Realising the size of Brasil to the rest of the continent soon set in with our first day of bus Travel to Porto Alegre. This realisation didn't stop us from quickly reaching Armecao on the island of Florianopolis. Finally, we found a place where I wore board shorts for the first two days in the water before reverting to a wetsuit. Almost warm enough, just not quite!
Owned by a beautiful family, we found a lovely self-contained unit, and we spent the next nine nights in Pousada Pires. Even though we couldn't speak a Portuguese word, there were some common words in Español that helped us communicate. The surf here was great with easy going and friendly locals. The whole island seemed to have a very laid back feel to it.
We loved it here and are keen to return one day.
After hearing that Sally and Bridget (Bronnie's stepsisters) would be in Rio de Janeiro, we decided to head off and meet them. This news was great timing, as the swell wasn't looking flash for the next week.
En route to Rio, we travelled via Foz Do Iguacu and Sao Paulo. Both are must-see and do experience while in the area. On this trip from Florianopolis to Rio, we racked up roughly 34 hours on three buses to give you an idea of Brasil's travel lengths.
The camera at Iguacu falls worked very hard, capturing so much of the scene. Now to tackle the subjective topic of which side is best to view the falls. Straight to the point! We liked the up and close side of the Argentinian falls more than the Brasilian side. You could feel the power and see the volume of water thundering through the Devils Throat and other sections of the falls. The Brasilian side was spectacular and provided a broader view overall, and you stay a fair bit dryer on the Brasilian side.
We heard that the Paraguayan side wasn't as speccy as what we had just seen, so we decided to head off to Sao Paulo.
The morning we drove into Sao Paulo, we were confused as we saw one big city on the horizon; after looking harder, we could see another one just of into the distance and another. We pulled up at a bus station feeling confused and dreary, wondering how much further our stop would be. Only half the bus emptied here. We drove on for another hour through more and more cities. Then we pulled up at the buses final destination before it would travel to Rio. This moment is when we discovered that Sao Paulo combined all the cities we had seen and we were in the big mother of this metropolis. We had just effectively turned a 15-hour bus into a 16-hour bus journey and had a mighty taxi bill to service!
We didn't stay long in Sao Paulo. Our pockets felt like they had a hole in them. I remember picking up a map in a hostel, unfolding it, unfolding it again and saying, "wow, this is one big city." The bloke behind the counter looked at me and chuckled. He said, "Yes, and you're only looking at a little bit." We soon discovered that to see something in this city would take a lot of time. We found some of the most significant cemeteries we have seen. Thrilled by a raucous football match, we enjoyed some of the many bars, tried moving our feet as quick as the locals dancing the samba and jumped on the next bus out of there.
Rio de Janeiro, here we come.