The beach life on Island Santa Catarina

I got up with the sun in Praia Grande, left Esben in the bed and jumped behind the wheel of Lance. Our plan was to reach Island Santa Catarina and find a place to wild camp.

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To get to the island we had to drive through Florianopolis, that is spilt in two halfs. One half is on the mainland and the other half is on the island Santa Catarina. Including the metropolitan area of Florianopolis 1 million people live there. But we were arriving on a rainy Sunday. I didn’t get a photos, but during the 300 km drive a few places it rained so much that the spray (or maybe I should call it the wave) from the trucks driving in the opposite lane, where just as tall as the truck itself. I am so glad I am sitting in a van and not sitting soaked on my motorcycle right now.

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Island Santa Catarina is heavily developed on the northern part of the island, so when we reached the island we drove straight across to the white Joaquina sand dunes

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 Here people and tourist are surfing on the dunes or sandboarding – VERY different styles wlEmoticon-winkingsmile The beach life on Island Santa Catarina

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We didn’t rent a “sandboard”, but chose to exercise in a different way in the dunes

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We really enjoyed feeling the sand between our toes, and after walking in the dunes, we finished with a walk on the beach of Joaquina

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We asked around in the area if we could park our van over night, but everybody said “No”. Even the parking lot, where we had to pay. So we drove further south on the island to Pantano do Sul and followed the beach until we reached the beach “Praia da Soldão”, where we could camp for the night. The people, who live on the southern part of the island, wants to protect the nature from development. In 1975 the southern tip of the island (841 square kilometers) was protected. The projected area only covers a small part of the island (which area is 424 square kilometers) and stretches out to protect the ocean and several islands south of island Santa Catarina (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Catarina_Island).

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It was a great place, and close to the hiking trail we want to do the next day. The trail leads to more remote beaches, that can only be reached by foot or by boat

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Beautiful trail, but after stopping at “Praia Saquinho” (Praia is Portuguese for Beach), the trail turned into a small path, that quickly became more and more overgrown. Suddenly we encountered two cows on the path. The cows had absolutely no intensions of moving, on the other hand they couldn’t really move any places, and as we got closer the cows started to get angry. So much for wanting to walk all the way to “Praia  dos Naufragados”.

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We turned around, and found a spot with nice ocean view to have lunch

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In the small town of Pantano do Sul is a small trail leading across a mountain and down to a beach on the other side “Praia da Lagoinha do Leste”. We could park on a small private parking lot with Wi-Fi, toilet and cold showers for just 5 Real (1,4 USD or 9 DDK) for the day. Amazing deal.

The trail is just beautiful

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The trails goes through the jungle across a mountain, it is only 2.3 km (one way) but raises 200 meters in elevation. So if you are not walking up hill, you will be walking down hill. When the trail ends you suddenly step out of the jungle, and the landscape opens up and you step out unto a beautiful beach. On the beach we took a right, and took a small trail leading to the top of a mountain to get the full view of the beach.

Here is Esben – my “Tyroler” wlEmoticon-redheart The beach life on Island Santa Catarina

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Panoramic view of the beach

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I just loved the trail, and would recommend it wlEmoticon-openmouthedsmile The beach life on Island Santa Catarina! If you like to surf… the waves at “Lagoinha do Leste” should be amazing. So bring your surfboard! Back in the small town we taste the Acai ice cream for the first time. #takingpicture for Instagram @sund_camilla

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Walked down to the beach to enjoy the ice cream while the sun was setting

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Since we couldn’t walk to “Praia dos Naufragados” from the eastern side of we island, we drove to the western side to the small town Barra do Sul, where the official trail to “Praia dos Naufragados” starts. The trail is rocky but quite flat, so it was easy going. This is the part of the island that is protected, here it protects the Atlantic forest, that has a high biodiversity and endemism (organisms that are native to that area, and the organisms can’t be found elsewhere). The Atlantic Forest is a South American forest that extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil. It is estimated that the Atlantic forest covered 1,000,000-1,500,000 square kilometers when the first Portuguese colonist came to Brazil for more than 500 years ago. Over 85% of the original area has been deforested, threatening many plant and animal species with extinction (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Forest).

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A few houses is located by the beach, and the beach is absolutely beautiful, so far it is our #1 beach in Brazil

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We walked the last kilometer to the lighthouse, where we could watch the fortress “Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora de Conceicão de Aracatuba. The fortress was designed and built by Brigadier José da Silva Pais, the first governor of the Captaincy of Santa Catarina (1739-1745), closing the bar of the South Bay, was the last piece of the island’s defensive system in the first half of the 18th century. It was integrated in the defensive triangle from the bar of the North Bay: the Fortress of Santa Cruz de Anhatomirim, the Fortress of Santo Antônio de Ratones and the Fortress of São José da Ponta Grossa. Together, they should protect the island of Santa Catarina, consolidating the occupation of southern Brazil, and acting as a strategic base for the maintenance of the Portuguese dominion over the Colônia do Sacramento.

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There are beaches everywhere, actually Island Santa Catarina has 42 in total, so its all about enjoying them

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The waves are perfect for surfing, but we only go for a dip in the waves – BIG WAVES

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Body surfing

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