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How to Conquer Huge Sand Dunes (and Get Sand Everywhere)

Oh my God, the traffic.

We got stuck as soon as we crossed the bridge. I checked Google Maps—yep, a thick red line and many delays all the way to pretty much any beach.

Oh well. We had been lucky so far, reaching the beach of the day in twenty, thirty or forty-five minutes top, which is normal considering the size of the island. Santa Catarina is usually packed with tourists, mostly from Argentina, but we saw very few of them this year. Maybe the high season hadn’t started between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, two holidays people tend to spend at home with their loved ones.

No República Argentina licence plates around us but hundreds of Brazilians from Florianópolis and beyond hoping to spend a very hot and sunny Saturday at the beach.

We eventually reached Praia do Santinho almost 90 minutes later. The goal was to walk to the end of the beach and cross the massive dunes, take a dip at Praia dos Ingleses who is hiding behind, and cross back to Santinho.

These dunes are huge and it was a windy day so sand was flying everywhere. It felt like the dunes were being reshaped as we were walking—a new peak that wasn’t here two minutes ago, a flat surface that was a crest a moment earlier, our footsteps always instantly erased.

We made it to the other side covered with sand.

I went to climb the hill overlooking the beach while Mark was taking a dip. Right there, at the very top, I grabbed my phone to text Feng and I discovered the WhatsApp message my mum had just left. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Mamie’s funerals were over. She had sent a couple of pics of the coffin covered with rose petals—I had asked for the pictures, I needed to see them to process the fact she was gone.

“Not a bad place for a minute of silence”, I texted back.

Not a bad place for a quick cry either.

By the time we crossed back, the sky was cloudy, the sun was slowly setting, and the main road was completely jammed. It took almost two hours to reach Florianópolis—in fact, I had the time to get out of the car, walk to Ingleses, shop in town, and Feng picked me up when he finally reached the main road!

Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia dos Açores, llha de Santa Catarina
Praia dos Açores, llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Ingleses Sul, Florianópolis - State of Santa Catarina
Ingleses Sul, Florianópolis – State of Santa Catarina
Ingleses Sul, Florianópolis - State of Santa Catarina
Ingleses Sul, Florianópolis – State of Santa Catarina
Ingleses Sul, Florianópolis - State of Santa Catarina
Ingleses Sul, Florianópolis – State of Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Dunas do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
Praia do Santinho, Ilha llha de Santa Catarina
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Zhu

French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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