Florianópolis – Ilha da magia, SC, Brazil

28.12.2021 – 04.01.2021

Happy New Year, amigos! Yeah, we are only two weeks late to wish you a great start into the 2022 but that’s just because we started our year in a slow, lazy pace; we had the best time in Florianópolis! Florianópolis (officially Santa Catarina Island) or popularly called Floripa, is an island of vibrant colors, magical sunsets, amazing food, and never-ending parties… no wonder they call it also Ilha da magia – The Magic Island, popular among surfers, hippies and beach lovers.

Floripa, Praia das Canas. January 2nd 2022.

It is very common in Brazil to travel to the beach for the end-of-year holidays. It really was a no-brainer; I fell in love with Floripa the first time I visited the island in 2015 and I even dreamed of opening a hostel there with my friend Stefanie. Stefanie, I still think we should do it 🙂

We rented a big house for the whole week (thanks to our friend Alécio pira buena, who found this great place). The house is in the northern part of the island, only a five minute walk to the beautiful beach “Ponta das Canas,” which has the softest sand, calmest water and beautiful views and sunsets. We were 10 adults and 3 kids and had more than enough space for everyone. First thing we did after driving for nearly 8 hours (instead of 4, this time of the year gets super busy around the coast) was to jump in the swimming pool to cool off.

It was really warm that day; when we got to the beach, the sand was so warm that I could not stand barefoot. Jumping into the pool stayed the everyday activity for kids and for the adult male part of our happy crew. Other activities included loads of cold drinks, many hammock moments, card games, playing music and singing and, inevitably, eating loads of yummy food. The crew was super well organized and everyone took a part in preparing food for everyone. Food was delicious every day, thank you amigos! I saw avocado trees and ate some great fruit that reminded me of our stay in Madeira (papaya, dragon fruit) and tried guava for the first time ever. Yep, loved it!

Speaking of healthy, we got our Covid-19 vaccine booster in Floripa, a day before the new year’s eve. It was relatively easy to take it even though I am not Brazilian and therefore do not have Brazilian health insurance nor the famous CPF that everyone asks you for all the time. No waiting in line, the process was very quick, people very professional and I got my little vaccine card immediately (and later EU certificate) and had sore arm for 2 days as the only side-effect. Thanks you, SUS! We hope you’re all safe also, les amis!

Besides partying with guys, I also enjoyed the moments of calm. Long morning or evening walks on the beach, reading a book, watching the sunset, having cheesy moments with Jorge or simply watching people enjoying their time on the beach… what a life!

It did not really fell like the 2021 was about to be over. It could be for the lack of snow and cold or for the lack of stress or any kind of crazy preparation for the “best night” of the year. All the nights before the NYE were the best already, so everyone was very chill and enjoying the day-by-day easy-going life. So, December 31st went more or less like this: guys played music, we chilled in hammocks, sipped cold beer and prepared dinner.

At 8 PM we opened our first bottle of Luxembourgish crément to celebrate with our friends on the other side of the Atlantic (we then forgot to send the video of that moment to our friends in Europe but anyway, it’s the intention that matters). We spoke to my parents and to a few friends in Europe and then swam in the pool waiting for the “Brazilian midnight.” At midnight, we gathered for more crément and Jorge read parts of Raul Seixas’ manifest – “A lei.” It is a really beautiful text reminding us that LOVE IS THE LAW; worth reading and listening to. It has now become a tradition of ours to have this moment transitioning into the new year – Jorge reading to us a little reminder of what really matters in life. I think this happy crowd of amazing people, that Alécio would call “pira bom pra caralho,” would agree too:

Thank you Renata, Glauber, Mayara, Joel, Mirian, Alécio, Sueli, Fi, Caio, Isis and Raul for these unforgettable moments. We loved starting the 2022 with you!

January 1st started with a mild hangover, but life just continued beautifully: I was on the beach, next to Jorge smiling, listening to the waves crushing and feeling the sand under my feet (and also everywhere else LOL), and the life could not be more perfect. Then came January 3rd, my birthday. As soon as I woke up, I got millions of hugs and kisses but the day was just getting even better and crazier. I had the B E S T birthday day ever!!!!

We went on this pirate boat cruise; it was a 4 hour long trip and besides the beautiful views all around, it was the funniest boat ride I’ve ever had. First of all, I was with these very funny people who joke all the time. Second of all, there were these “boat animators” who said that people who have birthday that day could get a free caipirinha. Of course, Jorge brought me to them as soon as they called those celebrating birthday to join the “stage.” I thought: “ok, we will go there and they will give me caipirinha, nice.” I was so wrong! They included Jorge and I in a couples dance competition and we had to dance everything from lambada, to tango, rock’n’roll and even funk. And you know what? WE WON!

We obviously looked like idiots with two left feet and I was very thankful that I already had some caipirinha before dancing in front of so many people on a moving boat, and we obviously won because our friends were clapping and cheering like crazy for us but it was sooo much fun and one of the days I will never forget. The animators also asked couples to proclaim their love for each other (in microphone) and Jorge said the most beautiful things to me. Later on, he brought me to a perfect dinner and my 36th birthday was everything I could ever wish for.

So, that was Floripa. Eternal sunshine, fun and unforgettable memories. We left for Curitiba the day after and that was an adventure too ‘cos we’ve spent over 10 hours in the car due to multiple accidents and traffic jams on the road. But hey, on the bright side – I got to spend a day in the car with my friend Fi – we played many stupid games and sang many stupid songs.

Thank you Floripa and the Floripa fun crew bom pra caralho! We’re now about to start a new adventure 🙂

As you know, we did not really plan this trip a lot – with Covid and so much time on our hands it didn’t really make sense to plan anything in detail. We did joke a lot about getting a hippie van and drive around South America. We left this thought as a funny idea until we came to Brazil and actually realized that we want to slow travel, see as much as possible, have as many adventures as possible and so… we got a CAR ! We gave it a name: Señor Cabron Porsupuesto (por supuesto being Jorge’s favorite word in Spanish). It took us a week to have all the documents and checks done but now we’re ready (I mean, we probably forgot or will forget something LOL). We’re going further south this weekend and then later towards Uruguay. Wish us luck 🙂

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