Brazil: Surf, Samba, and Surgery…
My plan in its entirety on my excursion to Brazil was to simply make it to the Island of Florianopolis. Say it, Florian-opolis. Just the sound of the word brings songs of paradise. The “Island of Magic” as it’s known in to the locals, was to me, a paradise fit for indigenous kings. Specifically the town of Barra da Lagoa. Somehow the time-share high-rise scene missed this gem. Here, you will only find beautiful jungle hikes, great surfing, and a relaxed Brazilian vibe. The island has a wide variety of surf in warm water, with good public transportation to and fro. I spent five weeks learning to surf, dance the samba, and understand the language of the world. Even a little Portuguese. Carnival came, I put on my high heels and mini skirt, smudged some ruby-red on my lips, and whistled at the tallest girls I could find. When it was finally time to continue the journey North, there was no question that the trip had become one for Surfing. So I asked around and the locals sent me to Ubatuba, Brazil’s capital of surf. With over 50 beaches to choose from, it’s easy to see where it got it’s name. The place did not disappoint, great Atlantic Rainforest lined pearly white sands and I found myself afloat in a warm rain feeling fine. I was lost in the waves and found in the moment.
The Ocean showed me so much beauty and the trip was beginning to take on the feeling of finality. What started as a journey without a name, evolved to be my time to connect with the Ocean. I had spent so much time connecting to the mountains in my life that it was only natural to create a balance between worlds.
And So I came upon the great city of Rio. What most amazed me as I weaved through the mountainous jungle landscape in which the city is spread, is its proximity to great granite walls rising far above any building in sight, dark green chocolate oozed and stained the domes all the way to the clouds. I stayed at a Hostel not two blocks from the white sand of Ipanema Beach. And that girl from Ipanema, I saw her. I fell in love with her. Her eyes are a Cinnamon. lips a crimson and voice so soft it plays in my dreams. She saved me from myself, kept me dreaming. I left something behind in Ipanema and I’m not saying it was just the girl. It was my Appendix. She delivered me, and I survived. When it was all over, I walked out of the hospital and for the Ocean. I sat with my feet beneath the sand and for the first time I felt naked. I pondered just how close I had come to the other side. How fast a week in a hospital bed had gone by. I remembered how throwing up on the way to the hospital made the girls quiet in the back seat of the taxi. The hopeful smiles and soft hugs at the elevator door. And the girl, she never left my side. With my face buried in my hands, feet in sand, mind in body, I pondered all this. I realized I was smiling. Smirking really. If Brazil had taught me anything it was to celebrate life. Celebrate during it, celebrate for it. We all expect to wake up tomorrow morning and pursue our dreams. Instead, let us celebrate the day at this moment.