Lagoa. I would be taking the overnight bus to Foz du Iguazu in the evening. Slowly strolling along the waterfront, the waves were a bit too high on the Lagoon to take the kayak out. It was a day of change – you could feel it in the air.
Back at the Hostel, I packed up my bag and made ready to depart, though there was a good half day left before actually leaving. Spent time reading a book I’d been given before I left the States – I decided to lighten my luggage by reading it and gifting it at the book exchange downtown.
A little later in the day, Paolla’s mother came by with tragic news – Paolla’s dog had passed away during a 3-day stay at the vet’s. Paolla had not had a chance to say good-bye. She was totally heartbroken, and of course it brought back up all the deepest grief I had experienced upon the loss of my beloved dog, Brandon. The two of us cried together in our sharing of our dog stories, and then many of the Hostel guests decided we should all drink to the memory of Paolla’s dog. The hard liquor bottles and shot glasses were whipped out and quickly set up. Everyone gathered around, except me.
I made an excuse of having to take care of business before the evening’s bus ride, and ducked quickly out the main gate – no more liquor ever again for me, and it’s not the way to celebrate the passing of a life, in my opinion. I made that mistake myself several times after Brandon’s passing, and didn’t want to go back to that. I’d rather walk along the water’s edge and remember the beautiful times together, rather than drowning my cells in alcohol and grief.
I walked the book I had just finished reading to the Black Swan Book Exchange in Lagoa’s downtown business area, and since they don’t exchange books for someone who doesn’t live there, I gifted it to them. Got lunch at a great little buffet place, and finally meandered back to the Hostel. All had calmed down now, and nobody seemed smashed, probably because most of them were sleeping.
Three other Hostel folks were heading to the same bus terminal in downtown Florianopolis that evening, so we all caught the connections together. Good thing, too, as it was somewhat confusing between bus connections and terminals and walking routes…glad they knew where they were going! I was grateful to let them lead!
We all said good-bye at the main bus terminal in Florianopolis, as our paths were diverging, and I caught the Leito Bus (sleeper seat) to the Foz du Iguazu. The bus is two-storied, and the lower level has about 9 sleepers – bucket seats with foot rests that lean almost all the way back. It’s a more expensive ticket than the upstairs regular seats, and after what I know now, I wouldn’t do the sleeper seats again. The upstairs seats have the more incredible view, and some of the downstairs riders are loud snorers 🙂 Plus, the sleeper seats don’t really lie flat, so in the end you get just a little more horizontal than the upstairs seats, though of course the seats downstairs are wider, but all in all, next time I would take the high ride.
I did have some curious dreams, though, and felt pretty rested in the morning, so I guess I got enough rest. The bus rolled into the dawning sunshine of one of the most spectacular water wonders on Earth – the Foz du Iguazu (Falls of Iguazu). I was ready to be enthralled….