I hope no one has been holding his breath while waiting for another blog from me...it´s going to be happening less frequently now since I´ll be on the move for the rest of my trip, three days here, four there, etcetera. I´m just over halfway through my trip and only now can I safely say I´ve finally gotten in the swing of things. By this I mean the initial bouts of homesickness have worn off and I´m busy enough not to notice the days or weeks going by.
I had a fabulous time in Florianopolis, which I found out after I left was voted the party capital of the world last year by some big magazine, I can´t remember which one. I stayed for four days and nights and laughed the most I have laughed my trip thus far. I met two guys, one from Utah, who every time he introduces himself says, ¨Hi, I´m Nick, I´m from Utah and I´m not Mormon,¨ and another from South Africa who is a professional river guide working his southern hemisphere summers in Patagonia and his northern hemisphere summers in Switzerland. They both had recently gotten out of long-term relationships and spending the days at the beach with them was extremely entertaining. I probably could have been blind and listened to their descriptions of the women and would have had a clear picture of what exactly they were looking at. Upon seeing one girl with a very nice, ahem, gluteous maximus, Nick proclaimed,¨I would grill a steak on that ass.¨ So you see what I mean. They said watching all the women with postage stamp-sized bikinis (I often felt overdressed in my standard American bikini) sauntering around was like being in heaven and hell: wonderful to look at but torture not to interact with.
Now you might think I was offended listening to some of their banter, but I told them early on I didn´t care, that it was nice for them to appreciate the female figure in any and all forms. We marvelled at how all of the men and women flaunted their bodies with such self-confidence that it did not matter how fit they were, and how men and women with the same bodies in other parts of the world would be self-conscious and cover themselves up. It was quite refreshing, especially from a woman´s point of view, to see how genuinely happy and care-free people could be with themselves. Now it might be ignorant of us to assume that everyone thought of themselves as models and works of art, but from our beach chairs that´s what it seemed like and that´s what we liked to think.
The hostel we stayed at was literally right on the beach, with the rooms in the back and the bar and cafe in the front on the water. We were in a somewhat remote part of the island where there was only one other bar besides the one in the hostel which was open to locals and tourists alike until midnight. Three of the four nights I stayed there was outstanding live music, with the one oddball being a somewhat interpretive dance and performance in which the woman squawked like a bird. Saturday night there was a really good reggae band, Sunday a really good blues band, and Monday a duet of a guitar player and drummer covering really good rock and Brazilian songs. With the locals being allowed in the bar it was quite fun getting to know a few of them, especially for my friends since many of the women who showed up were gorgeous. The guys who came weren´t too bad either, most of them being surfers who wore nothing but board shorts. There was another guy whose job it was to meet all the tourists and ask if they wanted alcohol, weed, or cocaine, but who really impressed us by playing the bongos on that Monday night; he was multi-talented.
I´m pretty sure my body hates me after those four days, so after taking a 15-hour overnight bus I´m happy to be Montevideo, Uruguay, where I can let myself recover before heading to Buenos Aires sometime this weekend. I´m trying to make it to the Uruguay versus Paraguay soccer match on Saturday, but I´ll hopefully be able to update either just before or after that. Adios for now.