We arrived in Itacare this time sporting our new "hair do's". We checked back into Jonathan from Cruz The Coast's hostel and all was well. We had been planning on using this time in to chill out, try our hand at surfing, go to the beach....LAY OFF THE BOOZE! Pffft who were we kidding, it didn't quite go to plan. It just so happened that we would bump into another group of party people so the laying off the booze thing didn't last too long. Now since this is some 3 months ago my memory is now really hazy on a day to day account so i'll stick to the highlights people.
As mentioned we met a group made up of all sorts who had met each other in Salvador. We had Maya and Julia a couple of New Yorkers. Maya did some stand up comedy from time to time and wasn't shy about saying exactly what she thought. As soon as we opened our mouth she yelps back, sounding and looking a little like Janyce from friends...
"Oh My God! Is that really how you guys talk! How cute!"
Then went on a bit of a tirade of light hearted banter but i don't think she was ready to meet her match with some shots fired back in rapid succesion. Boom Maya! Scotland is the birthplace of piss taking have some a that! The two of these brauds were T Totalers. Only 23/24 and don't touch any alcohol. This boggled our minds as you can imagine being from Scotland. As the song goes don't drink, don't smoke what do you? What do you actually do? Especially when it comes to nights out. Julia it has to be said, is the happiest person i've ever met, always smiling, laughing, positive about everything so perhaps she didn't need a swally but Maya, turns out Maya used to be a little wild in her college days with many a skeleton in the closet, all booze related. I don't know if we were meant to think these things were bad but i thought the stories were great. So the next week was spent trying to bring out the old Maya but the lady wasn't for turning, not interested in a swally the least bit. So much so that she would even refuse to use a straw of someones if it had been in an alcoholic drink wowzers!
So anyways we had them, Ferras from Oz, Jorn from Holland and another little chick from Holland who's name, as my memory is so hazy now, escapes me and of course we'd be seeing the bold Daniela again. So for the next week that was the gang.
Itacare is a small town with it mainly being one street with a few bars and restaurants but it has a certain charm about it and some of the most gorgeous beaches in Brazil so for the next week thats what it was, daytimes on the amazing beaches and nightimes partying away.
About half way through our week in Itacare we had at least stuck to one part of our plan...SURFING! We booked up for our 3 class package with the promise that we'd be on the boards by the end of it. That night we sat and watched Point Break and were ready for surfing as well as skydiving and robbing banks :-).
The first day was on the beach learning how to paddle, how to pop up, the proper stance whilst up etc...all very easy on the sand. At the end of the first lesson we were in the water, calm water though no waves and the aim was to paddle and pop up on the board and stand. Now this was actually harder than the next days lesson where we were actually surfing on the white wash due to the fact that it was so slow there was no momentum. Snowboarding is the exact same in that respect, you need speed to maintain balance, kind of like riding a bike too. So that day we were super stars our instructors eyes but i bet he tells all the boys that.
The next day we were off to another beach about 15 minutes on a bus, a usually deserted beach that stretched as far as the eye can see, in fact its in our pictures. Great!, we thought. No one around to see us make an arse of this...Wrong! It just so happened that the full group from the hostel including the two girls who worked in the hostel had decided to have a little day trip to this beach out of all the beaches available to them and out of its entire 5 mile stretch they were at the exact bit we'd be learning on. Oh well beginners aren't meant to look cool anyways and with hair do's like ours we were already to cool for school so falling wouldn't even matter. We went over a few of the basics from the day before then it was into the water. Today our aim was to get up on the board and ride the white wash so not a full on wave. To our delight we were both up on the board in no time and although we couldn't yet steer the thing we were riding the wave all the way to shore. The buzz of getting up and on it was amazing. If surfing the real thing the next day was this easy we'd be pros by the time we got to Oz...
Day 3....The Big Yin! It was off to another beach for our third and final lesson. By this time there wasn't really much else you could teach. We knew all the things that had to be done so it was off out into the water with high tide starting. Our instructor came into the water with us and these waves were big. A slight storm had happened offshore somewhere making them slightly bigger than usual and it was raining. I had thought with the previous lessons being somewhat easy and some people saying if you can snowboard you can surf that this would be easy. Let me tell you the people who say if you can snowboard you can surf are talking supreme joblets. Snowboarding you get to the top of the hill already standing on the board and gravity takes you down. With surfing for starters getting out far enough beyond the breaking waves is a mission in itself as Hamill was to find out getting chucked about like a smelly pair a trainers in the washing machine. After you get out you look out to the waves coming in and at that distance telling which is a good one is gonna take months if not years. Then once you've selected your wave you need to get the board turned, lie down on it get your balance point, start paddling, pop up to the correct point on the board not too far forward or the nose is under, too far back and the nose is in the air, then you surf. If you pop up too late also the wave has went under you, pop up too early and the wave is on top of you, smelly trainer time! Hamill after being on spin cycle for half an hour had had enough. I kept at it for a while longer maybe catching the odd one but by the end of it we had both at least caught a couple full on waves in 3 lessons, getting good at it would take years. There had been a couple of hairy moments where due to not being able to turn the board Hamill was at one point flying towards me, direct collison my head with the front point of his board was imminent but i managed to clock him in the nick of time and ducked under the water, Hamill gliding over my head. Thank God there were no real surfers around or it would have been just like in Point Break where Keanu Reeves gets in the guys way and swiftly gets punched in the coupon.
So surfing was complete and our time was drawing to a close in Itacare. Ferras from Oz had decided to buy load of different meats and have a BBQ. Now the Ozzys are known for the BBQs so you think they'd be good at it and Ferras didn't disappoint. He seasoned all the meat beforehand and everything was cooked to perfection, easily the best BBQ i've had. We quickly invited ourselves to his house for our Christmas Dinner :-) which now as i'm writing this in September is drawing ever closer. I better send him an email to remind him.
One day as we munched on probably the best Baguettes ever. A 40cm mammoth filled with steak, tuna, chicken you name it, Ferras pointed out a girl struggling with the biggest suitcase up the cobbled streets of Itacare. We turned around to see and who was it?...EH BOLD! Daniela had returned from her trip to Rio. She had mentioned that she had left some stuff with a friend there and had to collect it, she hadn't mentioned that it was her entire wardrobe. Being the chilvalrous chaps we are we ran to the damsle in distresses aid and were greeted with a big cuddle. Our friend was back and ready to party with us for our last remaining days which is exaclty what we done. Good times were had and before we knew it was over. Who knew when the next time we would be seeing Jonathan from Cruz The Coast and Daniela again :-( but i have no doubt we will meet again.
It was time for us to head back to Rio then get heading South like we had originally planned. All these shenanigans up the coast, Salvador, Chapada Diamantina back to Salvador, Itacare....none of this was on the list. We had planned on heading South through some of Brasil via Igauzu falls and on to Argentina. It was now like 5/6 weeks in but it was another holiday weekend in Rio so it'd be rude not to head back there, it was only one weekend afterall :-). So we set off for Rio but this time we had a couple passengers in tow. Julia and Maya had come to realise how great a couple guys we were and since Julia had never seen Rio decided to come with us. So that was us....back to El Misti Hostel for another crazy weekend with Pablo, Pedro and the rest of the staff there. It did cross my mind at this stage that Maya and Julia kind of looked at us like big brothers to them at this stage, taking care of them. Do they know what nightlife in Rio is like? These girls didn't drink :-S GULP! I think it will be them looking after us!
Rio weekend and onwards to Isla Grande coming soon!