We had a map of the island and the keys of the rented car. The tough choice was to pick a beach. We decided on Praia Mole: we remembered it as a nice praia, if a bit crowded.
We drove through the city, through lush mountains, a tunnel and on the highway. “Mountains! No snow here.” No Mark, this is not the Andes, this is Brazil and it’s 37°C. We passed the Lagoa da Conceição, drove up and down one last hill… and we made it. Praia Mole, a fairly small stretch of sand of about one kilometer long. Blue sky, waves, yellow Cerveja Skol plastic tables and chairs and a crowd of people drinking, swimming, walking around, eating and having fun.
I love beaches.
The waves were a bit too strong to go for a proper swim but it was a great spot to just relax. At the far end of the beach, the atmosphere was very LGBT-friendly, with techno music blaring and couple taking selfies. Brazilian beaches in general are very inclusive: no matter what your body type is, you show it and no one will judge or stare. Past the rocks that everybody try to climb with more or less success (I’m guessing it depends on your blood alcohol level), there is a nude beach. We went there in 2009 but skipped it this time because I didn’t feel like having a long talk about penises and body hair with Mark.
The only downside of Praia Mole is the lack of a town, it’s just a beach spot without much going on around. And the traffic jams are awful all the way back to Floripa. Still worth it, though!