Checking in to our hostel in Curitiba they were helpful in telling us about the town and what is good to see. Curitiba is known worldwide by the urban planning, they have a bus tube system there, which is very efficient and makes sense, it makes the road less congested and made us all wish Edmonton would’ve adapted something like that. The city was clean and beautiful and really surprised us all. We rented bikes one day and peddled around the city seeing various parks and cool structures, this is the type of city that you could spend a lot of time in either learning spanish or exploring everyday and really indulging yourself in the culture. Curitiba also was one of the hosting cities for the 2014 world cup, we were all excited to go on a stadium tour but unfortunately it turned out they were making additions to the stadium and weren’t offering tours, so we opted for another teams stadium which was still very nice to see. Our time in Curitiba was short and sweet and it was time for the next city, Florianópolis!
Florianópolis is an interesting place, the backpackers tend to stay in small towns near the coast of the island. This is exactly where we stayed, the first few nights at a hostel close to the lake which was in a great spot close to the pubs and stores. The island is big and we thought the best way to see it would be by car, we got a cute little fiat and drove south to a secluded beach and nice viewpoint I heard about. Equipped with a few beers we were ready for the hour hike to the beach. We weren’t prepared for the terrain of this path, we all had flip flops and when we got to the beach mine and macks flip flops both broke, it was a beautiful big beach with only about 20 people scattered around. Jared and I decided to trek up the steep mountain to the viewpoint which was amazing and overlooked everything. I think I can safely say that all of us were exhausted that night from the beers, the heat and the hike. We kept the car for another day and on this day we decided to drive north to the ‘Beverly Hills’ of floripa. This is where you can spot brazilian celebrities in the summer and on the weekends and is home to the best clubs on the island, these houses were amazing and massive! We switched hostels to one closer to the beach which was nice, try out the surf on out last day proved to be difficult for Jared and I but it was still loads of fun. It was time for mack to leave us and fly to Miami where he will be going on a cruise with his family. It was great travelling with him and I hope that he enjoyed the trip as much as I did and learned a lot while he was down here.
Jared and I continued down the coast taking multiple buses to eventually get to a small fishing town in eastern Uruguay called Punta del Diablo, we got to stay at a pretty awesome hostel, most hostels are run by people who don’t know what the backpackers want or need but the odd time you’ll get a hostel where they know exactly how it should be run and set up and this place nailed it. We didn’t have any Uruguayan pesos the first night so we had some of the hostel homemade quiche which was amazing. Punta del Diablo is a chill place, laying on the beach and surf is what most people.
After enjoying Diablo we hopped on a few different buses while followed this group of chilean backpackers (they were going to the same place but we would’ve got lost if we didn’t follow them) to a small bus terminal just outside of the provincial park of Cabo Polonio. From the terminal there is no road going to the small town so you need to take a big 4×4 to get there, it’s about 10 bucks round trip and is 30 minutes. This place is a huge tourist attraction for how relaxing it is, 4x4s would leave every 30 minutes so people are constantly coming and going. Jareds card didn’t work in the ATM so I was paying for both of us and we didn’t expect to stay two nights so the last day was interesting when we almost ran out of money. The town was very small and there wasn’t much there, the days consisted of exploring, tanning on the beach and surf and the nights were dark and filled with singing from the different hostels and open air bars. The guy who ran our hostel would play his guitar all the time and at night around the campfire which was really special under the stars. We met some awesome people here and plan to run into them in the coming weeks.
After almost running out of money we headed back to the terminal where we caught a bus to a city called Punta del Este, if you’ve ever been to Cancun it has the same kind of vibe. Very resorty and has good nightlife that starts at 2 am and goes till sunrise. From our hostel we rented longboards and saw all this city had to offer. More beaches, more surf, more sun. There were some amazing yatchs in the marina that Jared and I spent a fair bit of time drooling over them.
We went to the mall and found a skating rink that used wax instead of ice and when we struck up a conversation with the owner he was excited to talk to canadians that know what true ice skating is, he ended up giving us a deal so we could try out his ice and give him some feedback on how real it feels. It was hilarious to skate around and have crowds of locals staring at you. All in all punta del este was good and a nice change from the super chill Diablo and Cabo.
Bus travel is quite easy in uruguay and the longest you’re usually in a bus for is 2 and a half hours, our bus from punta del este to Montevideo was 2 hours and we are now we currently in Montevideo enjoying the weather and the mate (pronounced ‘mah teh’) which is a very popular beverage in Argentina and Uruguay. Anyway all is good with us and we are enjoying the travelling alot, I will update again soon.