Caprioskas, Caprinhas and Cabbage

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
El Diablo Tranquilo

Flag of Uruguay  , Rocha,
Thursday, January 21, 2010


Hope this finds everyone well. We have just arrived in Florianopolis, Brazil and it is RAINING.. so i am taking this time to write to my favourite people!

Well i have been a teeny bit slack with this but fear not, tis only because we have been in one place the past week! better for an overview i say, especially seeing as though it was a beach town, numerous updates might be tres boring.. ie today emily and i got up at midday, went to the beach, slept, had caprioskas, ate empanadas, and drunkily passed out. the end... not so interesting past day 1! Plus, it was sunny. enough said.

So Punta del diablo was GORGEOUS

Far far better than Punta del este, for numerous reasons:
1. More hammocks
2. less people
3. More empanadas
4. Less gold coast
5. We could afford to venture past the hostel
6. Caprinhas caprinhas caprinhas
7. Can anyone say beach bar?
and many more..

We arrived off the bus after an easy 3 hour journey on the bus from punta del este... seeing as though our latest ones have been between 12 and 16 hours, 3 hours was childs play. Em and i have mastered the art of falling asleep anywhere... sand, rock, sitting up, sitting down, standing, on the bar, on the beach, in a hammock, on a horse... needless to say we find the buses quite comfy and a welcome relief from hostel mattresses! Truly, after this little adventure i am not so adverse to getting buses around australia... maybe ask me my opinion on this when i get back though! probably wont even be able to look at a bus

Speaking of buses, you will all be pleased to know yet again that the brazillian buses are again different and i have yet another bus story for my next entry.. ooooh exciting, stay tuned!

Anyway, we arrived off the bus (wow this might be a long entry!) and we were excited to find
a) a chorizo bbq at the bottom of the step!
and b) the cutest, buzziest little beach town known to man

quaint little wooden huts line the street and as the bus drops you at the top of the hill, we could see straight over the shops down to the sea. we knew we had to follow the path to get to our hostel, so off we went, me looking like a giant purple people eater in my monstrous purple outfit (Stay tuned for photo, egg on stilts to the max) down the sandy road..  this town was not made for cars but somehow they manage to squeeze it all in. we were  super excited to see that no longer would we have to have ham and cheese EVERYTHING, but there was a wide variety of seafood and fish and rice at $5 a pop was going to go down a treat (with caprioska of course). i was of course jumping out of my skin to have another home made empanada.... i now cannot stand the sight of them. typical nikki thing to do, get herself sick to death of the local dish.. pretty hard to avoid them!

noticeable difference to punta del este are that it has zero high rises, zero atms, maybe 5 restaurants, no high flyers, tiny amounts of children thank god, and loads of 20 somethings seeking a chilled out beach holiday. our hostel, El Diablo Tranquilo (perfect name) was just a block off the beach and had hammocks hanging on both balconies, and it had a seperate bar actually on the beach with a great little menu, sangrias freely available and cool reggae bands playing all day. the day we left it opened a new wing of the hostel just above the bar so it was brand new... i would definately book in to stay there again in the beach wing.

we ran into a whole bunch of aussies at the hostel.. quite refreshing to speak some aussie lingo! naturally you dont want to spend your whole trip with australians but it was good fun to have a big night with them. funnily enough 6 of them were queenwood girls two years below us.. for those of you interested or who would know who im talking about (mum, jacquie!) it was the paulsen twins nic and zoe, belle heidtmen etc.. we actually made it to the club on the saturday night and had an absolute ball dancing up a storm in a samba club... they also played some hilarious old school music and some current hits (if i hear "i gotta feeling" by the black eyed peas one more time i swear to god i will grow dreadlocks and look like will i am!) so that was awesome

another noteable australian we met was maybe the funniest, nicest person we have met on our travels. he is a lone traveller called brett, we had actually met him early on in buenos aires one night and had a game of pool, but he was a little inebrieated and i think fell over half way through our game so we never spoke to him that much. he posses that pizzaz you need to be a lone traveller... ie able to make friends with a tree and very likeable straight way. anyway on our first night in diablo we ran into him.. in hindsight it couldnt have been a better introduction... he was dancing in the street next to a run down car which was blasting samba music with some locals (this scenario is not uncommon anywhere in south america so we didnt think anything of it... until we noticed an aussie was involved!) and rapidly drinking from a litre bottle of rum. he was naturally very happy and recognised us and excitedly exclaimed "GIRLS!" and ran over and gave us a massive hug. he is typical aussie surfer.. long blonde shaggy hair, very tanned and massive grin... and he slurred his way through telling us he lived over that a way... ie in the grass? we were quite confused until we saw this tent... it looked like a pea. we almost fell over from the shock that firstly it was actually a tent... it did look like just a large vegetable... and secondly this monstrous surfer man would live in it. " the rum helps" he explained. ahhh.. what about the surf board you carry? "it sits outside the tent and i tie it to my ankle inside". lordy lord.

and so brett became our big brother during our stay. he managed to step on a massive shard of glass and slice his foot to pieces. did he bandage, keep it wrapped or clean it?? nope. but doctor emily managed to convince him to borrow some betadine. he used it and then walked bare foot back to tent to get some thongs. men!

so during our stay we drank, slept, tanned and partied through punta del diablo. loved it. there are little huts on the beach where you can buy a homemade pizza which they give to you on wooden board, and caprioskas, beers, hotdogs, sandwiches etc, and we would buy lunch for a few dollars and sit under our umbrella for lunch, then fall asleep for a siesta very full and sun tired. on our last day we randomly decided to do every activity that could be done allll in one day. firstly em managed to win a free surf lesson from brett due to a lost bet... he bet her she wasnt a good enough actress to cry on request. she started bawling in one second and he felt SO bad about her emotional state he gave her some caprinha immediately. poor guy. he is now skeptical about all his past and future women and their crying!!

anyway the surf lesson was hilarious!! before you wonder, yes people, yes, we both stood up!  unfortunately we almost killed brett. we borrowed a long surfboard from the hostel, ie a huge massive heavy learners board, it was so heavy em and i had to both carry it down to the beach... and then one of us would take out bretts board and brett would help the other get out to the break on the big board.. it being so heavy we couldnt get over/under/around the white wash in near the shore. and then we swapped. but BOY did he have his work cut out for him. we merrily would sit on the board and he pulled and pushed and ducked us under the waves for about 40 minutes each... he would literally push us onto the wave.. and we would fall off.. and then patiently wait while he bodysurfed in to get us and take us allllllllll the way back out... and so on. it did make surfing very easy. at one point he said.. "nikki, you do have to paddle at some point". ahhhh. thats what was missing. luckily we rewarded him with successfully standing up and surfing all the way into shore and then with a litre of beer as a thankyou. this guy, normally so happy and talkative and smiley, almost fainted with exhaustion by the end of the 2 hours. woops. boy did we have a ball though!

after brett died on the beach into a coma em and i skipped off for our second activity... horse riding by sunset! it was beautiful. gorgeous. spectacular and the best activity we have done so far! a guy called fabian picked us up at our hostel on horse back with 2 in tow. we trotted off and did a big loop up over the hill of diablo and onto the next beach. we then stopped off in a little clearing and the horses wandered off for a break and we had some wine and biscuits and chattted a little with fabian. he lives in a wooden house in diablo with his kids and zero electricity. crazy. after the vino we ... now merrily... trotted some more down to this looong secluded beach with no one on it... and whipped our horses into a long beautiful gallop on the was so fun and so peaceful and it gave you one of those amazing rushes of freedom.. eventually we went back to the road, our cheeks flushed from the cool air, very happy, very tired jockeys. fabian dropped us back at about 10pm and after a bottle of red and some pasta ala nikki we exhaustedly fell into bed to get some rest before we had to get up and pack to leave the next day

all in all diablo was great fun, and will be sorely missed. it was quite appropriate when we left though as the summer season is coming to an end and already the nights were getting cooler.

we awoke the next day with verrrrry sore muscles from the horses  and the surfing.. em has a picture of her "surfing injury"... and off to brazil we went....

a very long entry! more to come...

miss you all
much love

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