The climb of a hill in Pântano do Sul
Destination Florianópolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina.
Pântano do Sul is located in the southern part of Santa Catarina Island. A so-called trilha (trail) starts near the beach, and ends on the top of a large hill.
Missing the boat
..We had good impressions of our first full day in Floripa. It had become a very intensive day, which included a walk through the historical center, and the visit of two fortresses. One fortress was located in he center, the other was found in the northern part of the Island of Magic. Since we arrived very late in the university campus, we literally missed the boat. That night, a boat trip was organized for the students. A luxury boat was hired for a small round trip in the narrow strait between the island and the Brazilian mainland. And there was an interesting party on that boat. Bad luck for me and Vítor.
We planned our second day in the southern part of the island. Again, we woke up early. We took the bus to the center at nine am. We had to change buses, and we went to a transfer bus station, where we finally took the bus to Pântano do Sul. This way of changing buses appears to be very complicated, and in fact it was. Fortunately, the bus conductors were very helpful, and they guided us to our final destination.
Pântano do Sul is located at more than thirty kilometers from downtown Floripa, not far from the southernmost point on the island. This little village is known for its fishermen and restaurants. Tourists who like to taste fresh seafood, may encounter delicious seafood dishes and snacks in relatively cheap restaurants. Tourists who are searching more distant and quieter beaches, and want to avoid the more crowded beaches nearby the center of Floripa, will be surprised by the serenity of this small beach. The crescent-shaped beach is more than two kilometers long. It is quite strange to observe cars on the beach, parking lots for the locals. As if there are no tides here. Near the restaurants and bars, the white beach is marked by tire tracks. You only need to walk a few hundred meters more to meet pristine white beach sand, and a calm sea. However, to the cold ocean current, the seawater is quite chilly. I really prefer the ocean in the northeast of Brazil, where it has a temperature of about 25 degrees.
We did not have the intention to swim, or to sunbathe. Vitór had informed around a bit, and had suggested to walk on one of the hills, next to the beach. Vítor is an experienced hiker and guide: he had guided us on a trail that led to the top of Morro da Urca in Rio de Janeiro, late 2006. He asked some locals where to start the trail. The trail started next to the beach. Initially, it was an easy climb, gradually inclining, but soon the climb became a bit more difficult. The paved road continued in a gravel road, or was paved with rough cobblestones. We did not wear hiking shoes, not even sneakers, but simple flip flops. I felt something that was irritating my foot pad, but I found nothing that could explain this irritation. But when I turned the flip flop, I noticed that a big thorn had pierced through the flip flop. I was lucky that the thorn hadn’t penetrated my foot pad yet.
We climbed on, we enjoyed the natural environment and the breathtaking landscapes, of the beach and of the Atlantic Ocean. This hill was not very high, but it measures no less than 330 meters: higher than the highest peak in The Netherlands. Vítor took a break, while I was wandering around. I was observing an ant colony, which soldiers were crossing the trail in an never-ending column. Ants that had the size of a rice grain. They not only were carrying carefully cut leaves, also something that appeared to be eggs of another ant species. I observed three ant species that used the same crossing. The other two species were much smaller. A few meters further, I observed something hairy on the trail. This hairy object had the size of my hand. Vitór resumed the climb and he carefully guided my along this hairy object. It was a tarantula, a spider species we would not like to meet when it is active. We did not find out whether this brown hairy creature was aive or not.
We continued the climb, we almost were there. Vítor suddenly stopped and gestured me to stop too. Because he observed a gavião, a hawk, who flew dangerously close over our heads. It was probably a parent that wanted to protect its offspring against hostile invaders. Fortunately, this shrieking prey bird left us in peace. I observed a couple of urubus on the top of the hill. Black vultures. Apparently, they did not show any interest in us and went on with their siesta. At the top, we enjoyed the splendid views of the valleys below us. Forested hills, some distant little villages, isolated fazendas, and a lake, Lagoa de Peri. The trail did not continue, we had no other choice than to follow the same trail back to the beach. Logically, the way back was much faster. During the climb, the temperature was about thirty degrees, unusually high at the end of autumn. But for me, the tropical conditions were no problem.
By Adriano Antoine robbesom
- Travel in Brazil: FLORIANÓPOLIS (18). Fortress São José da Ponta Grossa (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: FLORIANÓPOLIS (20). Sunset On The Island Of Magic II (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: FLORIANÓPOLIS (19). Sunset On The Island Of Magic I (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: FLORIANÓPOLIS (21). Sunset On The Island Of Magic III (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)