We had to postpone the Brazilian brodrive a couple days while the friendly people at American Airlines tracked down Ted’s bag which had been re-routed the wrong way from Dallas. Kelsey’s younger brother didn’t seem too concerned though—he’d just travelled 18 hrs without any travel on: no book, no mp3 device, no toothbrush … the invincible years.
Highway 101 between Rio and São Paulo winds around a mountainous coastline and offers tantalizing glimpses of turquoise blue ocean lagoons and secret beaches lying seductively behind curtains of Atlantic rain forest. We drove to Itamambuca a small town just north of Ubatuba; honed our pool skills on a very unforgiving table, surfed and drank homemade caipirinhas.
Paraty, further north, is one of those fairytale towns with cobbled streets, white-washed buildings and creeping bougainvillea. We stopped in here for their annual Pinga Festival which is a celebration of artesanal cachaça, the main ingredient in the national drink … some were better than others.
The south of Brazil has a surprisingly large German population and we decided to brodrive 900 kilometers to Blumenau to see the German founded town and to sample some of their renown beers. We stayed at Hotel Gloria which has been awarded Joydrive’s best free breakfast buffet.
And then on to Florianópolis to hang on the beach for a few days. We saw Ted off with some beer champagne from Blumenau, two 40 ounce bottles of cachaça from Itamambuca and four bottles of hot sauce from Florianópolis.