We took our first of many overnight busses from São Paulo to Florianópolis a few days ago. The “Executive” bus suited us time wise so we went for this option, although this was the more expensive choice and mentioned free water never actually made an appearance. Going with “Conventional”, would have probably been just as good. The bus was half empty and left at 7pm, pulling into Florianópolis 12 hours later. After watching a movie together on the iPad I picked out a spare two seats at the back of the bus and “stretched” out here. It would have been a fantastic sleep as bus trip’s go but we were both a little cold and should have packed warmer clothes and socks. I ended up wrapping my feet up in the empty headrest covers.
We then caught two public buses, making our way to Barra da Lagoa a little fishing village on the coast of this larger island, and I have to vote it my favorite destination in Brazil (so far). The beach is lovely, and the little town has just enough atmosphere but not too much that you can’t relax and kick back. It is so picturesque looking over the river mouth and long white sandy beach from the balcony of the hostel we are at for the three nights. The weather hasn’t been that great, but that will happen when you are traveling for six months. I am also unfortunately a little under the weather, with some sort of flu that I caught from Rob – but hey this place must be good if I am still voting it number one nonetheless.
The hostel offered one free Caipirinha in the evening and the first night they put on a Brazilian BBQ that we paid R$25 for. It was probably the best meal I have had in Brazil so far, but the three Caipirinhas I had already drunk may have been talking as in typical Brazilian style dinner was served after 9.30pm. It was very creamy coleslaw with raisins (like mum use to make), a green salad, a polenta bake, amazing garlic bread and so much meat, sausages, chicken etc. – and I ate my fill, it was all so delicious!
We also staked our claim on our favorite “weigh your own plate” place, which we visited three times and our favorite Acai bowl place that took our money twice during our stay. Night two, in typical budget backpacker style we made our own dinner, Rob baked a frozen pizza and I whipped up some carrot, apple and cinnamon “proats”, that’s oats cooked with egg whites for the added protein. This is something I often use to eat for weekend breakfast when I had the time to cook them, but with grated zucchini instead of grated carrot but as I haven’t seen any zucchini as of yet I tried carrot instead– and they were great (and cheaper) anyhow, I think I’ll be sticking with them. Recipe below:
We had a fabulous make your own salad and grilled chicken for lunch on day three at DNA Natural, we had to stare at the menu for a bit and work out how the process worked. We thought we had it but once we ordered we were presented with a little tick box form to select our six salad ingredients (lettuce, quail eggs, sun-dried tomato, baby tomatoes, corn and carrot), two accompaniments (buffalo mozzarella and beans, haha I know right, well into the beans now) and one dressing (I added my own olive oil), this was then served with 200g of grilled chicken. It was a great meal, and even Rob got stuck in, his accompaniments being potato chips and tuna paste (we thought it was tuna pasta, it wasn’t).
I highly recommend a visit to Florianópolis and particularly Bara da Lagoa, we stayed at Backpackers Sharehouse, which was cheap and cheerful with a perfect location. The Wi-Fi (as always) was dodgy, breakfast was nothing I eat apart from the fruit (so I made my own oats every evening) and the power kept on cutting out (this happened to us in Siem Reap and São Paulo too??!). I wouldn’t recommend this hostel as such, I leave you to make your own decision, if you are on a budget it would probably do the trick.
Next stop, Blumenau, the town settled by Germans that holds the 2nd largest Oktoberfest after Munich every year, welcoming 1 million visitors, yes in Brazil.
Carrot, apple and cinnamon proats:
1/2 cup oats
1/4 banana chopped
1/3 cup grated carrot
1 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites
1 tbsp chia seeds
2/3 cup almond milk/soy milk/water
1/3 chopped apple
Sweetener (I used a few drops of Now Organic Stevia)