Florianopolis Beaches and Boo with Immigration

Trip Start Jan 09, 2008
Trip End May 15, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Santa Catarina,
Friday, April 18, 2008

After spending two fulls days in Punte del Este, Uruguay aka ¨Ghost Town¨ of the east, we needed to get out of here. Apparantly after february, everyone and their mom leaves town and probably doesnt come back until the following year. most shops are closed cause the overhead costs more than the amount they would make if they were open. I met this english lad named Hadley and hes on a around the world tour for a year. Hes been in south america for only a week and has already been to 2 countries and decided to join me in brazil which will be his third country. Thats moving.
So after a 20 hour busride up to Florianopolis, we were in Brazil!!! My first impression of brazil matched exactly what i expected, ¨very very green¨. The mountains were covered with lush greenscapes and trees. Florianopolis is located on a island called Santa Catarina and this place is pretty darn cool. So cool, people decide to stay here for indefinite period of time. I met two guys Sam and Ivo who have been there for months and love it here. Its easy however, to see what draws them to say. Ill outline the few:

1. The Women are amazing. I never seen anything like this, i though it was a myth that the brazilian women are more beautiful than argentinean women, but its no myth its for real. At the beach and clubs here I never seen more beautiful women in my entire life. Better than San Diego at 4th of July. Me, Sam, and Ivo decided to play a game called ¨find the unattractive women¨ and we found 2 in a line of 80 or so women at a club called ¨Confraria¨.
2. The weather is great. The weather mimics Hawaii very much and the humidity isnt as bad. The water is refreshing, not as warm as hawaii, but you can surf here without a wetsuit even though all brazilians have a full suit on. I thought i had thin skin, but florianopolis surfers are really sensitive to the water. by the way, the surf is good here, but beware of the strong rip currents.
3. It is safe. i never felt safer in south america. I think it might be the safest of all brazil. i was living in a town called Lagoa which is the heart of the nightlife and tourism here in Florianopolis or Floripa. Things will change in rio and bahia salvador.
4. People are wonderful. All brazilians here seem to always have a smile on their face, which is very welcoming for any tourist.

So i spent about a week here, just chilling on the beach, surfing, playing volleyball, swimming, and hanging out at night. its been a great relaxer in a place that has a lot of energy. Apparantly, i arrived at downseason and if i had arrived during january and february, there would be no reason to leave to see the rest of brazil, cause everyone would be down here anyway.
Aside of the paradise of brazil, i had a little disagreement with the immigration personnel upon entry to the country. For US citizens, we are granted a 30 day stay with multiple entries to Brazil, while other countries get 90 days. I didnt get to talk with the immigration officer cause we took a overnight bus through the border and got our passports back in the morning. Thinking it was a slam dunk process, turns out the officer granted me 25 days in lieu of 30. I actually need 27 days cause my flight is already booked. I went to contest this at the Federal Police here in Florianopolis and said, ¨why wasnt i granted what i paid for?¨ The lady replied ¨its up to the immigration officer and he/she can grant you anything up to the limit of 30 days¨ So basically what was stated was that an immigration officer here can be having a bad day or have a beef with a persons country and grant them a unfair amount of days. There is nothing the federal police or myself could do about this. dont worry, im not going to be stuck here, but will need to pay a fine of roughly 5 bucks a day over the limit. i wasnt fighting for the money, but the principle of getting what i paid for. i guess the phrase, you get what you pay for, does not exist here in brazil. cause i paid for 30 days and got 25. its kinda like buying a pair a shoes and getting a different one in the bag.
aside of wasting a day of my vacation here at the Federal Police, things are still going great, we are on our way to Rio in a few days. The time to face reality is slowly ticking and ill be back in the states in a matter of 3 weeks. Kinda crazy!!
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