Our first Brazilian stop (if you don’t count the 2 hr wait at the bus stop trying to get through customs) was a town called Florianopolis, a mere 18hr bus ride from Iguazu. After a busy few weeks, we thought a few days along the coast of Brazil soaking up the sun was just what the doctor ordered, and Floripa, as the locals call it, sounded like just the trick.
And it was beautiful. The actual town of Floripa is on an island called Ihla Santa Catarina, and we were staying on the very eastern coast of the island, 30 minutes outside of the city, in a small little village very popular with surfers and travelers. We arrived at ShareHouse Backpackers, one of the islands first hostels, and were shown to our room – the top floor of a little outhouse with our own balcony looking out over the sea. So idyllic! With the weather looking alright, we quickly freshened up and spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach, tasting our first Brazilian caipirinhas (amazing!!) and enjoying the waves.
Our hostel was great fun, and we spent the first evening cooking and playing games with fellow travelers, and winning several games of beer pong.
And then the rain started. And it didn’t stop. We were planning on spending around 5 days there but after two days being cooped up (literally nothing to do except go to the beach, get manicures and eat the biggest portions of shrimp we’ve ever seen) we were starting to question our plans.
And then on Saturday night, around 230am I was awoken to the strongest wind I’ve ever heard. Slightly warily I woke Katie up, who promptly told me it was ‘just a bit of wind’ and to go back to sleep. HA. Unlikely with the sounds of trees falling and hitting our roof all the time. I spent the next few hours sitting on the stairs that lead downstairs, as I felt a bit safer there (the winds were getting stronger, the noises weirder, and the building a lot shakier), before sitting downstairs with the others in the dorm who were also awake. By this point Katie had also realised the little bit of wind was in fact quiet strong and had joined us downstairs, before a hostel worker came into our outhouse and told us to head to the main building which was much more secure.
So we stepped out for the 50m walk to the next building – chairs broken, trees come down, no electricity anywhere, it was all very eventful and we hunkered down in a dorm with 8 other people for the next few hours (luckily a whole bunch of people from the hostel had gone out for the night so avoided it all!) until it started to calm. Around 9am we braved it outside again to see the damage – the whole top floor of the main hostel, made out of glass, had been smashed through, all the outside furniture gone, big planks came off our roof, and in the distance we could see further damage, with bus stops blown away, various building destroyed.
At the time it was very scary, and as the forecast didn’t look like it was going to improve, we decided to bail and along with three others from the hostel headed back to the main town to catch the one bus a day to Rio, where we would base ourselves for travel around the area over the next month.
With 5 minutes to spare we caught our bus, very flustered and unprepared but glad to still have all our belongings and limbs!
Bye for now X