by Meredith Gilchrest

Well, now I can say that I love Brazil. Praia do Rosa is a place like I imagined Brazil would be in the best of my dreams. Friday we went first to Garopaba and stayed at Takako's friend's house. Incredibly beautiful house on the top of a cliff - right next to the mansion owned by the former Miss Brazil - and I loved every minute. Did a lot of hiking, and played with cows. Also went for an early morning run along the coastline. Nice time. Then on Saturday we went to some dunes - felt like being stuck in the middle of the desert! The dunes went on forever! And were REALLY steep. It took every bit of energy to climb them, and then we sand-boarded down. I went sitting down - was too scary to stand up, but some people didn't go down at all, so at least I showed my bravery. Then we went to this place called Praia do Rosa where we spent Saturday night. Unbelievable. I didn't think places like it existed anymore. We had to go through a mini rain forest to get there, and there were no paved roads at all (played hell on my stomach going over some of those bumps). The beach was a vast expanse of white sand with big waves, and not a two-story building in any direction. We stayed in little huts on the beach - very nice ones - with hammocks outside. It was the kind of place that I think millionaires would try to find and buy, and charge high prices so only the rich and famous could experience it. I went swimming a lot, or I should say playing in the waves - a great deal of effort, because the waves were so big. It's a surfers beach, so I got to watch people riding the water for hours at a time. Sunday morning I got up very early to walk down the beach - walked for ages, and never saw another person until I started back. Long long beach, and I was the only one on it for some time. I kept waking up in the middle of the night wondering where I was - then thought "paradise" and fell back into a deep sleep. Really wonderful. And excellent sea food. Had some great fish. Basically the whole thing was perfect. A wonderful way to spend Easter.


by Linda Rayner

Easter was terrific here! We climbed into the school van (after re-packing it a number of times in the pre-dawn hours to accommodate everyone's belongings) early on Good Friday and drove about 8 hours up the coast to a beach area near Florianópolis in Santa Catarina. What a lovely area! One of Takako's friends owns a beach house overlooking the bay, and she let us have the place to ourselves for Friday night and Saturday. I can hardly begin to describe the view! The bay itself is probably only about 10 km or so across and is guarded at the opening by several islands rising sharply out of the water - green and so beautiful in the blowing mists. Across from us, we could see an area of sand dunes, white and in sharp contrast to the green of the surrounding forests. The beach was directly opposite the opening, and the town is quite touristy. That doesn't detract from it at all, though. From a high rise across the bay, there were often colorful parachutes visible as the adventurous floated on the strong winds above the town. It looked like fun.

The homes and stores in the town are fairly old, so they're picturesque. The house that we stayed in was outside the town and was quite new and fabulous. The balcony overlooked several other homes that were impressive for their size, style and location, but the most impressive by far was the home of the former Miss Brazil, which was built right on the edge of the water surrounded by a huge manicured lawn with horses and dogs wandering here and there. It was not with a little satisfaction that we noted her clothes hung on a clothesline. Even Miss Brazil doesn't have a dryer! (Nothing is too trivial to escape our notice!)

On Saturday, we went over to the dunes to watch the sand boarders do their thing. That's a sport that I won't be trying real soon! Falling down hurts - there's no disguising it regardless of how quickly they jump up and put a grin on their faces! Their necks get twisted and their limbs turn in ways they were never meant to go when these guys take a spill. However, I did get a chance to "ski-bunda". It's basically climbing on a home-made contraption generally meant to resemble a toboggan and taking a run down the dune of your choice. I would have to say that there's no easier way to fill your shorts with sand than to ski-bunda. The word itself made them laugh here - apparently they don't use it in the south. It means something like "butt-ski," but I suspect "butt" isn't the exact translation of "bunda." I guess they don't have a word for the sport in this part of Brazil. Look for me in the next Olympic demonstration sport: SKI-BUNDA!

On Saturday night, we moved our headquarters down the coast a little to a place called Praia do Rosa. This place made me feel like I was in the north again. What a gorgeous beach! We stayed at an inn just up off the beach. We three foreigners had our own little unit with one bedroom downstairs, a loft for two more people, a nice bathroom, and a living room/kitchen. The beach itself was very clean, and the water was also clean (a little cool at first, but clean). Easter morning found us stretched out on the white sand with towels, books and Walkmans enjoying the sun. Somewhat different from what any of us would have been doing in England, Pennsylvania or Canada!

Praia do Rosa's home page

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