We continued north along the coast. The view was spectacular, but the towns, mainly Barra de Santo Antônio weren’t too exciting, so we kept going. This time of year, the beach towns are going Thursday through Sunday. The rest of the week there is nothing open.
We found a campsite just south of São Miguel Dos Milagres at Praia Do Riacho (S9.28245 W35.38338). It was a beautiful spot, but we will always refer to this place as ‘camping drunk guy’. We’ve never had this much trouble 1) understanding Portuguese and 2) negotiating a place to spend the night. The normal process is that I hop out of the car, scout the place, ask how much camping is and if they have wi-fi. Factors like proximity to the beach, time of day and hot water are sometimes also relevant in the decision.
This time, I got out and a man stumbled over to me. I asked the usual questions (we always have to clarify whether we have to pay for Bode). I don’t understand a thing he’s saying. I finally get that it is 20 reales a person and when I ask about Bode, he attempts to put his finger to his mouth in a quiet motion, but misses and nearly pokes out his eye. He starts leaning on the car and rattling on and on, mumbling so badly we can only pick up a few words–boat, police, and we think he might be asking for a tip–which we can’t understand since he could have told us any price for camping. Anyway, it starts getting uncomfortable, and I’m not even sure if he works there. It continues for a long time- the dude will not leave and is completely incoherent.
We looked around and saw several other campers. I walked over to several groups and ask if anyone speaks English and tried to explain that we couldn’t understand the man. Everyone was super nice, and one guy jumped up and came to help us interpret. He told the man to talk to him, and we expected a drunk-to-Portuguese translation, but I think it was all just irrelevant babbling. Our new friend re-explained to the man our situation and asked us whether we’d agreed on a price. We had, in fact – we’d paid him already. He tried to say we hadn’t, but Jason reached into drunk guy’s shorts and took out the 40 reales. In the end, our friend escorted the man back to his friends and told us to park where ever.
Of course, Jason and I spent a large part of the night trying to figure out what was going on. Another camper came over to assure us this was a good, safe place to camp–not to worry. Naturally, we jumped in the ocean and decided to try and forget about it. It wasn’t too hard, the place was gorgeous.
We were invited to watch the moonrise with a big group on the beach – apparently the thing do do here. We see why – amazing!
The drunk guy was completely normal the next day – he probably couldn’t remember a thing.