Colonia, Uruguay, to Florianópolis, Brazil 15 - 18 March 2006

Back to tropical paradise


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Fuel is expensive in Uruguay but we didn’t need to buy any. The landing/parking and customs fees came to about US$100. There was a low overcast/undercast for the first half an hour or so, otherwise fine flying weather for the 4 and a half hour flight. We flew over some stunning scenery on the last part of our flight: lagoons, beaches and rich green vegetation.
 Florianópolis (affectionately called Floripa by Brazilians) is the most efficient airport of entry we’ve been to in Brazil. All the formalities, including the temporary import of the plane, took just one and a half hours – about half the usual time. This could be thanks to the fact that Southern Brazil was largely populated by German immigrants. Also, the region is probably the most prosperous in the country, hence a low crime rate.
 The southern part of Santa Catarina Island is known to be the prettiest and least developed. At the Mexico Earthrounders meeting we’d met Jack and Linda who, by coincidence, were planning to be on Santa Catarina Island about the same time as us. We’d therefore booked the same pousada as them, the Pousada Penareia (foot in the sand) on Praia da Armação, owned and run by a charming Paulista couple, Klaus and Fernanda Greiner. Klaus is an architect and designed the pousada. Fernanda is a dentist, but still finds time to produce a memorable breakfast for the house guests, with fresh tropical fruit juices and tempting coconut and chocolate cakes, etc.
 We watched a superb sunset over the sea as we sipped excellent caipirinhas prepared by Klaus. It was good to be back in Brazil again. It was almost as though we’d completed the full circle around South America, but Brazil is huge and we were still a long way from Recife.
 16 March 2006. We took a boat to nearby Ilha do Campeche for some snorkelling, cervejas geladas and fish. Jack and Linda arrived late in the evening after a long day’s flying by commercial airline.
 17 March 2006. We followed Linda and Jack’s example and joined them for a pre-breakfast walk on the beach. It’s tough to get up early, but worth the effort as it’s the best time of day for walking: not too hot and few people around apart from some fishermen. Later, we went on a hot and sticky walk from Pântano do Sul up and down a hill to the gorgeous beach of Praia da Lagoinha do Leste. After a refreshing swim, we were hungry and didn’t feel like walking all the way back again. I can imagine this happened frequently to other hikers, and an astute young Brazilian had cottoned on to it. He made a business of transporting people back to Pântano do Sul in his dinghy. However, it was quite a hair-raising experience getting out to sea through all the pounding surf! That evening we enjoyed a leisurely dinner of oysters with Jack and Linda.
 18 March 2006. We lunched at a restaurant which had good food and great bossa nova music, as well as a superb view over Lagoa da Conceição. Linda met us there and we went to the Lagoa to watch Jack do his kite surfing and take a walk by the lagoon. Farewell dinner with Linda and Jack.

Lagoons and beaches south of Santa Catarina Island

Top right beach is Armação (where we stayed), and left is Pântano do Sul. We walked from there to Praia da Lagoinha do Leste (bottom right).

All aboard for Ilha do Campeche

Fishing boats on Praia do Armação

Flemming, after a refreshing swim at Praia da Lagoinha do Leste

We had a hairy ride back to Pântano do Sul in this dinghy

Looks like a heavy boat to launch

We watched windsurfers and kitesurfers (including Jack) on Lagoa da Conceição.

Jack, happy after his kite surfing in spite of a slight injury to his face

Flemming went for a swim in the Lagoa da Conceição.

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN