I don’t know for you, but when I go to the beach, I just take my swimsuit, a sarong and my camera. Okay, maybe some money too, my keys and cigarettes. I used to bring a few magazines as well, but now I have my own entertainment system—Mark…—so there’s no way I can focus on the intricacies of a good thriller.
And that’s usually all I need for my beach experience, a straightforward affair that predictably involves swimming, sunbathing and walking from one end of the beach to the other.
I’ve never considered eating an entire roasted chicken, drinking cocktails (that’s what bars are for right?), blasting music on loudspeakers or buying a new bikini right on the beach.
Clearly, I’m not Brazilian.
Brazilian come to the beach early with their whole family, newborn and grandparents included. They rent a chair, sit and camp there. They don’t even move at high tide—I’ve seen families happily half-submerged in water who just keep on eating and drinking.
Why would they move? All they need, from swimwear to a full meal, is within easy reach.
This is a non-exhaustive list of what you can buy from food cart on a Brazilian beach:
- Pastéis (deep-fried pastries typically filled with chicken, minced beef or cheese and feitos na hora, i.e. made to order)
- Milho verde (boiled corn)
- Açaí na tigela (frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit served in a bowl and topped with banana slices and granola)
- Choripán (a chorizo/grilled sausage sandwich made to order)
- Burger and fries
- Grilled chicken, pork chops, beef or fish
- Cocktails (capirinha with vodka is a top seller, batidas are also popular, it’s made with cachaça, fruit juice, and sugar)
- Cerveja (beer)
- Sucos (made-to-order fruit juice)
- Caldo de cana (sugarcane juice)
- Agua de coco (coconut water)
- Inflatable beach toys
- Henna tattoos
- Selfie sticks
- Waterproof pouches for your camera
- Pirate boat sailing adventures (Brazilians are a bit obsessed with pirates)
- Fish sold by fishermen… oh, wait, that’s actually normal, I was almost forgetting we were on a freaking beach.
We only went to Praia de Canasvieiras because it was a hot and stormy day and that our favourite beaches on Ilha de Santa Catarina are best enjoyed when it won’t pour. Canasvieiras is kind of dirty, very noisy, completely packed and there are almost no waves so it feels like you’re at the swimming pool. There’s almost no sand either, especially at high tide. I never understood why it’s so popular with tourists when there are much nicer beaches nearby.
However, it’s a very entertaining place if you’re into people watching. Can you spot the Argentinian tourists? Easy, they are the ones sipping mate, carrying their gourd and a thermos of hot water everywhere they go. Uruguayan tourists? Mate drinkers as well, but a quieter version of Argentinians.
I made it to the end of the beach and back before it started to rain.