Floripa – Florianopolis, Brazil

We have come accustomed to arriving in new cities greeted by rain and Florianopolis was no different. This time we were in a beach town where rain is typically not welcomed. We waited for the rain to let up a bit before wandering around and exploring town. We walked around scoping out the different shops and restaurants. One thing was for sure the closer you got to Rio, the more Acai shops and Havaiannas stores there were. It was a very uneventful day as there is not much to do in Florianopolis when raining. We grabbed food at the market, cooked at the hostel, and hung out with the rest of the people staying at Backpackers Share Hostel for the night. We went to bed hoping for clear skies the next morning.

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The opposite happened the next morning, instead of blue skies there was torrential downpour. Everyone ended up just staying at the hostel that day because no one wanted to venture out into the rain. The Brazil vs. Chile game was on and the hostel set up a big screen TV to watch it. Most of us were cheering for Brazil with a select few Chilean fans. That game was the most intense game I’d seen so far in the world cup having me on the edge of my seat. Since it was nerve-racking for me, I couldn’t imagine how the Chileans who were staying at our hostel felt. You could see how passionate they were about futbol, praying throughout the game and going nuts when Chile scored. Chile ended up losing in the worst way possible with a shootout. As much as we all wanted to cheer for Brazil it was bittersweet. The Chileans were in tears when the game ended and it was heartbreaking to watch. After the game, the hostel hosted a BBQ for everyone to enjoy. It was fun to hang out with everyone and celebrate a Brazilian victory. Once again we went to bed hoping for clear skies!

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This time we got what we hoped for, the skies were clear and the sun was out. Since it was a beautiful day and the waters seemed calm we decided to go paddle boarding in the lake and down the canal. Alex (a girl we met at our hostel), Dominic (someone we met in Cusco and ran into in Floripa), Farima, and I walked to the lake to rent boards. The man we rented boards from was really nice and because it was slow season told us we could take the boards out for as long as we wanted. Alex and Dominic had never paddle boarded before, but they learned quickly. We started in the lake and made our way down the canal enjoying the scenery and peace. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to be out on the water. After returning our boards, we headed to a restaurant to enjoy a nice refreshing acai bowl. Back at the hostel, Farima and Alex convinced a big group of us to go dance samba at a local club in the area. 21 of us crammed into the hostel van and headed to the club. Alex tried to teach me how to samba but I don’t think I picked it up very well. Even though I may not have learned how to samba, dancing with both locals and tourists alike was still fun.

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The next morning a group of us (Keir, Steven, Alex, Farima, and I) took a bus tour of the southern beaches of Florianopolis. Although it wasn’t the sunniest of days it was still a nice day to explore other beaches on the island and the company made it all that much better. The people you spend your day with can really make or break your experience and we were lucky to have met some really entertaining Australians.

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Somehow the next day I was convinced (it didn’t take much convincing) to go on a booze cruise around the lake with a large group from the hostel. I was on board (pun intended) as long as we were back to watch the USA vs. Belgium game. Decked out in red, white, and blue, I boarded out boat for the day. We sailed around Lagoa da Conceicao happily drinking and enjoying the surrounding views. I began to feel anxious that we would not make it back in time for the start of the USA game, which encouraged fellow travelers to point out that Americans don’t really watch soccer and therefore do not deserve to advance. I will be the first to admit that I in fact do not watch soccer back in the States, but that does not mean I can’t cheer for my country! We ended up losing thus ending the possibility of Farima and I being able to catch a USA game in one of the stadiums throughout Brazil. With USA out of the World Cup, I was hoping for a Brazilian win! After a fun filled and exciting day, we were off to Paraty the same night!

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