Dear Diary...

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April 27th 2012
Published: April 27th 2012
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A return trip!

Itacare - Ilheus - Itacare

Good morning Itacare!!Good morning Itacare!!Good morning Itacare!!

This is what I arrive to at the beach each morning...
Dear Diary,

I’m sorry for not writing to you in such a long time. You’ve been on my mind, I swear! I just have a special talent of procrastination – even over here I cannot shake it!!

So after being in Itacare for 6 weeks now, I have discovered it is definitely a unique place and I am finding out the more I stay here, the people in this town are quite unique along with it!

Last week I made a 6hr round-trip to the closest ‘big town’ Ilheus and extended my visa with the Federal Police. Considering my (very!) basic Portuguese I think I did quite well and now have another stamp in my passport for another 3 months - YAY! All done on day 89 of a 90 day visa! Lucky for me I didn’t have to go far from the bus terminal and it was only a 5 minute walk past the prison to the Federal Police’s headquarters. There was some creepy guy though sitting in a flash car on the other side of the road, watching all the ladies visit (what I can only assume was their boyfriend/husband in the lock up) and he called me over to his car. Lucky my mummy taught me well as a child and I took the advice of “Don’t talk to strangers” very strongly here and proceeded to pick up the pace just a little!

Music is such a vital part of the Brazilian culture and especially here in Bahia, it seems unusually weird if you don’t have 3 different genres of music playing at once. People walk down the street carry their mobile phones with songs blasting from the speakers (that means no headphones people!). Can you just imagine doing that in Sydney!?! You would be abused from all corners of the street and people would be tempted to belt you up with their iPads (and umbrellas according to rumours of what this summer’s weather pattern was like!). I’ve even started asking for people to play some music at breakfast as it seems too quiet to just listen to people talk… A few days ago I came home from an early morning beach run, only to hear “Men at Work” being blasted from the stereo of our next door neighbour circa-7am (vivamúsica australiana!) The same man then continued to play a little Guns’n’Roses all day, followed by Beyonce’s “All the single ladies” well into the evening! And this was all just a regular Tuesday’s occurrence…

My sleeping patterns have been a little varied of late also as some nights I will sleep for 8hrs, and others I will only get 5hrs but will find myself sleeping post-breakfast on the hammock or laying parallel on the beach like a drunken Irishman the next day at Bondi! Speaking of sleep & hammocks, I took a little afternoon nap on the hammock last week and apparently I slept through the sound of a drill for the removal of bathroom tiles which was occurring less than 3 metres away from my head. Point-and-case. The others in the hostel laughed profusely at me – and so it seems as I have become use to just about everything now!

Another interesting daily sight is the walking of the bird-cages of a morning around the town! People take their canaries and budgies for walks in their cages, holding them proudly above their shoulder for all the world to see – or is it for the bird to see the world? I suppose it’s just like taking your dog for a walk, right? Every animal needs a bit of fresh air once in a while…

In addition to my daily beach runs pre-breakfast, I am now swimming solo for an hour every day from the 1st beach (Resende) to the 4th beach (Ribera) and back, twice. I’m estimating this at about 5kms based on time taken plus the current strength?? Who knows (or cares!) but it feels great to be finally in the water again! I’m not a fast swimmer, but I’ve found I’m strong enough to get myself out of a few strong currents which have run down the beaches over the past week (thanks Coach for all the Bondi sessions). I do have a confession to make though. I have daily panic attacks in my head whilst swimming between the 3rd & 4th beach around the rocks because of sharks. I have been told over and over again that there are no sharks here, which is great to know. But coming from Australia and swimming in Sydney where some mornings you could would swim straight over the top of one at Bondi (Tils – I am thinking of you girl!) it is a fear which you can never quite get out of your head! But I figured if one comes and takes a bite, I’m going down fighting – and laughing at the irony that the Australian gringo was the one the ONLY shark went for after the thousands of people surf these beaches each year. Besides, the worst sharks here are on the beach - not in the water...

NB: A special note as when it came to ocean swims at home first thing in the morning, I was the one in the pool NEXT to the beach at the crack of dawn and left the crazy shark bait swimmers to fend in Bondi for themselves until after 9am when it was safe enough for me to venture in. Cudos to you guys! 😊

Buying a surfboard is still on the agenda, but it’s going to cost me a 7hr one way trip to Salvador to do so as the cost vs. quality around here is not worth paying for. After this I’d like to head up to Jericoacoara on the Brazilian Far North Coast to catch up with a couple of newfound friends and have some fun – both in the water and in the bars! Not sure when this will be just yet, but it’s the closest thing I’ve had to a ‘plan’ in many months…

Today, I am also celebrating my 6 month unemployment day! And it’s a good feeling…

Signing off until next time.

Peace & love.

Cas. xxooxx.

On a side note:

You know you’ve been in Brazil too long when…

- You are buying a new bikini because the Brazilian bikini you brought when you first entered the country is now thought of as “too big” and you’re opting for one with a smaller cut. I’ve learnt no matter what your arse looks like, it’s Brazil – no one cares! ;o)



Additional photos below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 26


Resende BeachResende Beach
Resende Beach

My deserted running beach for an hour each morning
Lone SurferLone Surfer
Lone Surfer

Dan finally made it out for a pre-6am surf
Pre-run @ 5:45amPre-run @ 5:45am
Pre-run @ 5:45am

Still waking you can tell from the 'almond shaped eyes' *This shot did not turn out how it was meant to!*
Tough DayTough Day
Tough Day

Post swim I found these guys at Tiririca drinking a midday beer - how could I refuse!?

Bella coming off the tight-rope ever so gracefully

Fernanda at the half-way point...

Looking the part......but not quite!

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