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Cam & Suz’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005

Location: The beaches, Brazil

MapAfter leaving the hip city of Salvador we were under the impression that the beaches and weather would deteriorate as we headed further south.... oh how wrong we were!! First stop was the party island of Morro do Sao Paulo. It is an island just south of Salvador where they party every night on the beach and soak up the ¨winter¨(+30 degrees) sun all day. On our first day we were lucky enough to befriend some very cool Brazilians that really made our stay there great (thanks guys!) After a few days of fitness on the beach, eating loads of fruit and getting a good dose of sun we now feel completely recharged and energised. The Brazilian lifestyle isnt too dissimilar to Australias as so much revolves around the beach. As Brazil has a high unemployment rate it sometimes feels as though everyone is at the beach all the time. There is always multiple games of soccer and futvolley (another version of volleyball but way harder) that you can join into if you want but be warned - Brazilians take their soccer seriously. Its a great lifestyle but probably not too good for productivity.
After saying goodbye to our friends and another good couple of overnight bus rides and other quaint villages on the coast we arrived in Rio de Janeiro and headed straight for Copacobana. Copacobana is a massive beach (about 4 1/2 km long) that gets jammed on weekends with thousands of people. But at the risk of sounding patriotic, neither Copacobana or Ipanema are as good as Bondi. Certainly a great vibe but the water and waves just werent up to scratch. Anyway, we ¨did¨all the touristy things in Rio that had to be done (except one, Maracana stadium which is under construction... major bummer) and enjoyed them all.
Further south we landed at Ilha Grande. Our itinery suggested 3 days, but after our first day on the beach, Lopez Mendes (described as being the most beautiful in Brazil, which we totally agree) we knew we would stay longer. The beach was picture postcard perfect. Total bliss! Water was crystal clear and warm with awesome surf. The sand felt like snow as you walked on it and to top it off the island was a rainforest teeming with wildlife including monkeys that would eat out of your hand.
Another week, another beach and we are now in the historic town of Paraty..... Lifes good.... very good!