Natal on Isla Santa Catarina was pretty crazy. We camped on the south side of the lagoon – where all the action is. We didn’t manage much sleep, but had been warned to stay put because we had an actual parking spot. The nights were rough – either loud, hot, or both. They do it Gangham style here, too. One night Bode and I had to walk to the beach at 1 am to get some air. We’ve been told it’s a ‘once in a hundred years’ heat wave. I sure hope so.
Our goal was to get through Christmas because we were near a town with markets and restarants, we had wifi and we thought Santa would be better able to find us if we stayed put. For 4 days and nights we tried to make the best of it.
We did meet some incredilbly nice folks, enjoyed the luxeries of a tourist town (sushi), and played at the lagoon. We made cookies, decorated the bus and had a great Christmas. Bode managed to get a new bike and a boogie-board. Jason got a paddle set. I got pockets. No one cared about a turkey dinner, so we hit one of the few open restaurants and had the camarones sequencia (4 types of shrimp, stuffed crab, fish filet, french fries and salad). A huge undertaking.
The day after Christmas we decided to take our chances and hit some of the local beaches. First, we went out to Campeche… and took zero photos. It’s been too hot to do just about anything. We’d intended to take a boat ride over to another beach, but at $40 USD per person (guidebook listed it at $7) we decided that this beach was nice enough. I hid under some trees and the boys hit the surf for a short while before we were all ready to go.
We moved south and found another campsite near Praia Da Armação.
We made some quick friends, and they insisted they take us to the agua-dulce Lagao do Peri for a swim. It was one of those times where nobody speaks the other’s language, but we still managed to talk for hours.
I’d just been telling Jason about how the Brazilians on vacation don’t seem to let the weather bother them. While we huddle in the shade on a hot day, they strut their stuff up and down the beach. As he rains come in, everyone else stays put, has another beer, looks at us like we’re crazy from staying dry. Well, tonight as the storm clouds move in, I’m putting away things and our new friends pull out chairs and insist we sit for another chat. Really, it’s Carlos going on about something and us smiling and nodding a lot. Usually we can guess at the subject, but sometimes Jason and I have completely different ideas about the subject in question. Anyway, the wind is really starting to blow and we’re getting sand-blasted. I get sand in my eye and I’m trying to get it out while tents are blowing over just a few feet from us. They remain calm and keep talking. A tree limb breaks above me and falls directly on my head. There is some pain, but mostly shock. Still talking. Another branch breaks off and drops on Jason, and I am not making this up, they stay put and keep chatting like nothing is happening. I had to excuse myself and left Jason to fend for himself.
Still, it’s quiet here at night – we can finally sleep. Our camp site is right on the beach. It might even be for sale, so we went through all the ‘what if’ day-dreams. And the rain even cooled things off a bit.