After our whirlwind visit to Rio, we set out on our next adventure, and change of pace, to Ubatuba, Brazil.
It’s fun to say – go ahead, you know you want to. Okay, maybe it’s just me, but I find it a funny sounding place – UBATUBA.
When I’d tell people we were going to Ubatuba, I’d expect a snicker. Instead, we consistently heard that it has some of Brazil’s best and quietest beaches. They we’re kidding.
Since we didn’t get a chance to fully explore the beaches in Rio, we were eager to check out these beaches firsthand.
Short of having a private plane, or knowing someone who does – and we don’t, the only way to this vacation spot is by car or bus.
Mercifully, the motor coach was extremely comfortable – cushy reclining seats, air conditioning and wifi. Before we knew it, we’d arrived in Ubatuba where our friend Kathleen was waiting at the station.
Ubatuba has less than 100,000 people but the city swells on weekends and holidays with Brazilians who live inland and are looking for a beach getaway.
There are more than 100 beaches in Ubatuba, many are small and hard to get to, while others, like the ones near the city and hotels are chock-a-block. It helps that those locations have small beachside restaurants and kiosks that serve food and drinks right to your beach chair. Drinking on the beach?!? I guess we’re not in Canada anymore.
Kathleen and her husband have been in Ubatuba for about three years and have built a beautiful home a stone’s throw from one of the quiet beaches.
The design of their home takes great advantage of the weather. Winters are warm and summers are stinking hot – with incredible humidity. Sidenote: we had an unused envelope in a book, in a backpack and it was so humid that the envelope sealed itself. They have developed a vast living space outside with a pool (with water the temperature of a comfortable bath) and a covered living room and cooking area.
As beautiful as the beaches were, with calm, warm water, it was a struggle to pull ourselves away from their home and our swimming pal Daisy.
She’s crazy for the water and would beg us to throw her ball into the water so she could dive in and retreive it. We threw that ball a thousand times, no lie – ahhh terriers 🙂
But see the local sights we did.
We took a day trip north to a historic city called Paraty. Charming cobblestone streets and buildings expertly restored and maintained. It was hard not to take a million photos. If you like colourful doors and windows, you will have felt you’d died and gone to heaven in Paraty.
On another hot and lazy afternoon, we drove a short distance to some gentle waterfalls. The water was slightly cooler than the ocean so it wasn’t at all difficult to dip into the natural pools created by the force of the rushing water.
We enjoyed the Ubatuba night market along the beach and sampled our fair share of açaí – a frozen favourite among Brazilians (and these Canadian converts). It’s like a smoothie but sometimes served in a bowl with sliced banana and some granola. It’s touted as a ‘superfood’ because of the antioxidants in the açaí berries. Any free radicals we may have had floating around in our bodies will have been dealt with given the açaí we consumed.
And on the subject of consumption, we developed a full-on lover affair with Brazil’s traditional drink – the caipirinha: limes, sugar, cachaça (booze made from sugarcane) and ice. Equal parts refreshing and deadly.
We also mastered the outdoor grill and pizza oven. We ate like kings.
Most evenings were spent playing games and telling life stories. Reconnecting with friends on our travels has been a real upshot of our adventures.
Despite the alcohol consumed, I do remember that it was a fantastic visit and a great second chapter in our great Brazilian adventure – thank you Kathleen!
Alas there is only so much beach and pool time two pale Canadians can take at a go. After two weeks, it was time to dry out from the humidity, the ocean, the pool and the caipirinhas and chart our course to São Paulo.