Ilhabela, SP, Brasil
Posted Jueves 3 julio 2008on:
I have to admit that I’ve been dragging to write this post. Somehow writing this last story about my Brazilian trip meant that it was really part of the past. As if not admitting it to myself would keep it more alive in my memory, but I was fooling myself and in fact probably the opposite will happen if I don’t write now, one month after: I will forget the most beautiful subtleties, the details, the smell of the sea, the earth, the humidity of the forest.
South of Ilhabela, viewed from the ferry boat that crosses the channel from São Sebastião to Ilhabela (free access for pedestrians and bicycles).
In our last week, we decided to go camp at a beach not accessible to cars. From the ferry boat that arrives to Ilhabela (en), we took the bus that goes south along the coast until the end of the road, then we had to walk during 5 hours through the forest, always along the coast, on a trail that starts quite large and becomes narrow and chaotic. Hiking on our way there, the first day, wasn’t very fun because we weren’t sure of how long it would take us to get at out destination. We wanted to find the campsite before nightfall (it starts getting dark around 17:00 in winter).
The walk seemed to last forever up and down the hills, me tired twitching my ankles many times (it’s a theme when I’m tired). We were in the forest and I could even stop watching the trees! I’m sure I missed many interesting animals. 😐 Walking along the coast, we couldn’t even see the sea (too many trees). 😦
BUT suddenly after a hill turn, I knew we couldn’t be far anymore; I smelled it in the air. Difficult to describe: it’s the perfume of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing against the coast.
Then we saw it. We saw praia Bonete, the beach that, we had heard of, was hard to access, and that we therefore imagined pretty wild… was NOT.
There was a village there. Not just fishermen who are poor but have some kind of craft, or poor but welcoming to tourists. No.
People so poor that can’t find paint to cover their walls, but somehow can afford a mega satellite dish to watch TV. 😕
Beside every shack we could see some ugly thing like that:
I don’t quite understand.
In addition the people weren’t friendly. I mean, considering that most Brazilians are over-friendly, we felt that this people didn’t want to be bothered with tourists during the low-season. We ended up putting our tents in a “camping” that was in fact the backyard of a family… with hens and stray dogs.
OMG, the stay dogs. They were all healthy, they had perfect teeth and didn’t look skinny at all, but they have a serious problem with dogs in praia Bonete. They seriously should have a campaign to neuter them all, because when night falls and campers are trying to sleep, all you can hear are those dogs running after each other, barking and fighting for a female.
Besides that, the place was quite beautiful, but as D and his brother told me: there are tons of beautiful beaches in Brazil. This was just one of them.
The beach is well known among surfers. We don’t surf, but we had fun hours on end jumping in the waves. 🙂
Happily, after three days of swimming, jumping in the wave and getting eaten up by borrachudos (nasty tiny flies that bite feet and ankles and leave red dots the size of a mosquito bite… Mine continued to itch 3 weeks after!), we had a whole day in front of us to enjoy our way back.
And enjoy it we did. We had so much fun taking time to walk watching everything and taking lots of pictures, that time flew by, even after having not slept nor eaten well for a couple of days.
I loved going hiking/camping/swimming surrounded by nature, far from civilization (almost). It reminded me some camping in the wild I did as a kid with my parents in the Spanish Pyrenees mountains.
We’ll do that again, but not at the praia Bonete!