I had a chill morning sorting a few things out for our departure to Foz do Iguaçu tomorrow. I had been pretty freaked out because of the flood "of biblical proportions" according to the news that happened there in mid-June. I was thinking we might either have to cut our trip short or we should change destinations to Rio or Manaus and head into the Amazon instead. Thankfully, it looks like things have calmed down enough and trails have mostly re-opened so we should be okay.
The boys went out to explore a fort and came back. Karina came back from her morning discovery dive, and then we headed out to Baia Sueste and said goodbye to our countrymen who will have just enough time to get to Recife, find a bar, and watch the US game. Not wanting to spend more money renting a buggy and wanting to experience a bit more of the island culture here, Karina and I decided to hitchhike out to the beach where you are guaranteed to spot turtles. We caught a ride to the airport and walked the rest of the 15 minutes to the beach.
The visibility in the water at Sueste is not great, we were told, because of the kelp and currents. We got to the beach, and rented fins and lifejackets (which are required so that you don't touch the bottom and mess up the ecosystem). We swam out pretty far trying to see what we could see. We had about 7 ft visibility at best and most of the time it was 3-4 feet and we were in water that wasn't much deeper than that. The further out we got, the more clear the water got. But keep that visibility in mind as I reveal that I saw 6 sea turtles and 2 sting rays. Basically I would be swimming along, trying my best to look around, and then a turtle would pop up directly below me and scare me half to death. They are big! But the reason they like that bay so much is exactly because of the kelp that reduces the visibility. They would swim around me, look at me, eat some kelp, and then swim on. Meanwhile I was trying to swim around them and squealing into the Atlantic ocean. The stingray spottings were scarier because they were in about 4 feet of water and they were so close to me when I could finally see them. I could have stepped on them. But I was floating on the surface, and they let me hang out and watch them glide along to sand. Karina has the underwater camera and got some great shots of the turtles but I was off on my own when I spotted the rays so no photos there.
They told me that sometimes you would see sharks in the bay and I thought, man, if I see a shark it will be way too close for comfort. So I'm sort of thankful I did not, though they were probably around.
After getting home and cleaning up after another long afternoon of brining myself, we got dressed in all our Red White and Blue gear and headed down to the awesome beach bar at Praia do Meio to watch USAvBEL. There was a large American contingent there and we had a lot of fun watching the game. What a heartbreaker though! I've been enjoying seeing all the Tim Howard memes these last two days. I will say that watching such a tough loss was softened by being on a beautiful beach, on a tropical island, and eating the best ceviche of my life directly afterwards. The seafood on this island is just another reason to love it. Fresh, delicious, and beautifully prepared, no matter where you go. I could eat it forever. Although the shrimp have been somewhat disappointing. Nothing like Bill's Seafood shack in Sunset Beach, NC.
We went home, packed and then went to sleep. The next morning I got up really early to try and see the dolphins at Baia do Golfinhos but missed them. I had a really nice walk out there though. Then I went back to the Pousada to get Karina and go to Baia dos Porcos.
So we hitchhiked out to the beach with some island friends we had made, and walked part of the way through mud that was so thick Karina lost her shoe in it. But when we got there....
|Cacimba do Pedra|
So worth it! And that's not even what we were aiming for. This is Baia dos Porcos:
You guys, I was raving about Baia do Sancho. Baia dos Porcos is actually the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. I never wanted to leave. And these pictures, yeah, not professional. It's just THAT BEAUTIFUL. The water was so clear and warm it was like swimming in a salty pool. The volcanic rock formations underneath the water were captivating and attracted lots of marine life. AND WE SAW ANOTHER TURTLE. Need I go on?
I was so very loathe to leave Fernando de Noronha but my worldwide quest to see awesome waterfalls called. Three flights and close to 14 hours later, we finally arrived in Foz do Iguaçu, Parana, Brazil around 2am.