So a lot has happened since my last Florianopolis update.
Firstly I finished my volunteering at R3, and what an experience that was. It was amazing to get up, close and personal with so many exotic and wild animals, from Parrots and Tucans, to Howler Monkeys and Marmosets, even the odd anteater and ocelot. I walked away with 4 memory scars, one from a blister from the hard work and 3 from different bites (penguin, seagull and parrot). It was a month I will never forget.
After that finished I spent 4 days volunteering at a school called Anaba, helping cover various things in plastic, running a day at an English Club and talking to a class about my experience. On one of my days there I was a judge at their Mikael Games which took place at Lagoinha do Leste. It was about an hours hike to get there up and down a mountain onto the beach then to a lagoon. Once it started I had to give points to the teams for different activities and tasks. Was lovely weather and nice to be out in Nature, which schools in Australia would do this.
Now once that the week was done all my volunteering and giving back to this amazing country was done, and I could finally become a tourist, at the perfect time. Now it was my Birthday Weekend, and what a weekend that was.
1 October Saturday
On Saturday I went on a whale watching tour and with my determination and beady eyes I spotted not one but 4 Southern Right whales at two different beaches throughout the day. I was so happy I cannot write it in words. It was my mission not to go home without seeing at least one and getting a picture and we saw 4. One pair was a mother and calf playing in the waves. I felt so honoured to see them especially since whaling only ended in the mid 20th century, and the whales only started to return in the 90s.
The tour started in Imbituba at a whaling museum then we stopped at various beaches, including one opposite the Projeto Baleia Franca. They research and monitor the whales. It is at the beach opposite them we saw the first two whales. From there we went for lunch then to a lagoon and beach where we saw the mom and baby whales, before heading home. It truly was an amazing day.
2 October Sunday
On Sunday I went with the Family I am staying with on a boat along Lagoa da Conceicao, to a place called Costa da Lagoa. There we went for a short walk to a waterfall before having lunch (Moqueca-sort of like a fish and shrimp stew) and a Caprininha next to the water. Caprininha is a local drink made from cachaca (an alcohol made from sugar cane juice). After lunch we caught the boat back and went to a market where you can buy handcrafts and food, then headed home.
3 October Monday MY BIRTHDAY
So on Monday I turned 19, and I cannot believe it. To celebrate I braved the rain, wind and cold to go to the beach, Praia Mole. It was a lovely beach even in the bad weather. I had the beach to myself and went for a walk from one end to the other. From there I travelled back to Lagoa and had lunch which was delicious and made me very full. After lunch I travelled back home to relax. What a great way to end a great birthday weekend.