The hardest it is to get to a spot, the more likely you’ll enjoy it. It feels like a precious, unique experience, you’re mentally set to appreciate it.
And sometimes, you do stumble upon a true gem.
South of Ilha de Santa Catarina is Armação, a cute village with an equally cute little beach and plenty of picturesque fishing boats. Praia da Armação was still quiet when we arrived—… at 2 p.m., I’m guessing Brazilians were still finishing their beloved lunch!—so I went to explore Praia do Caldeirão, starting a few metres north. The beach isn’t that long but my feet were sinking deep in the coarse sand all the way and it was exhausting. Other than that, it was a fun, lonely walk and I found a few giant seashells.
By the time I came back to Praia da Armação, it was packed, so we decided to hike to the other two beaches just across the hill.
We didn’t need a trail map, we just have to follow the flow of people going back and forth between the three beaches. First, you have to cross a drainage canal—water was pretty clean, it sounds worst than it is—then you take a wooden bridge along the coast or walk on mostly flat rocks up the hill to get to the one-kilometre-long Praia do Matadeiro.
At the end of the beach, another trail leads to Praia da Lagoinha Leste, a secluded beach inside a park and surrounded by hills and mountains.
Brazilians seems to be born with the ability to climb smooth, sand-covered rocks completely blinded by the sun, wearing Havaianas flip-flops, and holding a can beer. I definitely don’t have this skill but hey, it was worth it, great spot, very different from the rest of the island. For some reason, it reminded me of a South-East Asia beach where lush hills meet the sea.
At the end of the day, we hiked back to Praia da Armação. Suddenly, I noticed several boats rushing to the shore, the fishermen looking up at the sky.
I looked up as well and I saw it—a giant black cloud moving fast towards us. How did we even miss it?
“Quick, it’s gonna pour!”
The beach emptied out in a matter of seconds. We all hurried to our respective parking lots, a few hundreds metres from the seashore.
Some made it, others didn’t.
We didn’t and got soaked.
“Gee, how do people manage to have sex in a car?” I mumbled as I was trying to take my swimsuit off and change into my dry shorts and t-shirt on the passenger seat.
Leaving the beach at the right time—another Brazilian skill I don’t master…