Thankfully lost in translation By Luke Simmons

During our visit to Ihla Bela (in Brazil), my wife and I decided to check out a beach where this secluded surfing community lives. This place (Porto Bonete) is totally isolated, not accessible by car and is so small it's not on Google Maps!

We set off on our 10km walk through the beautiful national park stopping by a number of amazing waterfalls along the way.

Anyway, we finally arrived at Bonete after 3hr of walking and were greeted with the site of the locals surfing the 6ft breaks. However, we were tired and didn't want to stick around as there wasn't much else to do there so Camila set upon asking the locals how we could return up the coast to our camping area.

It so happened that a local fisherman was about to make a voyage and we (plus 4 other Brazilian women) chucked in a couple of R$ and it was all set.

The 1st surprise was understanding that we had to paddle through the breakers in a 3-man canoe to dock with the small fishing boat.

Once we got going, the 2nd surprise out boat rapidly filling with water. When he became aware of this, our trusty skipper balanced his way to the centre of the boat and set upon fixing the leak. He instructed one of the passengers to hold a rag in place as he jammed it into the hull. As he was about half way through, she smiled and asked him "what will happen if I let it go?". To which he replied straight back, "we will sink".

Thankfully I didn't understand that. With that saga over, we then continued on to hit a nice thunderstorm (see pic) with rain hitting us from all angles as he wove in and out of (seemingly) hidden rocks. At various moments, I looked towards the shore to see how easily we could climb up the - vertical - cliff face in case we fell out.

My nerves only settled once I our boat spluttered into our familiar cove. I was so relieved, I felt like kissing the sand when we arrived.

in Ilha Bela, Ilhabela - São Paulo, Brasil


I believe that life is a (relatively) short ride and that it's crucial to squeeze as many good times out of it as possible. I love travelling, music, reading, writing, all kinds o' sport, & my wife!

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