Friday, April 2, 2010

Backpacking in South America - Sao Fransciso do Sul

Phew!! I really feel like I've been struggling to keep up with the bloggin lately - partly due to the fact that this week we've been bouncing to different places almost everyday it feels.  That and our lodging hasn't included Wi-Fi since we got back to Brazil.

On Wednesday evening we left Porto Alegre (after a particularly uneventful time there - combination of us getting tired and of not much to see there).  We took a 9 hour overnight Pluma Bus ride to Joinville, where we would be catching a connection to Sao Fransico do Sul.  Well, little did we know we would fear for our lives ALL NIGHT LONG.  Ahhhh just thinking about it is giving me anxiety. 

Case In Point:
1.  All of you ex-pats (and anyone who had been to Brazil) out there know how TERRIFYING it is to be a passenger of any moving vehicle in Brazil.  All cars, busses, taxis, motos etc. drive at an alarming speed, where none of the typical North American "rules of the road" are in effect.  This is especially dangerous and terrifying in bus, I find, where you can feel the weight of the bus moving with the jerk of the brake, or the swerve of the cutting off of the driver next to you. 

2.  We generally prefer to sit at the front of the bus so we can watch the road (and pretend we're watching a movie, tee hee).  We are used to taking the double decker bus where the seats are right against the window.  This bus, however, was only one level and we sat in the seats that are on the same side as the door.  While there is a window there, the curtains were on the other side disallowing us access to them.  And they stayed closed the whole trip.  Actually, the whole bus was encased in curtains so we were like trapped little people in a big bus coffin.  Maybe that's sounding a little too morbid.  Well, to you I say "you weren't on that bus!"

Try applying these anomalies to our bus ride and I give you the coach bus from hell where all through the night the driver drives WELL over the speed limit on particularly small, rough, patchy roads and we have no idea what is going on out there and you will have us gripping our armrests, desperately trying to see a little of what is going on, with wide open bloodshot eyes.  For 9 hours.

At least I was able to drift off to sleep a little but I was awoken more than once in panicked state when the bus definitely caught AIR from flying over huge holes in the road.
In Ro's words: "I didn't know we were going on the bus from 'Speed'" 
Picture the moment where the Bomb-On-Bus bus flies in slow motion (up??) over the enormous 50 foot gap in the highway.  I am picturing it now and I am laughing. Hahaha. 
That night I actually pictured us crashing into a lamppost with disasterous results. 

ANYWAY.  We arrived alive, although exhausted, to catch our bus to Sao Francisco do Sul (which was an hour late arriving) and after another 1.5 hours en route made it to the lovely little beach town!!  It was really a great place to end such a long uncomfortable trip (I didn't mention that this bus was just a regular coach bus with nowhere to put your feet and no meal either - god, we are so spoiled after taking the buses in Argentina!!)
We found a modest, comfortable hotel with an ocean view (oooooh!) and decided that we would change into our suits and hit the beach for the day!  It was a really relaxing day by the water, not busy at all, the water was warm (well the top was warm, the bottom was strangely freezing), the sun was hot!  Later, we went for a little walk down the beach and around a bend where we found a SWARM of bees blocking the entire road.  Have you ever seen a full swarm of bees?  They are not friendly looking.  And Ro made me walk through them!!!!!!!!!!  An old man on the side of the road told us nao mexe com elas e elas nao vai te morde which means don't mess with them and they won't bite you.  Which I thought, well obviously they won't bite but they WILL sting!  hehehe, are you laughing my Ex-pat friends?
Anyway, they didn't bite or sting us and we carried on our merry way.  We found this stairway that led us up a big hill and gave us a fantastic view of the area and of the sun shining on the water.  It was really peaceful and relaxing after our particularly strenuous night.  We topped off the night with a delicious savoury crepe on a stick and churros for desert before falling asleep at 8 pm!! 

This morning we caught an early bus back towards Curitiba which is where we are now!  It's Good Friday and everything is closed so there isn't much to report yet but tomorrow we are taking the famous train ride to Morretes (although we opted for the non-tourist train and will let you know if it is as wonderful as we hear the tourist train is!).  Until then... don't take any overnight busses with Pluma!


1 comment:

  1. That bus ride sounds absolutely terrible. You guys are so brave. I hope you like the train!


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