It was dark, but still early evening when my bus pulled into the small Itacare bus station on the Atlantic coast of Brazil. Soft, warm rain fell making the streets shine as if they had been freshly waxed. I had the name of a hostel but no reservation. When I got off the bus I asked a young, stylish woman who was also getting off the bus if she knew where it was. She nodded and motioned for me to follow her. A man who was hoping to make a commission by sending tourists to hotels, met the bus. “Obrigata,” I said, but I have reservations.” I am such a liar. I hoisted my backpack and grabbed my small, but heavy with esl books wheel-along. After several blocks she stopped at the top of some concreted steps leading down to a long street lit on both sides with shops, small markets, and a couple of hostels. “She pointed her arm straight and then her hand to the right.” OK. I lumped along the uneven street, holding my umbrella over me and my backpack looking for the street sign I needed. then I heard some music and laughing above me. I looked up. It was a hostel with a party happening on the balcony. I went in. Within minutes I had registered, dumped my damp stuff by my bunk and headed out to the market next door for a bottle of wine. Time to party. I stayed at the hostel several days longer than intended. Itacare is a hanout place par excellence.
I spent my days exploring the beaches ,the village,the rain forest and the restaurants. My favorites were the por kilo (weighed by the kilo) places that allowed me to sample vegetables and meat made in ways I’d never tasted before.
Itacare has great waves, therefore, surfers and hunky young men, turtles too if you look closely enough. I saw a couple of big ones by the rocks. Hiking on the beach and through the rain forest, talking to folks, jumping in the surf, and kicking back with cold drink. It’s all good.