Menina na Pipa

February 9, 2010

Sao Paulo was pretty when we left…

But now we’re here…

You can walk for so long without seeing other people on the beach.  This particular beach is called Praia do Amor. You can see the faint indent that makes it look like a heart.  All of Pipa has these gorgeous red cliffs, with the beaches down below.  Things like this happen here…

The chairs and umbrellas below are about $5 for the whole day.  You just give your name and you can order drinks and snacks.  There’s just the right number of people and the right amount of service to be comfortable.  The water was warm and refreshing.  I’m not sure what this sport is, I haven’t done it yet–It’s not parasailing or paragliding, but it looks fun.  You stay up there for forever and it seems like the guide has a lot of control over where you go.

I did take a surf lesson today.

I was nervous.  I had wanted to learn to surf the whole time that we were in Rio, but it was too public there.  The main surf schools (a few dark, skinny guys with board shorts, a sign and a few boards) were down by Posto 7, right near Arpoador, where there are tons of people all the time.  One day when I was running down there I saw this very pasty white girl learning how to surf from one of these skinny guys, surrounded by people who surf every day before work, and she looked like a beached whale.  I vowed never to be that person, at least not with everyone watching.

Today was different though.  I noticed the sign while we were hanging out and reading and asked the guy who was in charge of the chairs what the story was with the aulas de surf.  He called over the instructor–a guy about my age who was from Natal–who nonchalantly explained that the class was divided into parts.  First we stretch (which we did, it felt great and my yoga classes in Portuguese definitely helped), then we would go over the philosophy of surfing (which as he said it reminded me of Paul Rudd’s character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, “Pop up… no, no do less.  Pop up… No less.  Do more.”  It wasn’t like that in practice).  Then he showed me, on a board on the sand, where to position myself on the board, how to paddle, what to do when you go over a small wave, and then the three motions of standing, or actually surfing.  It seemed simple while securely on the sand.  I totally got it, he made me feel like a natural.

Then we went into the water (they gave me the black shirt I was wearing, since clearly my little Brazilian bikini wasn’t going to make it through this adventure).  With the board tethered to my foot, he glided it out.  The waves were pretty rough, and I think I sort of suck at general being-in-the-ocean management.  I never know when to jump over a wave, or dive into it, and I got tumbled around and clobbered trying to get past the break.  Finally I did.  My teacher told me to get up onto the board.  I did.  He said start paddling.  I did.  He turned me around and said (in Portuguese, the whole thing was in Portuguese), “paddle paddle paddle! Stand up!”  I sort of did, but mostly didn’t. I tried to push my body up without getting my legs ready.  After about forty-five minutes of paddling out, turning around, semi-standing up and then finally standing up, I felt a lot more comfortable.  I don’t think I looked all that pretty or graceful (yet?), but I had a blast.  I told him I’d try again tomorrow.

The thing about today, was that I got to spend all day outside, for the first time in a long time.  Scott and I have been talking a lot about our time in Brazil, reflecting on it, wondering how much we succeeded, our regrets, how much we left on the table.  I think he said it best–It could have been more, but it could have been less.  Today made me feel scrubbed clean.  After surfing and playing in the ocean I went for a long walk on the beach, climbing over rocks into the next cove, and then came back and Scott and I went for a run along the cliffs, one beach after another, endless turquoise ocean.  It was the way we drove last year, when we thought there was a road that connected Pipa with Tibau do Sul that turned out to be too rough and tumble for our little Fiat.  It’s just the most breathtaking run I have ever, ever seen.  We’ll have to bring a camera out there next time.

It’s nice to be a little bit out of our heads, and the scenery definitely helps.  For good measure, our pousada, a collection of little bungalows, looks like this.

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4 Responses to “Menina na Pipa”

  1. Edite said

    I wish to be there.Missing you.

  2. Carina said

    Everything looks AMAZING!! We will need to travel sometime to know Pipa. Sao Paulo is really gray today, so enjoy the amazing weather in the north.

  3. Emily said

    I like this entry. It makes me feel happy.

  4. Dear blogger,

    Our IX10 competition is doing great, with some really cool blogs eager to get number 1 spot! We’re very glad you have accepted this challenge and joined us.

    This e-mail is just to remind you there is still time to get your blog up in the list. The voting goes until February 14th at midnight CET (GMT +1), so get down to business and keep voting!

    Wishing you all good luck,

    Priscila
    On behalf of bab.la and Lexiophiles team

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