La Barra Overview
First view of the hike
From the airport we arrived to our hostel, after transferring buses 3 times. Since Chloe hated the feeling of wasting a day traveling, she was adamant about having to get to the beach. So as soon as we checked in, we tossed our bags down and ran to the ocean, 5 minutes away. After an hour on the beach, Chloe´s travel anxiety was washed away and she was back to the smiling mermaid I knew. With the essential beach time out of the way, we headed to the market to pick up food for dinner. But as it was Sunday in a small beach community, there was only 1 market open with questionable meat and veggies. We picked out what we could and went back to the hostel, only to learn that we had to wait until 11 pm to start cooking, since the hostel staff prepared dinner for the majority of paying guests. As the dinner cost 25 reales ($13+) each, it was way over our budget. We could cook ourselves for $10 or less for both of us, and have leftovers. Bear in mind, that doesn´t allow for much variety, but between chicken stir frys, veggie loaded bolanese pasta,
She is smiling because no plants or bugs are attacking her!
hamburgers, salads and the occasional steak and potatoes, we stay content while eating big delicious portions. So once the kitchen was clear of staff, we began cooking a stir fry, and sat down to eat by ourselves by midnight.
The next morning as we got ready for the day, we learned that 1 bathroom is not nearly sufficient for 16 people. It would have probably been faster to walk over to the ocean for your morning pee. Once we were able to get ready we walked to a beach in a cove close to the hostel that we were told was really beautiful. Maybe because of the beaches we´d seen in the north or maybe because of the trash pocketed on the sides of the beach, but we were not impressed by the cove. We stuck around for a bit and played some paddle tennis but soon took off and walked a ways down the main beach of Barra da Lagoa, Moçambique. The day turned out to be a bit windy, but we found a point where the wind didn´t blow too much sand in our faces and posted up for a couple hours. After the beach, we repeated
south of the island by moto
the previous evening´s plan with the addition of stopping at a bakery to grab me an empanada, as I am known to get a bit edgy when I´m hungry and waiting until 11 pm to start cooking just didn´t cut it. So after a snack, some beers, and the free caipirinha we got from the hostel every evening, I was content on having another late dinner.
Our third day in Floripa we decided to hike over the hill that the hostel was on to get to another set of beaches. As we began the hike, we could tell that the trail was not maintained very well as the vegetation was somewhat overgrown so that we had to scuffle through bushes or push aside large prickly weeds and branches. The trail was plainly visible through the overgrowth so we mustered on. At a point, even though the views and some of the vegetation reminded us of California coastline, Chloe began to have an issue with all the bushes and plants that brushed us along the way. She was certain some animal or spine from a plant was going to attack her and give her some foreign disease or harsh reaction.
Her spastic movements to shoe away the imaginative bugs and fast walk had become somewhat hilarious (to me at least) so I filmed her as I followed her blazing the path. Please, watch the viedo and you will understand. The poor girl, I hae no idea how we are going to make it throuh the Amazon...By some miracle, we braved the dry coastal forest and arrived to the beach safely and unbitten in an hour and a half. This beach was nudist friendly, so we had the pleasure to watch a number of big belly hairy old men swing their things acout proudly. Why is it that all nudist beaches are the same? Although the beach location was beautiful, the old men and wind made it unappealable so we continued walking, crossing over a small crest to the surfer beach, Mole. Here we posted up and took in the sun and breeze comfortably for a few hours before making our way to the center of Barra da Lagoa to take out money and check out the small town. Before too long we caught the bus back to our end of the island to enjoy a free caipirinha from the hostel
and repeat the late night dinner process.
The next day we decided to rent a motor scooter and drive to the south of the island where the supposed best beaches were. Chloe was very nervous and extremely unsure of my capability to drive the 100cc bike safely. I did my best to resassure her by telling her that I drove one in Ibiza a couple of years ago like a champ so I´d be a natural, but I don´t know how well she took that. To myself I quickly tried to remember the feeling and to learn the specific buttons and switches on the scooter. I´m not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous, especially with the lack of confidence Chloe kept imparting on me. But before too long we were on the road and the feeling came right back; they make those things super easy to ride. However, as we were riding out of Barra da Lagoa along the cobblestone street the bike started beeping loudly and constantly, making me think it was in serious need of oil or repair. After pulling over, we realized it was just the alarm going off; I guess we didn´t unlock the
scooter properly before turning it on. Now that we knew the motor wasn´t going to blow up we rode on, cruising the two lane highway at 75 km/hr, slowing every kilometer for huge speed bumps. With every curve or speed bump Chloe would nervously tap me on the shoulder and tell me to slow down. I did my best to ease her constant concern, and after 45 minutes we arrived to our destination at the south of the island. To get to the beach, we had to cross a small channel of water and walked along a weaving path a short distance. I feel as though we spoiled ourselves with the incredible beaches in the north of Brazil, because although these beaches were nice in their own right, they had nothing on what we´d seen in the north. The heat was just as intense though, and my skin told me I´d seen enough sun in the last month to last the rest of the year so after soaking up a few hours of beach time, we walked back to the moto. Chloe was much calmer and trusting in my ability on the ride back, making the experience much more pleasant
Before heading back to Barra da Lagoa, we stopped at Campeche beach to try and meet up with Chloe´s old roommate from Barcelona, Rafa. For some reason, when Chloe and he set up a place to meet the night before, Rafa picked one of the longest beaches on the island. Once we found a parking space we began walking along the windy beach searching for Rafa. After a short while, we reaslized it was going to be pointless to try and scour the huge beach, especially as it was approaching sundown. Since Rafa didn´t have a cell phone, we couldn´t even use a public phone to try and get ahold of him, so we walked back to the moto and rode back. On the way, we were flagged to pull over at a roadside police checkpoint. The policeman asked for our papers to which I replied in my best Portuñol that we never received any. As we emptied out the storage under the seat, I found no papers and wondered why we weren´t given anything when we rented the scooter. Even after explaining that it was a rental, he wasn´t lenient, saying there always have to be
papers with every vehicle. Not knowing what to do, we seached the compartment again, and this time the cop pointed out a small red case, inside which we found the registration papers we needed. After a look, the cop told us we could go but next time to find the papers before we rented a vehicle since they would have impounded the scooter if the papers couldn´t have been located. So now that we had avoided the impound or fines, we decided to stop at the sister hostel to ours for a drink. The hostel was perched on top of a hilll that overlooked Lagoa da Conceição, a big lake in the middle of the island. From here we sipped on a drink while watching the sun set over the lake. It wasn´t spectacular, but it was nice to watch the sunset over water, since obviously in Brazil the sun sets the opposite direction of the coast. After a drink we rode on to our hostel, enjoying the colors in the sky as we finished off a great day.
The next morning as we got our stuff together and headed to breakfast at the hostel, in the reception we
Sunset from the hostel
found Rafa waiting for us! After explaining the confusion of trying to find him the previous day, we all went to the beach close by. As Chloe and he chatted it up, I used the skimboard from the hostel and played around for the few hours in the water before we had to catch our bus. It was great to see Rafa; he was still all ¨positive vibrations¨ like always. We said goodbye and headed to a spot that sold açai, as we had not tried it yet and it was a trademark of Brazil. What we got was not what we expected. It was a huge bowl of various berries, most importantly açai, and granola, all blended together and served ice cold. We got pretty filled up, then waited for our transfer to the bus terminal, where we caught a long 22 hour overnight bus to Iguassu Falls, one of the new natural wonders of the world!
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