“So after the beach we go more beach?”
Yes, Mark. That’s the concept. Hey, we are on an island, after all.
For our last day in Ilha de Santa Catarina, we picked Praia dos Ingleses, in the North of the island. I had understood by then that beaches around the island come in two kinds: the crowded narrow strip of sand with shallow water and the long deserted beaches. I’m not sure why people congregate here or there, favour this or that patch of sand—much like I rarely understand why such and such brand, restaurant or trend is so popular.
Praia dos Ingleses was the narrow-strip-of-sand-with-plenty-of-people-on-it kind. Fine by me, the atmosphere was friendly and we had two beaches almost to ourselves the day before. I spotted a sand dune in the distance and before I even said anything, Feng sighed. “Yes, you can go walk to the dune, Juliette…” From a urban explorer, I turned into a beach explorer.
So I started to walk along the beach, dodging Brazilian kids playing football, parents drinking beer and vendors pushing their cart. Closer to the sand dune, the beach was quieter. There were several wooden boats on the sand, much more on the water. Fishermen.
I spotted people on top of the dune. Cool, climbing allowed! From up there, the scenery was amazing. The water on one side, more sand dunes and lush mountains on the other.
I walked back, excited, and encouraged Feng and Mark to go as well. Then we got sidetracked. I bought Feng a donut, I bought Mark a swim buoy, I went for a swim with Mark and the buoy, I went for a swim much further with Mark on my back…
By the time we were ready to check out the sand dune, it was raining. Meh. A bit of rain doesn’t matter when you’re already wet, right?
Well, it kind of does when it’s pouring like it was when we reached the bottom of the dune. We took shelter in one of the fishermen’s shack and eventually climbed the dune under the rain.
It didn’t stop raining and it was late anyway so we ended up in a mall, then I spent the evening walking around Floripa alone, one last time. Traffic was horrendous, there were fender-benders at every street corner and I was soaked but I didn’t care. I felt free and confident. Exploring cities and getting to know them is very empowering. Finding my way around a place I didn’t know just a few days earlier, enjoying the delicacies and avoiding the traps makes me feel good. Knowledge is power, right?
When I came back to the hotel, Mark was watching The Minions on the tablet and Feng was listening to U2 live somewhere in the world. As usual, we had a lot to do and there were not enough hours left to do them all.
Next stop, final destination… la cidade maravilhosa.