Last weekend I stayed on a private island off the coast of Brazil. Surreal is still the only adjective that comes to mind. (Sorry for the lack of variety.)
Getting to Morro de Sao Paulo, the island, from the city of Salvador was quite an adventure. It took us four hours by van, ferry, bus, and finally speedboat to get there. Let's just say that it was an experience. We also had to cross another island that was formerly famous for its tribe of cannibals. Cool.
The island town of Morro was gorgeous. It's a tiny tourist site with quaint inns, shops, restaurants, and absolutely no cars. And the beaches... As soon as we got to the island on the first day, my friends and I headed straight to the beach. The water was cold, the sand had the consistency of snow (I'm obsessed with good sand), the sun was perfectly warm, and there was live music drifting from the boardwalk. It was utterly perfect.
That the night, some of the girls from the program and I got dolled up and went out to eat at an adorable Italian restaurant. Our candle-lit table was situated outside along the main street, and there was live music too. That's one of the best things about Brazil for me: you can't get away from the music.
Afterwards, we went back to the hotel room exhausted from our journey to the island...and did the most ridiculous thing ever. So here's the background story. That weekend was Jenna's – one of the girls in the program – 21st birthday, so her Brazilian mom baked her a chocolate and coconut cake. And when I say cake, I mean an enormous confectionery monstrosity like the chocolate cake from Matilda. Not only that, her Brazilian mom make her carry that thing to the private island by van, ferry, bus, and speedboat.
So when we got back the hotel room, do you know what we did? We sat in a circle, on the floor, and ate that cake with only forks in hand. We ate it in the shape of Texas. Represent.
I don't think I laughed that hard in a long time. I also don't think I've had that much sugar rushing through my bloodstream ever in my life. There's no way that we could have finished the cake, but that thing was amazing. We were delirious from the sugar high. Thank you Jenna, Whitney, and Blanca for experiencing that with me.
The next day was more or less tame. Everyone took a boat to a sandbar and later to a more secluded beach on the island called Gamboa. Apparently, there's this special type of pink clay there purifies your skin, so everyone rolled in it. We looked like we were dipped in Pepto-Bismal. If I can find some photos, I'll upload them.
Afterwards, we got lunch… danced samba in the pouring rain at an outdoor bar… and then went back to our rooms to take a nap. You know, the usual. That night, we went out for Jenna's official birthday. I am amazed by Brazilian people's ability to work long workdays and then party from midnight to 6 am. I just can't keep up. I'm not as young as I use to be…. Anyways, it was samba night at one of the clubs on the boardwalk, and we had so much fun. Let's just say there was a lot of dancing!
I am so thankful to be able to be here in Brazil with some of the coolest people ever.