Déjà vu? Yes. I am reposting my report, which vanished yesterday when flight-report.com's server suddenly decided to retire and die. :(
Once upon a time (in the 1850s, to be more exact) some German wives complained to their husbands: "The veather is cold in the north of Europe. Global varming is still decades ahead. There's no reason for you to drink so much Bier!"
"Ach!" the men replied. "Kein Problem!" And they moved to Brazil!
Here they settled in the valley of river Itajaí, where the heat can be suffocating in summer. The perfect excuse for perpetuating their ethylic traditions!
They also founded some important settlements like Brusque and Blumenau, which grew into important cities. In the 1920s a beach near the town of Camboriú became a popular destination among people from those cities. The few houses along the beach became a new town, and this new town kept growing until it eventually split from the original Camboriú in 1964, becoming a municipality in its own right: Balneário Camboriú. Balneário is Portuguese for resort.
Fast forward to October 2017, and we find nechus munching through a glorious coxinhaunder the shade of the trees lining Avenida Atlántica.
Allow me to share with you some of the sights I enjoyed while in there, in the following…
PRE-FLIGHT BONUS - BALNEÁRIO CAMBORIÚ
Balneário Camboriú has grown into an impressive metropolis. Only about 120.000 people live here, but thanks to its hotel infrastructure it can host more than a million visitors!
You can get amazing sights of the city from the top of the Morro da Aguada, the jungle-covered hill at the southern tip of the city (aka Barra Sul). To get to the top, you board the bondinho, a cable car. (nh = French gn)
This hill hosts the not less impressive Unipraias Park, which is a full-blown tourist atraction with fun rides such as a zip-line…
…and a sledge that speeds downhill across the forest. Here, yours truly is in charge of the accelerator, much to my colleague Nancy's mortification. She's our school's Chemistry teacher. :D
Also, in the park's educational paths you learn about the breathtaking mata atlántica.
The bondinho has three stations. The one you see down there is Barra Sul.
The view as you climb the hill is superb. There's Avenida Atlántica, the boulevard that runs all along the seafront.
The second station, Mata Atlántica, is on the top of the hill and is the entrance to Unipraias park.
The third station is on the other side of the hill, on Laranjeiras beach.
Walking along the park's paths you come to this observation deck with a view of the city, including the tiny, uninhabited Ilha das Cabras (Goats Island) in the middle of the bay.
Before coming to Brazil with this group of students I negotiated a whole day that I could spend on my own. This day I visited the other end of the city, called Barra Norte.
The north end of Balneário Camboriú is less frequented by tourists, but not less beautiful. There is a wooden path that stretches along the shore, tightly tucked between the forest and the sea. It starts here, under this huge tree. Look! What's growing on its branches?
Every few meters there are benches and stairs leading to some small rocky beaches where you can seat and get soaked in the peace and quiet of the place.
On the way I found some joggers and couples with their babies.
What about going a little off the beaten path, literally? I’d love to see what’s deep in the forest. Let’s climb up there.
Look! Those ants carry little pieces of leaves to their nests. They use them to grow fungi, which they then use as food. I hope they won’t eat me. I’ve been told I’m a “fun-guy”. XDDD
It’s really lonely around here. I hope I won’t meet the Brazilian equivalent of Jack the Ripper or something worse!
Hi, teeny-weeny friend. You won’t transmit any mortal disease to me, will ya?
I’m in ecstasy as I discover leaves in new shapes and shades of green…
…at every step!
Back on the path.
I have been to places as distant from each other as New Zealand and Spain, but Balneário Camboriú has a particularly nice effect on my mood. The weather is so benign, the city streets are so calm and enjoyable in spite of the skyscrapers, and the nature around it is so amazingly beautiful! I could live here!
A little farther down the path I see a group of older people staring down at a rock in silence. I whisper “O que acontece?” I have no idea if that’s good Portuguese, but I want to know what happens. It seems that I got it right, because a man points at a huge lizard resting at the foot of the rock.
Isn’t it beautiful?
I love its skin!
Some meters beyond, the path comes to an end…
… at the Praia do Buraco…
…where some local daredevils make good use…
…of the soft breeze.
To finish with, here's some evidence supporting my introductory story. As I said, the Germans settled in the valley of river Itajaí and founded cities like Blumenau…
…where they keep their traditions alive, such as beer brewing. We visited Blumenau precisely on the last day of the local Oktoberfest, aka Bierfest.
Eisenbahn happens to be the most important brewery in Blumenau…
…and, as you can read inside the "locomotive", it boasts about being "born in the Brazilian capital of beer and Oktoberfest."
And because all good things have to come to an end, it's time to head to…
A small bus picks us up at our hotel for a 60-minute ride to Florianópolis.
As a Chilean national, in constant, instinctive search for the triangle of life, I can’t help cringing at the sight of these needle-like apartment buildings that look so vulnerable, for my standards.
Bricks! How can you build such a skyscraper with bricks! People tell me “But we don’t have earthquakes in Brazil.” They’re soooo wrong. They have not had one for hundreds or thousands of years, but our planet is not an inert rock. I’m terrified at what will happen here the day the earth shakes a little!
Lots of traffic on route 101, aka Rodovía Gov. Mário Covas, which runs all along the coast of Santa Catarina state.
I love Brazil, but I must mention that Brazilians drive like mad men. Especially motorbike riders! And the roads don’t help. So always be careful, and never take a green light for granted. I’m telling you from my own experience!
Of course, those cows couldn't care less.
I’m amused by this sign in front of me. Preferential seat for… obese people! In a country so politically correct (read “hypocrite”) like Chile, where a disabled person must be called “a person with different abilities”, calling someone “obese”, and doing it in writing, in the public transport, and with a graphic depiction of their obese anatomy would be unthinkable!! I feel at home in Brazil! XD
First sight of Florianópolis from the highway.
Havan is a chain of department stores. Why settle for a distinctive corporate logo when you can have the whole Statue of Liberty at your door?!
We go across Hercílio Luz bridge, which connects Santa Catarina island - where Florianópolis is located - to the continent.
Most of the city lies north of the bridge.
South of it are some lower-income neighborhoods and the airport…
…which turns the trip to FLN into an unusual experience if you are used to arriving at airports via modern highways, with lots of lights and fanfare.
That’s not the case with FLN. The bus makes its way along some humble streets of shops, restaurants, and speed bumps…
…waiting patiently every time the public transport stops to pick or drop passengers. A little sign is the only evidence that there’s an airport nearby. You turn left at that corner…
…and surprise! FLN comes suddenly in sight, almost out of thin air.
The entrada (access) to the parking lot comes first. That capital E is not for entrada, though, but for estacionamento, only one letter shorter than my Spanish estacionamiento.
If you think that the access to the terminal…
…does not look very inviting…
…I have to say that I agree.
At the time of this trip, in October 2017, the concession holder was the Brazilian Infraero…
…but earlier that year a new company had won the concession: the Swiss Flughafen Zürich.
They took over only last January, and will be in charge of building a much needed new terminal…
…which will surely have a much more attractive front, not those bathroom tiles on the wall. God!
Luckily for us, the airport signage is in Portuguese, English and Spanish. This way I can rest assured that embarque (boarding) means embarque…
…and entrada (entrance) means entrada. Phew!
The first thing that draws my attention as I step inside is the intense movement and the number of shops.
To my left, the arrivals area is over there, at the bottom, behind those escalators.
To my right, the check-in counters are at the other end. I have to follow the group that way.
Gol and Avianca seem to have the strongest presence here.
While LATAM is at the bottom. A female staff is helping the parent in charge to get the boarding passes for everyone. That will take some time. My opportunity to go for a tour around the hall with the excuse of visiting the restrooms!
Back in the middle of the hall…
…some quick snapshots.
Too bad I won’t have the time to climb upstairs. :(
Snacks and balloons outside the restrooms.
Restrooms perfectly OK, though the previous user didn’t flush the toilet. >:(
Coming out of the restroom, arrivals is on my left…
Let's go back to the counters. I still have to check my baggage in.
Twelve kilos!! It was six on the way in! That is six kilograms of souvenirs and Brazilian coffee!
We are given both our passes for the flight to São Paulo…
…and to Santiago. I wonder if this will make sense this time. It was the same on the way in, but the pass for the second leg was reissued at GRU when we had to re-check our baggage.
Thank goodness I came up with that trip to the bathroom! We head straight to security check afterwards. Well, no doubt the kids will be much safer airside.
But we still have more than two hours to wait. :(
Airside is divided into two areas. To the right, a coffee shop, Tammy and her hat…
…some tables, another security checkpoint…
…and a bookstore. Nancy is there. She survived the sledge. XD
I'm not wasting the opportinity to eat my last coxinha, :'''( and try a pão de queijo (cheese bread)
O, coxinha… If I could write an ode to you…
This pão de queijo has nothing to do with the pieces of sh*t I bought at SCL's Dunkin' Donuts last year, which were nothing but (very) salty balls of flour. This one is moist and tasty. Wonderful!
To the other side is the waiting room and the gates. Between both areas is this vending machine that sells souvenirs (lembranza = souvenir. Hence “lembox”)…
…and this one for pop corn.
The only shop on that side is this souvenir shop.
The gates open directly into the apron. No jetways. The door on the left leads to…
…another waiting room.
I apologize for the bad quality of this photograph. It’s the only one I took of the whole of the waiting room.
And that would be pretty much all there’s to see. It can get really cramped at times, with the queues extending all along the waiting room and the coffee shop and the bookstore.
These are becoming commonplace in all the airports I have visited.
JP shows us the need for some seats around the power ports.
I had some trouble understanding my own language. For me, espalda is the back of a person, and tomada… well, I'd say enchufe instead.
I hope they really recycle the waste in Brazil. They also have color coded trash bins at SCL, but I'm pretty sure they put all the trash in a single bag later.
At the bottom of the room, a publishing company. I suppose they offer subscriptions.
Passengers for the next flight are starting to pour into the room. Let’s flee to the other waiting room…
…which is empty!
Behind that glass door is baggage claim.
Is it that hard to put your soda can in the trash?!
We (me, another teacher and a parent) had this side of the room for us alone for the two hours that we had to wait.
A visibly marked space for the disabled. The problem is that it’s surrounded by seats. Wouldn’t it be better located next to the door? Just an idea.
Next to these power ports are some informative flyers.
Too bad that some people are using the space as trash bins. Gosh!
But the information is still worth sharing. Babies should sleep on their backs. It’s much safer.
This reduces the rate of sudden deaths over 70%. Also, babies should be exclusively breast fed up to 6 months of age. Your house should be free of tobacco smoke, especially during pregnancy. Don't wrap your baby in too many clothes. Keep the cradle free of soft objects like cushions, pillows. or soft toys.
I'm reading this when my cellphone dings. It's a message from TripCase. Our flight from São Paulo to Santiago later this evening has been put off. No big deal, but that means that we'll leave GRU when it's dark. There go the aerials for my next report. :(
For those with special needs… and an adventurous spirit!
LATAM’s and Gol’s hand luggage allowance look similar.
By the time I’m writing this report…
…Infraero’s logo must have been removed…
…now that Flughafen Zürich has taken over. There's movement outside!
…in a special livery that you'll see later.
Avianca is also there.
Then comes this Gol.
Gol is a Brazilian LCC. It also covers SCL…
…and serves the SCL > FLN route during the summer season.
Florianópolis has become a popular summer destination among Chilean vacationers (just like many other places in Brazil)…
…because it's closer to us than the Caribbean.
PR-AUP is a two-year-old Embraer 195.
Remember that we are at Embraer's home. The Brazilian presidential plane for short trips is an Embraer, of course.
Each color represents a different Brazilian state. Santa Catarina, where we are now, is the small blue rectangle right above the big red one at the bottom.
Celebrating 1200 jets produced by Embraer. The word jato reminds me of well-known operation Lava Jato (Car Wash) Ever heard about it? Nobody expected a simple investigation on money laundering would end up with criminal charges formulated against an unbelievable number of politicians and business people, including two former presidents! I wonder how many Lava Jatos would be needed to put an end to corruption worldwide. Wishful thinking.
There goes this jato…
…in its beautiful blue livery. Azul is Portuguese and Spanish for blue.
LATAM staff have already gathered in expectation of our flight.
In the meantime…
…Gol is also pushed back…
…and leaves. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to watch it take off…
…for here comes flight JJ3184.
Thrust reversers deployed.
PR-MHB must have accumulated…
…in its 16 years of life.
Everybody runs to queue up for boarding…
…but I stay here until…
…it comes to a stop.
The problem is that I can't find my group now. Where have they gone? Well, they can't be far.
Gol passengers still board according to row numbers…
…but even in this small airport LATAM has their passengers board in a single line…
…which sends them queuing all over the premises…
…even around the cafeteria…
…appearing on the other side of the waiting room…
…which creates a lot of confusion between the Gol and LATAM passengers and between LATAM passengers themselves, because they eventually split into two lines competing to board first. What a mess!
I'm not sure if the staff was telling us what dooor we had to board through…
…but something tells me that row 29 means "rear door".
Just “Florianópolis"? The complete name is Hercílio Luz International Airport. In fact, the name Hercílio Luz is ubiquitous in Florianópolis. He was Santa Catarina’s governor for three different periods…
…and changed the name of the city to Florianópolis, which at least sounds better than its old name: Desterro (exile) (!)
Anyways, the inhabitants of Florianópolis call their city “Floripa” for short, and this is the new name of the airport under the new concession’s holder: Floripa Airport.
Born in 1961, the airline’s name used to mean Transportes Aéreos Marília.
before it merged with LAN, its meaning was Transportes Aéreos Meridionáis.
I look for row 29 and realize that it’s the last row! The seat won’t recline. What’s more, somebody is sitting in my seat… again! The same as on my previous flight, a couple wants to seat together, so they took my seat and left me the aisle seat.
But this is the when the magic happens: I finally get smart and tell them that they can travel together, but I will use the window seat. And they agree! So he sits in the aisle seat and leaves me the window. Woo hoo! The view from my new seat.
So this woolen cloth is the standard for LATAM Brazil. I hate it.
This kind of cloth should be forbidden in any kind of public transport. Each of these seats must have an ecosystem of its own!
Don't tell me you can't see the mites! XD
Interesting choice of color for this holder.
The seat pitch looks a little better than on my previous trip.
At least I can see my knees. It might be in compensation for the impossibility to recline my the seats in this row?
…and pocket contents.
LATAM Travel is promoting a new horror movie: Férias Com Crianças (Holidays With Children)
Brazil’s “River of January” (Rio de Janeiro) is promoted as this summer’s destination.
Please, let it be plastiline, not chewing gum.
This panel looks a bit outdated, doesn’t it?
Advertising plays on the monitors.
Male and female crew today.
Fasten your seat belts while skiing.
Meanwhile, we taxi to FLN’s only runway.
Some technical information about this flight.
I apologize for the less than satisfactory quality…
…of some of today’s aerials.
My window was in the most pitiable condition…
…and it took hours and hours of Photoshopping to make them barely acceptable.
On your marks, ready, set…
…good bye, Florianópolis. :'''(
…is a 41-year-old B727!
Quite a long race along the runway.
We climb above…
…the Carianos neighborhood…
…which surrounds the airport…
…and fly towards the east…
…reaching the coast…
…over Praia do Campeche…
…and turn left above Ilha do Campeche.
We continue our way towards the north…
…with a fantastic view of the coast of Santa Catarina island.
FLN upper right.
We’ll soon be flying above the north of Florianópolis.
Here we are.
Upper left, Hercílio Luz bridge, which we crossed this morning.
On the north shore of Santa Catarina island, almost in the center of this picture, is the super-ultra exclusive neighborhood of Jureré Internacional, a concentration of mansions and luxurious houses. According to Wikipedia, three of the 10 most expensive mansions in Brazil are located there. They are so rich, that even their under eye bags are Louis Vuitton! (Badum - tss)
And this is Canasvieiras. Not as chic as its neighbor Jureré.
And this is Canasvieiras. Not as chic as its neighbor Jureré.
North of the island of Santa Catarina is Governador Celso Ramos…
…and the this peninsula called Porto Belo. Can you see a little island just behind the peninsula? That's Porto Belo island.
I visited Porto Belo island in 2013…
…and went for a wonderful walk through the forest with another teacher and a guide.
We followed a trail all the way…
…to the top of the island. This is the view from there.
The town of Bombinhas has an inner beach and an outer beach.
Lower right, Ilha das Galés.
Then… whooooa! That looks like a place I have been to!
It's Balneário Camboriú!
I apologize for the low quality of the photo. We are far above the ocean. In fact, my camera has behaved very well today, in spite of the distance and the haze. In the foreground, the Morro da Aguada and Laranjeiras beach at its foot.
Farther north is river Itajaí and the city of Navegantes.
I was really lucky. Only a couple of minutes later…
…we are engulfed by the low clouds…
…and I can't see a thing until we are descending into São Paulo. This photo gives you an idea of the miserable condition of my window.
It time to try Mercado LATAM, LATAM's BOB service. On my previous flight I had just eaten lunch, so the was no space for a snack. Let's see what they offer.
Oh! Guava buiscuits! Guava is one of my favorite fruits. Aaaand… the FA says they have run out of guava buiscuits. :(
She's very kind and goes to the galley in order to find something else that I may like. She comes back with some offerings, but no. "Obrigado. Não tenho fome. Eu gosto de goiaba," I can only say with a sad face. :'''(
São Paulo from the air
Some minutes later we can see the coast again…
…and we reach the continent somewhere above the city of Praia Grande (Large Beach)…
…a beach that really honors its name! Beyond the city I can see an enormous lake…
…that stretches across an enormous extension, like an octopus stretching its tentacles. It's the Billings reservoir.
Under our feet is São Vicente, which happens to be the first permanent Portuguese settlement in the Americas. It's on São Vicente island.
São Vicente is connected to Praia Grande by a suspension bridge built in 1914.
The hills in the middle of the island separate São Vicente from the city of Santos.
Downtown São Vicente.
A bit farther inland is Cubatao, with its oil refinery.
Billings reservoir covers an area of 127 square km.
It's located directly south of São Paulo…
…and is criss-crossed by countless roads and bridges.
And now comes the real, big, big monster. This is only the south tip of São Paulo.
This is a city…
…of insane dimensions.
We fly and fly and I can't see and end…
…to the urban jungle.
According to this information taken from Wikipedia, São Paulo ranks second after Tokyo in terms of population of its urban area, with almost 37 million! My country's population is 17 million. Nossa!
No wonder half the time of this flight…
…is spent above this mass…
…that from the sky looks like mold…
…covering the country.
At long last…
…I can see the familiar green shape of Tieté river reserve…
…and the Ayrton Senna highway, which are…
…directly south of Guarulhos…
…that is, the northern suburb of São Paulo, where the airport is located.
However, we are put in the hold…
…and go for a bonus tour with nice views of the country around São Paulo…
…such as this one of a dam called…
…Nazaré Paulista, just like the town on its left.
It's traversed by Rodovía Dom Pedro I.
Banking to the right again…
…I catch sight of Jaguarí dam…
…and the town of Igaratá (left)…
…and a myriad…
…that I am unable…
…to locate on a map.
The only thing I know…
…is that we are…
…starting to descend…
…which means that…
…we we'll be landing…
The only surprise comes…
…only as I'm writing these lines…
…because I didn't realize until now…
…that we are landing from east to west.
This explains why it took me ages to locate Mario Covas highway on the map.
We fly parallel to Rodovía…
Gee. Never saw so many of these together.
GRU has only two…
…though it has…
An interesting green livery over there.
Hm! "Sideral". Some googling reveals that PR-IOC, a B727, was born in 1982. Its first owner was US Air, and that this green livery corresponds to now defunct Rio Linhas Aéreas. Only the word Rio was deleted.
Arriving at terminal 2…
…which serves mostly the domestic flights.
Guarulhos is the most important South American hub, in case you didn’t know. BTW, Etihad will soon start flying to SCL from Dubai with a stopover here.
Pulling into our gate.
Disembarking takes a very long time, and being at the very rear…
…I have all the time in the world…
…to watch out my window…
…while the next flight is being prepared…
…including the cleaning staff, who start sweeping the aisle right next to my feet while I’m waiting for my turn to get off!
View of my seat. Quick, lest I am put in a trash bag!
The cabin behind me.
No signs of my group.
PR-MHB at the gate.
Where the heck…
…has everyone gone?!
Well, this wouldn’t be the first time I get lost from the group. Let’s keep taking photos. Avianca’s old and new livery.
Elderly PR-IOC. Poor 41-year-old thing. How many human years equal an aircraft year? XD
Yep. Definitely, they wanted to get rid of me. I can’t see the kids or the parents anywhere.
At baggage claim, perhaps?
And here we are again, this time waiting for our flight back home.
That door looks so inviting. How about getting lost in the humongous city we saw from the air? Brrrr… I could never find my way back.
Thanks for reading! :D
Florianópolis - FLN
Sao Paulo - GRU
FLN Impressive amount of shops and services in a small space. Cramped waiting room. recently taken over by new concession's holder Flughafen Zürich. We should see big improvements soon.
GRU Big, well kept main hub. A bit labyrinthine, though. Read signage carefully.
LATAM Bitching about me using screenshots in my reports, and now you don't have guava biscuits?! You have a serious PR problem, LATAM!! >:(
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