South Brazil

We crossed the border to Brazil via Chuy, 40 km away from Punta del Diablo/Uruguay on a hot and sticky day. Temperatures were above 35°C and riding the bike wearing all the bike stuff was quite tiring. The border crossing was easy and we were excited to be in Brazil, in this huge unknown country.

We made it to Rio Grande (another 240 km) which is not the most beautiful city, but didn’t seem dangerous either. We found a hotel with a safe parking for the bike which actually was quite above our budget, but being here the first night we didn’t really  want to take any risk.

As we haven’t had communication problems traveling South America for the past 5 months, we now have to get used to not being able to understand people anymore. Although Brazilians understand us quite well speaking Spanish slowly, it is really difficult to understand them speaking Brazilian Portuguese.

The next day, same game. Hot and sticky again, it felt like there was a big thunder storm just about to go off. And it did. We made it to Torres (500 km), a nice little beach town with good waves and then it started raining. And it didn’t stop. For more than a week. It was such a shame as Brazil’s south is really beautiful and there are countless great surf spots on the way up north.

After three days we continued to Laguna, another beach town, it was still raining. In Laguna you can watch a unique spectacle. The local fishermen are quite privileged as they teamed up with the local Bottlenose dolphins. The men stand on the shore in shallow water with their nets prepared to throw while the dolphins round up the fish and drive them towards the beach. The dolphins then roll onto their sides, which the fishermen take as their cue to throw the nets. Any fish that escape the nets swim straight into the mouths of the waiting dolphins. The dolphins have also been given names by the fishermen.

Continuing our way up north we drove up to Garopaba, another really charming surf town and home of South Americas largest surf brand Mormaii. When we passed the company we decided to stop and ask if we could have a tour of the factory. By chance we were speaking to the owner “Morongo” and luckily he took us on a tour through the whole factory himself which was super interesting. He explained the various production steps manufacturing wetsuits and the whole story of how he started up the company. Almost half of Garopaba’s inhabitants work for Mormaii, which makes sense taking working conditions into account. All employees get 45 days of paid vacation per year and whenever the swell is really good, they go surfing together. The Marketing department, described by Morongo as “the crazy part of the company”, was a bunch of guitar-playing surfheads sitting together thinking up new strategies to hit the market with. If you ever wondered where the name Mormaii comes from, Mor stands for Morongo, mai for  Morongo’s wife Maira, and the second i for Hawaii.

Our next stop was Florianopolis. Three weeks ago, when we stayed in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, we got to know a group of Brazilian motorbike riders in our hostel. Anastácio from Florianópolis invited us to his home, and that’s where we went. It is always nice to get insights on how the real people live which again is difficult spending our nights in hostels and campsites. So we stayed with Anastácio, his lovely wife Silvana and daughter Ana Carolina and enjoyed spending some time integrated into Brazilian family life. With Anastácio we not only had a beautiful place to stay, he also is a perfect tour and surf guide, showing us places we would never have found on our own. We visited the beautiful Ilha Santa Catalina with its pretty old towns, forts, numerous postcard beaches and surf spots. On top of this we had the chance to watch the local football derby supporting AVAI FC!!

Watch our video:

And click here for our pictures:

Our next stop is Rio via plane. We will meet up with Isabels parents to travel together within Brazil.

One Response to “South Brazil”

  • Mayte Says:

    Anastacio just pass to me the blog adress, congratulations is very cool. I loved the video of South Brazil, please tell me how is the singer in the video I loved the first music.
    Mayte ( Anastacio`s Sister)

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