So, it’s been a while since the last update. I would blame it on my computer breaking down, but I have also been lacking the motivation to spend an entire day creating documentation when there are waves to be taken and my tan needs working on. Also, finding another computer with a comfortable seat in front of it available for hours, is hard to come by. But as the wind is picking up and the waves are getting choppy, here I am (smiley face)! And I was thinking I’d try to let you guys in on how a regular day passes here in this chilled out Brazilian surf town and how come there is no time to organise blogging.
When I first came back to Itacaré in early April I was intent on getting a job to get some sort of routine going again. But after asking around and realising that the monthly salary here does not only barely cover the rent but is also equal to two days pay back home Norway. So I figured that instead of spending eight hours a day not surfing and then barely having the energy to surf, I’d make up for it by working a bit extra when I got home so that I can spend my time here doing what I dreamed about; Learning how to surf!
An average day will usually start at 7-8 am, not necessarily depending on the tide, but mostly because my closest neighbour is a construction site. Good morning to me! Now, there are days when they are doing quieter construction-things but that doesn’t really matter as my closest neighbour the other way is the city beach football field. I’m not complaining about living close to the beach, having an ocean view, but facing a public social area in a hot climate means that football practice starts at 6:30 am. Football in itself isn’t necessarily noisy, but the spectating Brazilian crowd is. And yes, there is a crowd at 6:30 in the morning. But as the waves are usually better in the morning when there is less wind, I would learn to use these noises as an alarm clock.
Getting up bright and early I either make the effort to go to Engehoca or surf in town. Engenhoca is a learner’s beach where the waves are nice and mellow, and getting dumped by a wave is a little less stressful. But this means taking a bus for 25 mins, and then walking for another 15 mins through the jungle down to the beach. All in all it would take me an hour from walking out the door to getting into the water. I usually spend around two hours in the water before giving in to aching muscles. Even if Im’ not catching a lot of waves, surfing just really gets the best of you. Paddling back and forth and sitting watching for waves and holding your balance is actually hard work, but the worst is the stress of being dumped by bigger sets when you were just a little bit too far in towards the beach. Before getting completely comfortable being tumbled around under water the stress and panic alone will leave you breathless as well as the frantic paddling needed to get out of the situation as soon as there is a break in the waves. So once safely back on the beach I always need a little tanning-break, preferably with a coconut, before heading back up the path for the bus stop.
Ready to get out there at 7 am!
The only annoying thing with taking the bus to Engenhoca, is getting the bus back. No one actually knows when it’s really supposed to be there, and even if they did, it is never on time. Like, an-hour-later not on time. But if everything goes according to plan, I get back into town for lunch. Only making lunch would take too much time for the intense hunger a surf will create, so along the way I usually pick up a snack like an acai (Brazilian berry sorbet with granola and bananas) or make a tapioca. Then its time for a nap and a late lunch, and that will conclude the daytime activities. By 5 pm the sun is setting and the nighttime activities start.
My beloved Acai bowl!
Snacking or lunching at Julian’s Valentin’s café has also become a daily habbit
Itacaré and Pontal Beach in the background
The touristic centre of Itacaré, where most of the non-locals live, usually wakes up around 9-10 am but then dies out after lunch time (at least in low season). From 3 pm till 6-7 pm the town is dead. Pituba, the main street and hang-out spot is usually busy from 7pm and always a safe bet for meeting people. The street is filled with little shops with people hanging out on the sidewalk in front, usually with the shopowner. After “doing Pituba” which includes stopping for a short chat with everyone you know, dinner is usually on between 8-10 pm. And by 11 pm the street is dead again. As I am usually aiming at another early surf, I would return back to my little apartment and be in bed by then.
So this is in general a normal, “boring” day. Quite often there is something happening at night around town, like a jam session or a moon rising or just the weekend with everything that entails. And if an effort is made we’ll organise a car and do a day trip to other beaches that are harder to get to. Having an everyday life with a bit of a routine has been good after traveling around and having sort of a random lifestyle. I am currently done with traveling around for now, I don’t need to discover new sights, don’t want to figure out a new city or expand my horizon, only want to increase my surf skills and spend time with old and new friends. You would think learning Portuguese would be a part of this fabulous pastime, but my efforts have been less than enthusiastic. The best practice I get is usually during the weekends with a caipirinha in my hand. I excuse myself with learning one thing at a time, so for now that is surfing. And by the way I’m letting it decide my day and lifestyle, it feels pretty much like having a job. A nice job… -The dream job!