First time of asking, they had told us there was no way out of here by boat, so we were packing our bags, fitting everything into a collection of tightly-wound plastic bags. We would have to go back the way we came, by foot, through the hills, a three hour trek to Laranjeiras. Only trouble, this time the rain was coming down by the sackful and had been doing so for the past two days. What had previously been a difficult trail to follow in the sun would now more closely resemble a water slide. So when one of the locals came up from the beach to say that actually we would be able to get a boat, this felt something of a relief. The boat came in from one of the other beaches, it caught a big wave on the way into the shore and ploughed headfirst into the rock at the end of the beach. The driver thought this was hilarious.
We all hopped into the boat and waited for a break in the waves. Earlier that day, I thought we had lost one of the Swiss girls, Andrea. She had swum out during one of the calm spells only to suddenly be hit by three of the biggest waves I had ever seen. Each time one was about to hit her she had jumped through the wave, and each time I was almost surprised to see her head pop up again at the other side. Once she got close to the beach, I had to run over and pull her out, so tired were her arms after getting out of the waves.
We had to wait for about 15 big waves to pass before we got a quite spell. During that time the young London girl, Lucy, next to me was crying. Supposedly, she thought she was going to die. I was trying to be comforting but getting it all slightly wrong (“Hardly ever do fishermen ever die out there in the ocean. We would have to be really unlucky for it to happen to us.”) We eventually got our chance, and pushed the boat out into the ocean, the driver wasting no time in getting the motor going and moving us out of the danger zone before the next group of swells. By this time the rain had picked up and the sea seemed to be getting choppier by the minute, all of which was not helped by the fact our driver thought he was in a race (I presume his dinner was on the table). All we could see on the whole journey were outlines of the forested mountains in the distance, bloated grey skies and the sea shifting from side to side, up and down, with us placed in the middle.
The crying had stopped by the time we reached the other side, docking in the Laranjeiras condiminium, home to some of the wealthiest people in Brazil. We were ushered into a minibus and driven to the nearest bus stop, whizzing past an assortment of golf courses, health spas and general expensive decadence on the way. While we waited for ths bus, me and Betty, the other Swiss girl, played frisbee on a football field behind the stop. By the time it arrived we were both completely soaked and covered in mud. Next time I go to Punta Negra, I will be hoping for rain, but I feel somewhere inside I will be praying for rain. Who knew it could be so much fun?