Tag Archives: beach

Ponta Negra, Rio de Janeiro

4 Mar

It almost seems ridiculous that people end up travelling all over Brazil in search of great beaches when there are so many around Rio and Sao Paulo. Trindade, where I’m currently sat, is one of them, on what is known as the Green Coast, mainly due to the fact that it’s flanked by Mata Atlantic Rainforest which pushes right up to the coastline. The main tourist destinations in this area are Buzios and Ilha Grande in Rio state and also Ilha Bela in Sao Paulo. Personally, I think Trindade is far nicer than any of these. As it doesn’t have too many tourists it means that the main industry here is still fishing and that as you go around town, both day and night, you are more than likely to bump into the locals quite a number of times, and considering how friendly they are here you will certainly make friends with them. Going even more extreme than this is Ponta Negra.

Ponta Negra is at the end of a 3 hour trail from Laranjeiras, which is a condominium full of rich tycoons (where apparently the head of Brahma brewery lives.) Laranjeiras can be reached by buses coming from either Paraty or Trindade. From there it’s a good walk to the next beach, Praia do Sono.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/slaterino/3997166988

This is a popular place to camp in the summer time, especially by Brazilians from Sao Paulo and Rio. It’s a really calm beach, perfect for swimming. After this, there is Antigos and Antiguinhos beaches.

Praia dos Antigos

These are more beautiful beaches, lacking the restaurants and campsites of Sono so feel a little more natural and away from the world.

It takes a final hill climb to reach Ponta Negra.

This trip can also be done by boat, but then you miss the other beaches and the satisfaction of three hours hike to get the perfect view of this tiny fishing village from the top of the hill.

View of Ponta Negra

There is something really special about Ponta Negra. The slow erection of telegraph poles along the route indicates that they will soon have electricity, but at the moment this isn’t the case. There are two restaurants in the village, one of which is actually more like someone’s home, but she does have a couple of tables she can put out front and is also a pretty great chef, so deserves her status.

Punta Negra's Beach

In the day the kids of the village simply play out on the beach, jumping off rocks and throwing things around. It’s so nice to join them for a few hours!

Ponta Negra Beach

The chooses for getting back are the same as for getting there, with a boat journey back quite tempting, especially as it will give you great views of all these beaches.

A brolly for all seasons

26 Feb

Where did the brolly come from? Who invented it? I can’t see one without thinking about making the walk from Sneinton to Nottingham city centre; the sheer upward struggle of St. Stephen’s Road, the river gushing past Emmanuel House and arriving in cold offices wearing ridiculously wet trousers. Which makes it all the more stranger when I’m sitting on the beach, sweating so much I have to jump in the water every 5 minutes so that I can feel human again, and see people walking past with brolly in hand. There really is something not right about it. Despite the fact that the use of parasols seems so logical to actually be strolling about with an umbrella seems like it should be the pinnacle of inept decision-making. What’s wrong with a hat or some sun screen, at least feel like you’re on holiday. Get into the spirit of things!

Although maybe it’s me that’s missing the point! The tropical climate of much of Brazil means that an umbrella is perhaps the greatest of all accessory, able to keep dry or keep the sun off in equal measures. I am having none of it though, instead quite happy to mock the stupid Brazilians with their ridiculous ‘bring the rain’ bad omen brollies.

Leaving Montevideo

14 Feb

I can’t believe it, Montevideo finally went nuts! It’s been the picture of tranquility for six weeks; all empty streets and minimal traffic, parties that go on late but never ever really seem to get messy, kind of like if you put a city in one of those paperweights where you shake it up and the snow flies about for a bit before settling and restoring the calm.

It’s Friday (or at least it was when I actually wrote this in my notebook!) and every single person is at the bus station. The crowd is mightier than at the carnival and people are pushing each other all over the place, normal politeness has gone out of the window. I join the queue to buy a ticket for Punta del Este. It took me about an hour to find the end of the queue, it was somewhere over by the guy selling sweets in the corner, a good 100m away from the actual ticket booth. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like this in my whole trip. I can’t think of joining one queue that has had over five people, this one is easily over 100. There are six buses leaving at 19:00 hours and I believe everyone is trying to get onto them. The reason: well it’s quite sunny and everyone wants to get to the beach, that’s why they’re no longer so polite, they need to get to the beach goddammit! Trying to jump the queues, pushing past you without so much as an excuse me, stepping on your toes without an apology, this is all allowed when you need to get to the beach, that’s how it seems anyway. Everyone is off to the beach, as am I, and I hate crowds, and tourists, and packed buses. What a bunch of shits!

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Life at the Copa

17 Aug

Gold supplement, whey protein, guarana powder, natural energy booster, superfoods, green defense, monster mass, fish oil……..

Rio is a city obsessed with looking good. Supplements and stimulants are sold from every corner. After all, it just wouldn’t be possible to run along Copacabana, go to the gym and have that game of volleyball without a pure protein shake. There surely can’t be many cities where the locals spend more time on the beach than the tourists. Quite how they pull it off is a miracle. Maybe everyone is on the nightshift. Maybe they get time off when the sun comes out. Who would want to buy a mattress anyway when it’s this hot? So off we all go to the beach, to show off our toned abs, to take pictures of our new arse implants and to generally stare at everyone else. It’s not a bad life!

These guys know all about it: http://www.copacabanarunners.net/ipeak.html