So I live here in the most beautiful of places, right next to the beach.
What do I almost never do?
Go to the beach.
I look at it, I walk next to it, I listen to it’s soothing wave sounds and I take photos of it.
But I almost never put on my (tiny) bathing suit, lay in the sand and swim in the water.
Time to remedy that.
I have a new friend here. She contacted me through Facebook when I was back in Houston last time to let me know that she lives here in my town. She’s from Switzerland and moved here about a year ago with her Brazilian husband, and she speaks English, (along with five other languages. That is so impressive.) and would I like to get together for a coffee or something when I get back to town?
I got back about six weeks ago, met her at the yoga school where we now both take classes, and became fast friends. It’s been SO nice to have a friend like this and I’m feeling very lucky.
Anyway, we decided to head to the beach and pretend we were tourists on vacation. This beach is about a twenty minute walk from my apartment. Thirty if you stroll slowly and enjoy the scenery, which we did.
The walk means broken sidewalks, the wooden bridge over the river, and a long dirt road. All of it with a very South American charm (meaning slightly broken and shabby but beautiful).
We pass the fishing boats and houses behind high walls, and finally reach our destination. Praia da Joana.
It’s a small cove of a place, with an island just off the beach which serves to break the big waves. The water is perfectly cool. Not too cold to swim in, but cold enough to feel so good after baking in the sun for several hours.
We stayed for about four hours. We talked, we watched the adorable baby next to us play in his little pool, we swam, we talked some more. All while laying in the sunshine. I made sure to load myself up with SPF 30 before I even left the house. My white gringa skin can’t take four hours of sun without it.
We walked up to the little restaurant/bar and ordered some lunch and a soda. If you look close below you can see Katja making her way back to our spot with our food.
Bolinhos de aipim with shrimp, and a guarana. They were much bigger than I thought they would be. Should have only ordered one, but I ate both of mine anyway. They’re just too good not to.
I love this beach. It’s a little bit hard to get to, so it’s almost never crowded. I’ve heard from friends that it is the favorite beach of the people who live here and I can see why.
We swam some more, and talked some more, and moved into the shade after a while.
Then we made our way home slowly along the same dirt road where we saw these very cool flowers. I’ve never seen them before, so I don’t know what they are, but look how pretty!
We cut through a gated neighborhood on the way back. Probably illegally, but what the heck. A random guy on the street told us we could go through, so we did.
And we tried to make friends with this gorgeous cat who was hanging out in the trash basket. He wanted nothing to do with us though, and took off as soon as we got close. How rude.
Why don’t I do this more often? Go hang out on the beach? I don’t know.
Part of it is that it’s normally just me. I feel a bit self conscious going by myself. It’s a lot more fun with a friend. Imma drag B down there on the weekends more often though. Every time we do it, we’re glad afterwards.
I’m so happy to have this new friendship. We’ve both been saying the same thing, but as it turns out things will be changing. Katja is going back to Switzerland soon, and I’ll be going back to Houston in two months. I will be returning, but she won’t be.
Luckily, we’ll stay friends and we’ve already promised to come crash on her couch when we’re traveling in the next few years and make our way to Europe. Be careful what you offer my friends, if you say we can come visit you, we will come visit you and invade your couch space.
I learned two things during this day at the beach.
One – Do it more often!
Two – Use minimum SPF 50 on your white gringo ass. I’m now sporting a raging sunburn with a tiny little white triangle on the part the tiny little bikini covers.