This is not what people come to Floripa, as Florianópolis is called, for.
But for us it was just what the doctor ordered, after the heat and crowds of Iguazú Falls.
Besides, we are not “beach people” so our itineraries are not driven by the “Best 25 beaches to visit” type of articles. Moreover when we discovered, by sheer coincidence, beaches of (South-)Western Australia a year ago,
all other beaches went by the way all zoos of the world were crossed off our bucket list after our honeymoon in Serengeti.
So why Floripa on Santa Catarina Island then? When my fearless leader discovered that our trip to Brasil coincided with carnival season she of course wanted to go. Hoping to avoid the craziness of Rio de Janeiro, her research led her to the festival in Floripa.
With advice of our friend’s Brasilian wife, who spent her younger (crazier) years here, we made a conscious choice NOT to spend our time on any of this island’s numerous popular, but overcrowded sandy beaches.
Instead we intentionally selected the one which is the least visited of them all. My wife, who is an Airbnb fiend, booked us a cute Red Moon bungalow, barely a fifteen minute walk from more than six mile long stretch of
pristine sand called Mozambique Beach on the northeastern shore of the island. The side open to rough and merciless surf from Atlantic.
Good choice! After more than 35 years shared with her, my smart wife knows way too well that traveling together 24/7 for many months throws inevitably once in a while a few grains of sand into otherwise well running machine of our marriage.
She also knows darn well that in such moments I should be:
either institutionalized OR at least provided with a beach of sufficient length to walk in solitude, complemented only by solitary seagulls
and kite surfers,
while performing deep self psychoanalysis. And hope I would come back to co-operative terms of life in long term relationship.
The surf is rough here, and the south wind brutal. Mind you that in the Southern Hemisphere this is the equivalent of freezing Arctic air pushing south to the Great Plains wrecking havoc in winter traffic in the US. Not conducive to lying on the beach and suntanning, in either case.
The day after the storm, coinciding with our arrival, hit the island. Not a human soul to be seen. Steely sky. Perfect timing to start psychoanalytical walk/work.
While I walk, my wife jumps on a horse at the other end of the beach.
Horses, as you know, are a great therapeutic tool. God knows she needs it, putting up with me.
This is the day when the strong south wind cleared the sky, but temperature dropped beyond comfort for crowds usually to be seen at the peak of the summer season on any decent beach.
This picture is not a selfie, so I am already enjoying occasional company of my fellow traveler who kindly agrees to assist the patient in his return to normalcy. In a sign of mental improvement I agree to attend the first day of carnival
in Floripa, the island’s nearest point to Brasil’s mainland.
No matter how low the south wind presses the thermometer in Floripa, and we shiver in long sleeves, nothing can limit the excitement of hot blooded and scantily dressed attendees of the carnival parade.
What a great sight to help uplift my depression. Not even scalpers selling us fake
tickets for the sold out stadium extravaganza can bring me down. In a sign of her incredible mental strength, determination and personal courage my wife proves her worth by getting our money back from the toughest guys in town, without being shot on the spot. As they hand over all their ill gotten cash, they look at me with pity in their eyes: You gotta live with her, man!
Hey, assholes, this is my girl and I am proud of her!!!
Clutching our precious recovered stack of cash we wade through the sea of revelers. They have come to the island from all over Brasil. They have not come to admire the elaborate costumes of samba schools, they have come for a night of plain and simple debauchery. Drunkenness and freedom of (bodily) expression do not always mix in attractive ways.
We now understand why none of the local people we pressed for information about how to attend the carnival knew nothing about it, nor wanted to join us. Only after we returned, they straightforward admitted they hate the carnival.
Look at my body language! What a posture!
With the return of sunny weather, blue sky and warm water,
I feel ready, thanks to my wife’s assistance, to return to the fabric of society as a fully contributing member.
With my psychological treatment nearly completed, we decide to visit some of the famous sandy spots in the vicinity.
At Praia de Barra we can hardly believe our eyes. There is a dense wall of bodies of all shapes and sizes (many XXL) in the tiniest of swimming suits. As I walk this beach and observe diligently the latest swimming suit fashion
of the better half of human mankind, I detect a strong trend.
If you are, as I am, avid reader of business news, you probably know that right leaning President Bolsonaro’s Brasilian Government Department of Beaches and other Entertainment Venues imposed, after finally getting leftist President Lula out of power, a strict control on import of suitable fabric for manufacture of women’s swimming suits. With number of women in Brasil reaching well over one hundred million and exhibiting strong growing trends, the average area of fabric per swimming suit drops every year by 5.6 square inches.
Under those circumstances females may be walking Brasilian beaches in 2025 with bottom parts consisting of one horizontal and one vertical thread and two top elements reduced to two independent pieces of precious fabric glued to their skin, barely covering essential parts.
I have already booked my solo trip back here for January 2025!
We may have found the crowd here a little bit rowdy, but we manage with the help of a pint of
caipirinha. A good caipirinha, my wife’s favorite drink, has to be made with Brasilian cachaça and only Brasilians can mix it right. Drinking this simple, yet strong sour sweet concoction always makes me think of the many terrible watered down margaritas I have been served in my life.
We are not keen to join the Brasilians in their holiday activities, but it is always fun to observe.
A little exercise before the next steak and beer.
Children playing in the waves.
And boys? What would you expect in Brasil, a multiple World Cup winner? They play soccer, dreaming of becoming the next Pelé!
And what about us? This is our last day. We have to have a last walk on our quiet Moçambique Beach. And the last swing in the forest on the way back home.
The time has come to enjoy a last romantic dinner on
this beautiful island with lula grelhada (grilled squid), nailed
with the last, at least for now, well deserved caipirinha.