An Unexpected Paradise

This blog is a little bit weird, sorry to start like this, but in this blog I willtry to combine three big cities; Florianopolis, Curitiba and São Paulo and to be honest, it is not fair to talk about them in one blog, they deserve better. But my stay was limited and that is the reason that I took the decision to combine them in one. let's start....

On my way to Rio de Janeiro, the city where I will be for a long time. First with my parents for three weeks and after that with my girlfriend and I am really looking forward to seeing them after one hundred forty days. I miss them and I would love hugging them and getting to talk to them face to face. But Rio is for me now is still 1500 km away, my next stop is Florianopolis, a place that was recommended by my friend from Porto Alegre (read previous blog). I drove to that destination on a wonderful road between the mountains that started when I left Gramado and after five hours, I reached the bridge of Florianopolis.

I arrived late in the evening and was looking for campsite and found one in no time, I had wifi connection and that was exactly what I needed and wish for because that evening was the evening of the European Song contest Final and I am not a big fan of this contest but the bookmakers made Holland the favorite and then I like it to see and hear our Dutch song (btw. we won that evening ;-)). It is nice to enter a random city with a feeling that you are alone and are happy in a safe place, I ended up with having a good wifi connection, power and a really nice couple who were my neighbors. The man is from California, USA and the woman from Colombia and we planned to do a kayak trip on the river around Florianopolis. It was, I think, the first time that I kayaked and I really liked it, it was relaxed and a wonderful method to see this city and especially the houses and the river. I planned to stay two night, but Florianopolis was so nice and beautiful that I stayed for more than a week. A nice thing I saw when I drove around the island was that there were a lot of Buffet lunch restaurants (all-you-can-eat restaurants) where you can pay around 35 Brazilian Real, equivalent to 7 euros, and you can eat everything you want as much as you want like in a Turkish or Egypt hotel. I did it twice and it really gave me the feeling of a holiday. In a supermarket, I found a special fruit that I never saw before; it is called Pitaya or Dragon fruit, it is pink and I tried it for the first time and recorded it in a video, check it out here...

Five days before my parents arrive, it was time to leave Florianopolis and start driving the 1100km to the north, the last part of my first half year trip. On this road, I crossed two big cities. The first is called Curitiba, the eighth biggest city in Brazil, with a population of almost two million people, and after that I visited the biggest city in Brazil São Paulo with more than ten million people. The famous thing about Curitiba is the botanical garden, but the day that I visited it, it was raining and they were under construction, so a saw a little bit of it and as you see in the picture below, it looked really cool. I stayed in safe campsite that was recommended by the couple in Florianopolis. A man lived there, he lost his wife and his only kid, really a heartbreaking story and I was happy to talk to him and give him some of my energy.

The biggest city of Brazil is, as I mentioned earlier, São Paulo, and I really remember that of the world cup football in 2014. The Netherlands played in that city, the third groups match, and I saw it on television and thought “wow! I wish I was there.” On TV, they were talking about a wonderful football museum and I never thought five years ago that I really would do this trip and five years later I am in the parking spot of the museum and the old stadium of São Paulo. The Museum was amazing to see, Johan Cruyff and Wesley Sneijder were displayed in pictures and the whole FIFA world cup history with the Brazilian national football team as highlight.

After this stadium I would like to see the big cathedral in the center of the city but that is not easy. The traffic in São Paulo is the most chaotic traffic I have ever been in. It is insane, cars left and right, crossing without direction switch lights, people who are not stopping for red lights, people who are walking with whole families on highways even in dark. But in the end, I made it with no crash, and that is really a miracle. The center was poor, a lot of homeless people, but the church was amazing. The moment I entered, there was a ceremony going on, which made it more special and nicer to see.

Now I am in my last campsite before Rio De Janeiro, 250 km to go for tomorrow and then I will see my parents, they will join me for three weeks. This campsite is amazing, I think the best one I ever was in. Yesterday I arrived late and the campsite was closed, because it is off-season but the lovely owners opened it for me alone and I woke up in paradise unfortunately I need to go tomorrow but I would love it if I can come back here with the love of my life, walking in paradise with her, hand in hand, which I missed. It would make my trip more beautiful.