*this post was written last week while I had no internet access for 10 days... I was feverishly sick by Day 9, and then we we drove back hoping for a smooth 11 hour drive home but got stopped for 4 hours on the last hour. 2 days later we're just recovering, Happy 2014!
|Praia da Rosa|
We are spending our holidays in a little beach town called Ferrugem, less than 2 hours from the infamous Florianopolis. We decided to drive down from São Paulo as we would need a car down here anyhow to travel to each of the beaches. We set off on Sunday afternoon and covered 600km to Joinville, the capital of Santa Catarina. If there is there anywhere in Brazil that you do not have to visit, it’s Joinville. We circled the town center in 5 minutes, in hope of bumping into a padaria but had to resort to the Ibis hotel breakfast buffet spread. My children love cake for breakfast!
We stopped by to look at a property investment in Florianopolis. As we were still days before Christmas the bridge over was relatively quiet but have heard that getting around the island during the peak week (between christmas and new years) can be pretty awful. We stopped at a cute little seafood restaurant called Zé de Cacupé for lunch and had the best pastel de camarão and Bobo de Camarão.
Full tummies, and sleeping children meant our last 1.5 hours to Ferrugem was tranquilo. Roads were clear, sun was out and the holiday house has no internet … * We were joining an English friend and his Brazilian girlfriend, and her parents from Porto Alegre for the week. It’s a cute little holiday house with a beautiful deck looking over the lagoon and the other side towards the sea.
Apparently it’s a good surfing spot - there are other beautiful beaches dotted along this part of the coast filled with surfers. I don’t know if any of the are very good but it sets the scene. Ferrugem has the North End where, this week bus loads of Brazilians, Argentinians and Uruguayans (I want to say young ones, but that makes me feel old) fill the beach and drink, smoke pot and dance around all day (I’m guessing like their version of Spring Break). Not child appropriate but it’s next to Ferrujão one of the pousada/restaurants that has internet access and beer.
At the end of the road is Barrinha which is an inlet that separates Ferrugem South and another beach. You can drive straight onto the beach but watch out for the soft sand. The inlet is wide and shallow and great for kids but there is alot of wind coming in from both beaches. The first evening there we had to spend it huddled behind the boot of the car, just to make sure my English husband felt at home.
Garopaba is the main beach town 5 minutes away (or an hour in traffic) and has a small historical centre which really can be covered in maximum hour. The beach was absolutely packed and did not look appealing at all. There is a smaller beach past the old church which is sheltered, and is perfect for kids to swim in.
Praia da Rosa was voted one of the top 10 beaches in Brazil. It IS beautiful but even though we managed to get there at 10am it was buuuusssy!! The traffic cops were having a very merry Christmas putting fines on all the cars and even towing one poor sod’s car. We went to the South end which was quieter (…) and had some rock pools for the girls to collect shells in. We went out one night for dinner and to check out an old local bar called Beleza Pura but they had sold their souls and upgraded to a glitzy nightclub with a R100 cover charge (R50 for women) which included nothing. I don't blame any of these restaurants and bars making the most of it - they have 3 months to make as much money as possible and then they can surf for the rest of the year.
Silveira is the beach alongside Garopaba and has not been commercialised. There is one house at the end of North Silveira which makes the biggest pastels ever - the meat one was amazing, and was worth the 20 minute wait. The South side is also just as beautiful but the surf is strong so our girls spent the day jumping waves. Que delicia! E muito simpatico! I heard the girls showering in front of us - What deliciousness! This beach is so friendly! By far the quietest and where I would try and stay for future visits.
Tips for when visiting
- if you are here during the peak season make sure you come with cash handy. Most places accept cards but for those ice creams and açai cups on the beach you need cash. The one 24-hour atm in Silveira supermarket in Garopaba has either had no cash or hour long queues…
- Make sure your phone is set for roaming and know how much you will be charged for using
- Make sandwiches, bring lots of water to the beach.
- You have to bring your own umbrellas to the beach here. As they are not commercialised beaches there are none (or only 1) renting out chairs and umbrellas
Places to eat
Wilsons in Ferrugem and Garopaba - por kilo buffet, v good quality food and perfect for when you have exhausted, hungry, crying children in the car
Mormaai Surf cafe - salads, sandwiches and açai with wifi (not reliable during peak week)
Ferrujão (restaurant and pousada) - Brazilian beach food and beer with internet access
Tigre Asiatico (Rosa) - sushi / thai - the service was below average but I was dying for an asian hit so you lower standards right?
*roaming within Brazil is ridiculously expensive as well, just moving from state to state can cost you X times more to send a text to another Brazilian number. Depending on your operator you might also have to put a code before the number you dial so check with your phone company before you travel.