Monday, January 18, 2010

Final days in Floripa

After two and a half weeks in Florianopolis (Floripa) it was time to move on. I needed to cut costs a bit, and start making my way towards Buenos Aires to pick up the moto. During the New Years festivities, I was invited by some great new friends to visit their home in Porto Alegre, Brasil. POA is a 7 hr bus ride south along the coast and slightly inland, situated on Lagoa Guaiba. Although Floripa is a paradise of beautiful beaches, lagoons, sand dunes, islands, streams and jungle hills I feel it is necessary to see the reality of a functioning Brazilian city. A place where people live and work, and not just a fantasy vacation spot. But one more day in paradise...

Anyone wanna buy some land?

A yucca factory from the 1700s.

I wanted to explore the jungle of Floripa and learn a bit about the history of the island. My friend Daniel got off work early so we decided to take a trail leaving from Lagoa Conceicao along the lagoon taking us to fishing villages dating back over 300 years accessible only be foot or boat.

Much of the natural island vegetation was destroyed hundreds of years ago when explorers slashed and burned to create sugar cane and yucca plantations. The forest is just now healing.

Captain Dom.

Daniel at the base of a massive tree. The pic does it no justice. The roots stretched over a hundred feet off into the jungle.

Below, some local fishermen/boat builders converted an old sugar cane factory into a boat building facility.

These boats are made from the trunks of the Garapavu trees. According to Daniel, a Brasilian tradition is to give a seed to a father and when a son is born the seed is planted. When the boy turns 18 years old the tree is harvested and the father and son carve a canoe. The boy now has a boat to use for fishing and transportation and the knowledge to do the same for his son. They are stunning watercraft.

The trail leading us through dense Atlantic forest was covered in boulders and surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers and ended in a fishing village just below this refreshing waterfall. Perfect hike.

Daniel has been an amazing friend, gracious host and well educated guide while I stayed in Floripa. And I can't wait to get back in April! Thanks man!

We had a drink and caught the water taxi back to town.

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