A thunderstorm had drenched Paraty the night before, the kind that leaves streets completely flooded. Well, mind you, some streets routinely flood at high tide in below-sea-level Paraty, but this time even streets that shouldn’t flood had filled with lukewarm rainwater.

It was raining again the next morning and my sandals were still wet. I hesitated for a second—should I go to Trinidade as planned? It was basically my only chance.

Trinidade is where you’ll find decent beaches. It’s not even a dot on the map, a village in the jungle, a small hippie community just 25 kilometres away. I had spent two days wandering around Paraty, I had two days left. As a rule, I always take it easy on my last day. This is not the time to go somewhere far or make last-minute decision because you can be sure you’ll miss the bus or something will unexpectedly go wrong just before leaving.

So yeah, Trinidade was a now-or-never opportunity.

I walked to the terminal and found the right bus right away. I guess it was meant to be.

We went uphill, downhill, uphill and downhill again on a narrow, twisty road through the jungle, cut off from the world—no signal here and you could tell because all the passengers were impatiently tapping on their phone.

Finally, forty minutes later, the bus turned into what had to be Trinidade’s main street.

I didn’t need a sarong, dreadlocks or incense so I went straight to the closest beach, Praia do Rancho. The atmosphere was eerie. It was steamy hot, 100% humidity, no wind, a steady light rain.

Then I had the brilliant idea to explore the Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina—I had spotted the entrance just behind the parking lot. I asked a couple of locals for info, just to make sure I could handle a wilder part of this wild corner of Brazil. “The trails are pretty short!” I checked the signs—800 metres, 1300 metres… yeah, short trails. Perfect.

Except there’s a difference between a one-kilometre stroll on a sidewalk and a one-kilometre walk through the jungle on a narrow, slippery dirt trail where you have to hold on to mysterious plants to keep your balance. The family I was accidentally following also found it challenging. No shit.

We ended up on Praia do Meio, then I took another trail to the Piscinas naturais do cachadaço because… well, because it sounded like the top local attraction.

Ever heard of the fascinated and unsolved mystery of the two Dutch hikers in Panama? The two young women went hiking in Boquete and never returned. Their camera was recovered full of strange pictures. Their phone as well, with 77 calls to emergency services in four days.

I checked my phone. No signal. Mmmm… I checked my camera. My last pictures weren’t too mysterious, phew.

I eventually made it to the “piscinas” and I first, I couldn’t see the big deal—just calm waters and a few rocks, but a few Brazilians already enjoying the place seemed super excited. I stepped into the water and… holy shit, fishes everywhere! Okay, that was pretty cool.

But it was also starting to rain pretty hard and I still had to hike back.

By the time I made it to the final beach, I was soaked and I just wanted to go back to Paraty. I jumped on the first minivan with the sign “Paraty.”

I turned my camera on at one point during the trip to check the day’s pictures, but it was apparently frozen. I shrugged it off. I got it, buddy, I was shutting off myself. Being constantly wet is pretty uncomfortable after a few hours, even when it’s hot and you’re wearing a swimsuit. I was sticky from the salt, my feet were black from the mud—I tried the trail with and without sandals—,my hands and legs scratched from mysterious jungle plants, hopefully none of them deadly.

My DSLR still wouldn’t turn on at the Airbnb. It wasn’t wet or damaged, so I figured the battery was dead. I charged it. Still nothing. The memory card was fine. I uploaded all pictures including the last ones to my computer then I started to freak out.

I’ve fixed a lot of things on the road—clogged toilets, broken stoves, bruises and scratches, issues. I even sew a Winnipeg Jet patch on Feng’s backpack once, somewhere in Ecuador. But fixing a DSLR was way too ambitious. I didn’t even have a screwdriver.

At one point I was able to turn it on and I got the “ERR” message. Error. Yeah, thanks for the tip.

Long story short—I’ll spare you all the steps and sleepless nights—my DSLR is dead. It committed suicide in Trinidade.

“Just enjoy the beach and relax,” Feng advised, killing my fantasy of him and Mark jumping on a next flight to Brazil to bring me my old DSLR and travel with me.

There’s absolutely no chance I’ll find a camera shop in this last leg of the trip.

Nikon is probably not reading this and FedExing me a new camera free of charge because my pictures are essential to world peace (we don’t even have¸world peace…).

I guess I have to learn how to take selfies and pictures with my phone for the rest of the trip.

Caramba!

Paraty to Trinidade, Rodovia Rio-Santos
Paraty to Trinidade, Rodovia Rio-Santos
Paraty to Trinidade, Rodovia Rio-Santos
Paraty to Trinidade, Rodovia Rio-Santos
Trinidade, RJ
Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Rancho, Trinidade, RJ
Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Meio, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Meio, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Praia do Cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trail to Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Piscinas naturais do cachadaço, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Trinidade, RJ
Trying to dry my sandals...
Trying to dry my sandals…

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