Florianopolis should be on your Brazilian itinerary, it’s as simple as that. Taking the bus ride in from Florianopolis the ‘city’ across to Florianopolis ‘the island’ was nothing short of spectacular. The ride took us between two lagoons, through a mini mountain range, past gorgeous towns perched right on the coasts and finally to my town of Barro de Lagoa. I had to get out to explore this ridiculous beauty. And there was one superstar way to do it – a day on a boat.
There are a few companies that will take you out for a boat ride during high season, but low season – not so easy to find. I had been in email contact with Dieter and Annmaria who run Ondanca and there were just too sweet for words. They’ve been married for 35 years, and run a few apartments on the side of the lake and also run tours on their gorgeous boat, the Odanca.
I had organized for me, and Anthony from Man Vs Clock, to take a boat tour from 10am to 5pm this afternoon. The sun was splitting the trees, not a cloud in the sky – it was gonna be a great day.
Sasha, Dieter’s daughter, picked us up from the hostel around 10.30am and we drove straight to the boat. It was waiting for us on the lagoon, and the view was instantly spectacular – I honestly haven’t seen views like this since last year’s road trip around New Zealand, and perhaps 2 years ago in Switzerland. Just gorgeous.
We got moving in the boat, leaving Lago de Conceicao behind, making our way to a swimming spot a few kms away just off the coast from Barro De Lagoa. The journey there took just less than an hour, meandering through a narrow channel passed a fishing village only accessible by boat, passed the rich Brazilian’s summer villas and sexy speedboats, waving at young Brazilian kids playing football in the dirt. A wonderful start to the morning.
Soon we got to our swimming point, but this is Brazilian winter so although the temperature was around 24 (75), the water had long left the summers temperatures behind! Peer pressure alone forced me to dive in. Bl**dy freezing! But, like everything in Florianopolis, ridiculously beautiful.
Swimming around for 30 minutes or so, it was soon time to jump back on the boat and head to lunch. Again the boat journey there was breathtaking, the open sea looking out to the Atlantic, passed Jurassic Park style uninhabited rainforest until we reach a tiny town perched on the side of the jungle, accessible only by boat – this was our lunch spot.
Before chowing down on some food, we wandered up to a waterfall in behind the restaurant, then another 10 minute hike or so to a view point of both the lagoon and ocean. Gotta work off all those beers from the World Cup in Rio!
We were soon back down and Anthony and I went for a bit of luxury and ordered the full seafood platter, eating seafood sitting 10 feet from the ocean, with our boat parked up beside made me feel like I was really living life.
It was already nearly 4 o’clock, so after some more fruit and tea on the boat we started heading back to the lagoon, again a gorgeous ride. The sun was beginning to set in the beautiful blue sky, the temperature was slowly dropping and the Florianopolis landscape was changing colour right in front of our days. Our day was soon done, but it’s been a real highlight of my Brazil trip so far. An absolute must. Drop the guys at Odanca line and let me know how awesome your trip is, because I’m sure you’ll be thanking me at the end! Happy travels.