The dunes

By Rob Packer

The island city of Florianópolis—a Ilha da Magia in local tourist brochures—is known throughout the Southern Cone for having over 40 sandy beaches along its Phuket-sized coastline. One of the most beautiful parts of the island, though, are the kilometres of dunes between Joaquina, one of the island’s surfing beaches, and the Lagoa da Conceição, a lagoon on the east side of the island.

The first proper view of the dunes coming from Lagoa.

A small pond hidden by the dunes.

Yesterday we spent a couple of hours walking across the dunes and traipsing through the swampy wetlands where colonies of plants, birds and fish have begun to colonise the sand. It seems you might get lost in the swamp within sight of crowds of people sandboarding the dunes—we almost did—before arriving at Joaquina for a coco verde.

A sandboarder climbs to the top of one of the dunes.

Wind-blown patterns in the sand.

Light and dark in the contours of the dunes.

One of the most beautiful things about these dunes is the interplay between (relatively) barren sands and trees like this.

From close up, though, the dunes are full of plants, like these grass-like things.

The scale of the things.

Grass growing on the dunes.

More grassy dunes.

These are strange sand formations looking like fungi growing on a wall.

Another panorama across the dunes.

Expanses and expanses of sculpted sand.

Flowers in the "desert".

Strange cactus-like plants.

A completely different ecosystem around the corner.

Small lakes in the midst of the dunes.

Looking towards where the dunes restart.

Lakes and sandboarding dunes.

Just before arriving at Joaquina, we had this view out over the dunes we'd just walked across.

Joaquina, the end of the line.

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