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The faitytale town - Caraíva

Fairytales from Brazil

View MAP OF THE JOURNEY on AnnaMickus's travel map.

It was a jumpy ride on a bus that was moving unbearingbly slow on a bumby dirtroad. The salty liqouriche candy that I was sucking on was helping me to withstand the heat and the infinite curves of the road. A little black girl showed some interest in our candies, so we stretched out the bag for her to take one. She tried to grab the whole bag, but right after putting the candy in her mouth she must have been grateful she didn't succeed, because the minute it went in her mouth she spit it out again.

It was already dark when we arrived in Caraíva. We still needed to cross a river with a small boat before we were in the city. When we stepped out of the boat we were welcomed by the mesmerizing vibes of Caraíva. It was as though the river had been a passage to another world, a fairytale world.

Is it really possible that there is a place like this in today's world? We asked a local girl if she knows of other places like this in Brazil. She said that there isn't another place like this in the entire world. I have to agree, at least never during any of my travels have I encountered a place like this. The town lies between a river and the sea and it's like the whole town is built on a beach. The roads are just small passages of sand. There are no cars, and if you're too lazy to walk in the deep sand, you can catch a local taxi: a donkey equipped with a carriage and a driver. The main "street" runs along the river. There you can find a few restaurants and a shop.

Local taxi

A typical road in 'town'

Main road by the river

The people of Caraíva seem to have everything they need because they seem to be happy. And no wonder: they have a lot of food and fruit, stalls selling caipirinhas and the like, a night club playing samba, lambada and forró till the morning light... somewhere we even spotted a pool table and a small shop renting dvds. Some evenings they set up a big screen by the river where they project movies for the children... Yup, they have it all (and I guess it doesn't make it worse that they have tourists paying high prises for their services :)).

Only a year ago did they get electricity to town. Before that it was only noisy generators and candles. This you notice in the huge variety of candles that can be seen all over town. They are of different colors and shapes, decorated with different kinds of material from the nature. It gets really cosy at night when different shades and colors of light are glimmering everywhere. It is especially cosy at our favorite pizza place by the river. There, a live bossa nova band is playing almost every night. And of course they have good pizza :).

After the first night at Lagoa, where frogs were making funny loud noises in the night, we found the perfect place to stay at. Vince, the man, and his family has an extra building in their garden that they rent out. It's perfect. It has two stories connected by an artistic vekkula staircase, doors and windows facing front and back so that the air flows through, and a nice view towards the sea and a nice garden with palmtrees. We have two verandas each with hammocks where you can lay and just relax and listen to the waves of the sea and the birds singing in the trees. The perfect place to just be and enjoy life.

Relaxing in our house...

Enjoying the night in our house

Making caipiroskas

One day we made a trip to a local indian reserve and came back to Caraíva with horses. It was a lot of fun altough the butt was pretty sore afterwards. Some of us gallopped at one point or another, either if they wanted to or not :).

Smoking the peace pipe with one of the indians

Riding back to Caraíva

Brazilian people are very friendly indeed. Seldom do you get a cranky face, but you are most often met by a smiling face and a helpful gesture. One afternoon we were at Duca's, an old woman painting psychadelic pictures of Caraíva and serving vegetarian food, we started talking to a local girl. (She had actually just bought a house here and moved away from Sao Paulo (can you imagine the change?).) We wanted to know where we should spend carnival. After a few minutes we had the whole restaurant planning our entire trip in Brazil and marking all the good places to visit in Lonely Planet. They were almost more excited than we were! They wanted us to see all the best places.

We had another experience of friendly people one night when we were trying to get to a festival we had heard about. It was supposed to be somewhere on a beach but we didn't exactly know where. We had tried to get a cab, but there were no cabs around and they were too expensive anyway. Suddenly we stumbled upon a family that were on their way home after an evening in Caraíva. We asked them if they knew where the party was. They had no idea, but they were kind enough to offer a ride and try to find it for us. So there we rode in the back of a pick up truck together with 4 of the kids of the family, in the middle of the night on some dirt road in the jungle. They had no idea were we were, we had no idea were we were, but they wouldn't give up. And finally after a lot of drivnig they finally found the festival. We never would have made it without them, and they did it only out of kindness. It was really funny, because at the party we happened to meet people we had met at Universo Paralello. When the sun started to rise we started walkimg back to Caraíva along the beach. It was a loooong walk, about 3 hours, but we saw nice views and a fantastic sunrise on our way back. We got back at 7 o'clock just in time for Victor to play his morning piano sonata on the beach.

Fabulous sunrise

Posted by AnnaMickus 11:16 Archived in Brazil

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