You perhaps didn’t expect to hear from me this week. I didn’t intend to write but then I thought there are a couple of topics that I can provide updates on. Hospitality in the city remains active but with obvious restrictions in place. Swimming pools, gyms, even breakfast/restaurant areas are closed. Breakfast is provided in bags to take to your room. Is that the same for hotels back home? I really can’t remember. Ordered food must be collected in the lobby, then taken to the rooms to be eaten, no exception. Face masks to be worn in the public areas. Other than that, you are as you are.

We arrived in Florianópolis with feelings that I would describe as indifferent. Neither good nor bad. Very unlike me when visiting a new place. Reaching an island like this, an island that many Brazilians themselves would love to visit, should evoke bundles of excitement. Instead weather on arrival and indeed the subsequent forecast suggested it would be pitiful for our stay and it pretty much was. You see, people come to ‘Floripa’ to enjoy the beaches and we ended up visiting ZERO.

The Argentinian side has SIX walkways (circuits) to navigate due to its larger surface area whereas the Brazilian side has just one. Admittedly there was appeal in knowing we would not be able to even consider these 6 circuits due to being able to get into Argentina. I mean, it’s scorching today for starters. 36 degrees! We had only been walking a short while and already our rucksacks were cleverly disguising our sweat-soaked backs. At least with just the one single trek circuit in Brazil, it was accomplishable and supposedly within an easy 30 minutes (of actual walk time). Yes, please.

Several days ago we arrived in the city of Foz do Iguaçu. We came here for one main attraction -  Cataratas do Iguaçu (the falls) but we’ve enjoyed so much else that we thought we should split this post into two smaller parts, not one overly large one.

Getting here wasn’t easy. Distance is the biggie ravelling in South America but we knew this and so does everyone who comes to this continent. The Serra Verde in Curitiba and the falls in Foz do Iguaçu both reside within the state of Paraná, yet there’s a distance of up to 12 coach hours between them!

As Vivian alluded to in her previous post, the temperature is much cooler here which suits us perfectly. That said, today we received an unexpected surprise in the form of 32 degrees which we haven’t seen for over 10 days. It came outta nowhere as only the night before we were rain-watching from our apartment window.

So today’s adventure was one of the two sole reasons I thought-up for venturing further south into Brazil. Not that we had a plethora of options available to us in this Covid-ridden existence we are all enduring. And I’m delighted to say it went splendidly.  

Hello everyone! Vivian here.

It was with a heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to the city we had spent a whole month in. We had become accustomed to the Rio good-life but it was time for a new destination.

Since my last blog post I’ve devised a plan that could hopefully justify us moving on within the country to visit a couple of ‘should-be-worth-it’ attractions. Don’t be fooled, this will still require a plane journey such is the size of this country! We’ve got no idea if these plans will work or what Covid-preventing surprises may lie in wait for us but we do know that after the next adventure, we’ll be back to not knowing what’s next.

In a world where even poverty can be monetized, we refrained from paying for a tour of one of the many favelas. The ethical reasons behind these activities seem legit so I would have not been against this but for her, as a Brazilian, she would have had no interest, period. I also didn’t have a burning desire to sign up as I’d seen my fair share of similarly constructed properties back in Manaus - though not labelled or thought of as favelas.

You may recall last week we had our first mini trek to see Sugarloaf mountain, followed by a weekend of luxury. Sadly the luxury is over for the time-being but very much not the end of our trekking to see Rio from dazzling heights.

This week we reached two high points, geographically speaking. I’ve combined both experiences into this one post because whilst seeing Christ the Redeemer was a privilege, there’s not really any story to accompany the day.

Since arriving in Brazil over one month ago, bathroom showers have been cold and “poo tickets” required to be disposed of in the bin. Thankfully since arriving in Rio, it has offered reliable sewage and warm showers; two modest forms of luxury One takes for granted. A less modest form of luxury is where we have stayed the last couple of nights to celebrate, belatedly, Vivian’s birthday.