Florianopolis (or Floripa to the locals) and the attached island of Santa Catarina delivered another wealth of experiences. Famed for its stretches of untouched beaches and consistent surf breaks, Cass and I were a little surprised at how built up the island is. As we sped along the main highway in a taxi close to midnight after a killer 14 hour bus ride, we navigated the driver to our somewhat remote Pousada Oceanomare, set back in the hills on the north east coast. The manicured grounds and modern stilted glass and wooden apartamentos were a welcome sight to recover in, although the vertiginous narrow staircase to the upper deck may challenge some of Brazil’s more bootlicious - the cake breakfasts have not yet taken their tole.
With parapenters parachuting to earth at our feet and glassy green waves curling for surfers as we reached Praiha Mole, we were set for another perfect beach day. Grabbing a board and hopping over the burning white sand, I battled through the white water to reach the lineup while Cass perfected her bikini tan line. It’s been a while since I hit the waves and my fitness has fallen so a majority of the two hours was paddle practise, regaining my strength, with a few surfs in between. It’s always a pleasure though being in the channel and watching masters at work, gracefully harnessing the waves.
What we had really come to Floripa for though was the Summer Soul Festival , thanks to our amazing friend Sharon who had organised tickets for us. Unfeasibly for the apparent short distance across the island, it took us 3 buses to reach the Music Park stage, but we needn’t have worried about missing the 9pm scheduled start, as the organisers were on “island time”. On finally collecting the tickets (our Portuguese is still poor) we realised that we had golden “Camarote” VIP access, giving us free booze but more importantly arms reach distance to the stage. First up and an unexpected surprise was Rox, a Londoner with a sultry Billie Holiday look and cheeky sexy stage strut, pumping up the young 10,000 strong crowd who whooped behind us. The main act for us and a host of super fans who held up “Flawless” signs was Florence and the Machine. Her incredible voice, like a choral shockwave electrifying the crowd and luminous smile radiated down as she skipped up and down the stage barefoot in a diaphanous olive and petrol silk dress. Rounding off the set with “Never let me go” we wish she hadn’t as the distinctly average Bruno Mars followed, to which we took our leave. We managed to grab a taxi who luckily took MasterCard to bring us home, just before the start of another cloudless day…
Apparently there are 4 types of Facebookers: Braggers, Moaners. Inviters, and the Self-Righteous. After 2 weeks of of sun soaked beach updates to my wintry London brethren I should apologise, but I suspect Cass and I are going to remain firmly in category 1.
Sorry guys, the dog days are over :-)
- By Ian