So you might have heard of a little international emergency called the Zika virus that’s really killing our buzz down here in Central/South America. Turns out mosquitos are more than the worst thing ever. They are from the devil and especially painful for young women like myself with many fertile years still ahead of me and these gorgeous birthing hips that have yet to be put to use.
Mozzies have always been especially attracted to me – science suggests they are attracted to sweat, the color black, spandex clothes, the way beer makes your blood smell, and chubby sassy brunettes (I assume). So despite my liberal application of Deet products, after a few days on the island, I was once again a book in braille all over my body with the bites. The itching was crazy, so I took some Benadryl to enjoy a really nice sleep, and woke up slow on Wednesday. The forecast was calling for rain to dump all day, so Leana and I decided to arrange our boat tour and post up at a nice restaurant, hit the shark museum, and have an easy day.
We found this gem called Mergulhão, which had a breathtaking view of the port, hipster waiters with holsters for aprons who smoked cigarettes crouched behind the planters in between serving up what was honestly the best food I’ve had in Brasil. Pumpkin and carne seca risotto scones, grilled quiejo coalho, filet mignon and pineapple with pesto sauce drizzled over it. Nom. Nom nom. We chatted up the staff in broken Portuguese, ended up moving to these beautiful lounge chairs, rocking out to Rihanna on our phone speakers, indulging in wine chilling in buckets and taking 80 million sunset pics.
It’s a testament to our friendship that we can spend seven hours in a restaurant with no wifi, tv, cell service, and pretending to be made of money for a while just talking to each other. Love you, Lele! :)
We never made it to the shark museum, which is for the best. I wouldn’t have been able to get into the deep end of the pool. I saw “Jaws” once in Lake Tahoe and stayed on the dock the whole trip.
The next day we went in search of açai. Now, this is one of the things that makes me laugh about Brazil – Restaurants will advertise something, and then not have it. We went to places with huge signs saying “Açai!” and then “no, no we don’t.” “Quase tudo,” they say. “Almost everything,” when really there are only like five out of forty items available. Killing me, Smalls! So we struck out on açai, after having walked a good two miles in dreadful heat and humidity to get it. Settled on misto quente, which is a Brazilian staple and has made me love ham, and then decided to head down to this Bar do Meio place we’d heard a lot about after finding out our boat tour had been canceled due to “mar agitado” – rough waters. But I love that it means agitated sea. I picture an angry Ariel’s dad from the Little Mermaid yelling because the girls haven’t cleaned up their rooms.
This Bar do Meio was epic – placed in between three beaches on volcanic rock cliffs, a perfect view of the sunset, the surfers, dolphins, ships, flowering trees, and probably the best selfie watching I have ever experienced. Brazilians have taken selfies and photo shoots to an elevated art form, and Olympic sport. It deserves its own post. Come back for that.
We posted up at some comfy couches with the perfect view, ordered drinks and I got adventurous and had and enjoyed ceviche! #growing. It was a hotspot with the locals – one particular hottie surfer we’d seen around town said he’d watched us walk by several times that day, and told us stories of growing up on the island. Mostly I just looked at him. He was so beautiful.
Friday was an early call for the boat tour! We piled on with about forty other people, meeting the first Americans we’d seen all week and some adorable British people I just wanted to talk at me all day. The highlight of this tour was seeing hundreds of dolphins swimming in the bay, and getting an oceanside view of the beaches we’d seen from land.
We left that afternoon, terribly sad to be leaving and already looking forward to going back. Unfortunately we had quite the return trip. We were emotionally hungover from leaving, and then our 1.5 hour layover in Recife turned into about four. There was no wifi, then power went out at the airport, and while we were wondering if they need power to let the planes fly, the airport started leaking water from the massive thunderstorm. The delays caused a near riot as more planes piled up late, with people screaming at the counters and demanding to be let on.
I’m a bit of an anxious flyer after a particularly harrowing incident a few years ago, so the lightening, leaking, and shaking ramp did nothing for my nerves. The turbulence was so bad and the lightening so bright I cried from takeoff until beverage service, bargaining with God and promising all manner of things if I could just step on land once more.
Which I did! Yay, God! And Rio is back to temps in the 100s, so we’ve already been back to our own beach three times, as work keeps getting canceled because it’s too hot for electricity or something. But that is for another post. :)
Here is a video of some highlights, and also some of the pics I took on my nice camera. Enjoy!
Remember – no hurries, no worries. Island viiiiiiibes.