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 didn't stop us quickly reaching Armecao on the island of Florianopolis. This is where I wore board shorts for the first 2 days in the water before reverting back to a wetsuit. Almost warm enough, just not quite.
We found a lovely self-contained unit we spent the next 9 nights in Pousada Pires owned by a wonderful family. Even though we couldn't speak a word of Portuguese, there were some common words in Espanol 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 come back here one day.
After hearing that Sally and Bridget would be in Rio de Janeiro, we decided to head off and meet them. This 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 a must see and experience while in the area. On this trip from Florianopolis to Rio we racked up roughly 34 hours on 3 buses to give you an idea of travel lengths in Brasil.
As you can see we really worked the camera at Iguacu falls. We liked the up and close side of the Argentinian falls more than the Brasilian side. You could really 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 as well. It gives you a broader over all view. You stay a fair bit dryer on the Brasilian side.
We heard that the Paraguayan side wasn't as spekky as what we had just seen so 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 is when we discovered that all the cities we had seen were combined and we were in the big mother of Sao Paulo. We had just effectively turned a 15 hour bus into a 16 hour bus journey and had a mighty taxi bill to front!
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 "woa this is one big city." The bloke behind the counter looked at me and chuckled. He said, "Yes and your only looking at a little bit." We soon discovered that to see something in this city would take a lot of time. We discovered some of the biggest cemeteries we have seen. Thrilled by a raucous futball match, enjoyed some of the many bars, tried moving our feet as quick as the locals dancing samba and jumped on the next bus out of there.
Rio de Janeiro here we come.