Final days in the sun

Galetta BeachOne of my favourite places in Florionopolis was Praia Mole – a beautiful beach with a couple of cool beach bars that served great cocktails and played awesome tunes. Patricia and I had lunch with David (who was robbed that morning!) and Najeeb, a fellow Canadian who had wrestled a crocodile and went fishing for piranhas during his South American travels.You really do meet interesting people on vacation! (more…)

Life’s a beach

Floripa sunsetAfter the hectic trip to the falls, I was looking forward to a few final days by the beach before returning home. We had a tough time finding accommodations last minute for the weekend so we went back to the Barra Beach Club Hostel that we loved. Patricia and I wanted a private room so we got the owner’s back up which pretty much up consisted of a shack for midgets! At least we had our own private space and the beach.
It was Saturday night so we went out to a club called Pacha. I had high expectations because I had been to Pacha in Spain. It was beautiful with a gorgeous crowd and awesome house music. This club could not have been more opposite with brutal music and an extremely young crowd – they let in 16-year olds! We drank tequila shots in an attempt to have a good time and finally spent a good chunk of change to party in the VIP area. It turned out to be the worst and most expensive night of the trip. (more…)

The jewel of South America

Iguazu Falls - Brazil Side

After 8 weeks away, it was fitting that the grand finale in my last week would be a visit to the Iguazu Falls. The falls are 150 million years old and the name means big water. There are 275 waterfalls shared primarily between Brazil and Argentina.
There were four of us who took the long 15-hour bus journey to and from the falls. It was me, Patricia, Barbara and Mattheus – one of the awesome staff at the Barra Beach Hostel. Barbara and Mattheus met at one of the beach parties and have been seeing each other since. Another fabulous vacation romance! Sadly, Kim had to head back to Toronto. But it was great to have four of us for the road trip. (more…)

Paradise in Brazil

Barra Beach Club
We spent the second half of our stay in Florionopolis – a gorgeous area with lots of quaint beach towns. Barbara booked our second hostel and, while our room was tiny, it was an amazing place. It’s called Barra Beach Club and is directly on the beach. The hostel provides free caipirinhas from 7 to 7:30 and delicious home cooked meals for only 8 US dollars. The place is packed every night. Even people from other places come for the great food, drinks and company. We met lots of awesome people from Australia, the UK, Holland and even fellow Canadians. Every night was an adventure. We went to a party at a small bar on the beach and enjoyed many cocktails at the local bar in town called Galapagos. Nice coincidence that my stop before Brazil was in the Galapagos Islands! (more…)

Last day in Rio

On Monday we did a city tour where our first stop was to see Christ the Redeemer, one of the most famous tourist icons of Brazil and the world. The statue is 30 feet high and sits high above the city. It is not only a work of art but a symbol of the strong and predominantly catholic faith in Rio.
We also took two cable cars up Sugar Loaf Mountain. We were so high that we saw the city from above the clouds. Beaches and marinas surrounded the city and vultures soared in front of us. It was definitely one of the most breathtaking city views I have ever seen, rivalled only by The Peake in Hong Kong. (more…)

Natural beauty of Rio

Even though it was surprisingly hard for us to find a good party in Rio (probably because people were all partied out from carnival the week before), the city is absolutely gorgeous. It is made up of many beautiful beaches, forests and mountains and has a vibrant city that inspires singers, painters and poets.
We spent Sunday exploring the Ipenema Market and the beautiful Ipenema Beach. We watched the sunset and then climbed a lookout to see the city sparkle from above. That night we went out for an authentic Brazilian barbecue where the servers brought every type of meat possible to our table. (more…)

Party time in Brazil!

I was both nervous and excited about going to Rio. I had heard lots of horror stories about thefts and even kidnappings! Plus Agnes’ friends had booked a hostel for us and I was not sure what to expect from this new travel experience.
I arrived at the hostel at 7am on Saturday morning and got my first view of Copacabana Beach as the sun came up. It was a long stretch of beautiful beach with the glowing red sun rising over the water. (more…)