The Fascinating Life of Brazilians (And Possibly, Argentinian Tourists) At the Beach

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On Santa Catarina Island, I resumed favourite activity #52—walking from one end of the beach to the other (works best when the beach is more than 10-metre long).

It’s not as boring and useless as it sounds. First, it’s relaxing, second, observing Brazilians at the beach is entertaining.

See, Brazilians typically pick a spot and camp there. So does any beachgoer, you may argue. I’m the only idiot who walks on a beach. Sure, but have you ever seen people having a full lunch right there on the sand? How common is it to carry three coolers full of ice and beer with you? How many people bring an inflatable bed to the beach? See what I mean? Brazilians are entirely dedicated to their beach experience.

They are so committed that once they’re set up, they don’t fucking move. Like, ever. Obviously, on a beach, at one point the tide comes up. And what do Brazilians do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They stand there—or rather, sit there—stoically as if this was a battle they could win.

They don’t win over water. Bags get wet, waves reach the cooler, sand castles are destroyed, Havaianas are lost in the water and they still don’t move, not even a metre up. I’ve seen an eighty-year-old woman sitting on a chair half-immersed in water and no, she wasn’t begging for help and it didn’t feel like a pathetic attempt to get rid of grandma for good.

If the tide is low enough, they do stand up to play with a ball. Brazilians always carry a ball with them, that’s why they win World Cup finals. Typically, three of four people form a circle and they kick the ball around using their feet, legs, hands, body, head. It’s fascinating to watch because they are really good, even absentmindedly, holding a can of beer and watching the kids.

Second most popular activity is building sand castles (fairly standard beach fun here), followed by taking selfies, listening to music (no headset, preferably a boombox) and ordering food.

Ordering food?

Well, yes. When there’s a need, there’s a market. You can buy almost everything on the beach, thanks to dozens of vendors who push their cart back and forth or just pick a spot and wait for customers to come.

On a Brazilian beach you can buy:

  • Churros filled with doce de leite or chocolate
  • Popcorn
  • Hot dogs
  • Burgers
  • Shrimp skewers
  • Entire roasted chickens
  • Queijo coalho (cheese cooked over a portable charcoal grill)
  • Milho verde (boiled corn)
  • Ice cream
  • Bowls of açaí
  • Empadas
  • Coffee
  • Cocktails (capirinha included, of course)
  • Fresh juice
  • Bikinis
  • Portable speakers

And this is why you can see people, feet in the water, eating chicken or hot dogs, which is funny to me because I don’t associate this food with typical beach food.

Final observation: it’s easy to tell a Brazilian from an Argentinian tourist on the beach—the later drinks mate, is usually three shades whiter and women constantly adjust their new thong bikini because they aren’t used to it!

Praia do Campeche

Praia do Campeche

Praia dos Ingleses

Praia dos Ingleses

Praia dos Ingleses

Praia dos Ingleses

Praia dos Ingleses

Praia dos Ingleses, barbecue cheese vendor

Praia dos Ingleses, cocktails and drinks cart

Praia dos Ingleses, cocktails and drinks cart

Praia dos Ingleses, the tide is coming in but hey, why move?

Praia dos Ingleses, the tide is coming in but hey, why move?

Praia dos Ingleses, foods and drinks available

Praia dos Ingleses, one of the many tents on the beach

Praia Moçambique, donuts and coffee on the beach

Praia Moçambique, donuts and coffee on the beach

Praia Moçambique, donuts and coffee on the beach

Praia Moçambique, donuts and coffee on the beach

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras, cocktails, coco water and drinks

Praia de Canasvieras, shrimp skewers and hot dogs

Praia de Canasvieras, shrimp skewers and hot dogs

Praia de Canasvieras, boiled corn

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras, churros

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras

Praia de Canasvieras

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

4 Comments

  1. I’m currently living in Aspen, but I’m from Florianópolis and it’s nice to hear from an outside how things are there. You really described Floripa and made me homesick.
    I suggest you visit Praia da Guarda do Embaú it’s in the continent and it’s less than an hour drive from Floripa. It’s beautiful and quiet and very chilling place, you gonna love it.

    • Thank you for your suggestion! I appreciate it, there are so many places to explore we don’t know about!

      Now I’m curious about you: what brought you to Aspen?

      I always wonder what it feels like to read a foreigner describing your hometown. I read blogs of expats in France but for one, none live in the place where I grew up. I’m sorry I made you feel homesick, though :-/ I know that feeling well.

  2. OMG I love the beach! And when we go to the lake with my inlaws we always end up bringing chairs, coolers, towels and what feels like enough for a family of 10 for the week. I just love getting a tranquil spot and chilling there aaaahhhh

    • You know what, that’s an experience I’ve never had: going to a lake to relax as if I was a the beach! I don’t know why, I’m kind of scared of still waters…

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