We can’t believe we are already end of March. In about two hours time we take a flight back home and we won’t be back until the 1st of October. We leave Silmaril in good hands at the Aratú Iate Clube. This sailing club is located in a small bay well protected from the elements.
We leave with mix feelings. On the one hand we are looking forward to spend time with family and friends and to enjoy Belgian goodies like beer and chocolate. On the other hand we like it here in Brazil. We will miss the climate, the fresh fruit from the stalls in the streets, the beauty of the nature and the beaches, the friendliness of (most) Brazilians, the wonderful sound of Brazilian portuguese, the leisurely sail trips in the bay of Todos Os Santos, the freedom of being at anchor in beautiful places, being in open air all the time, shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops.
It has been a great experience to discover this, for us, new culture. Being here on a sailing boat, and having time to “hang around” offers the possibility to dive a bit in the local habits. We enjoyed simple things like taking a bus in town, just like the (mostly black) locals do, and to observe how Brazilians behave. They are very outspoken, not afraid to raise their voice, dressed in multiple colours. When they play music they play it loud, we mean very loud, as if it is meant for the whole city. Contrasts are normal here, beautiful new houses next to favelas, big flashy powerboats next to fishermen in dugout canoes, modern shopping malls next to small traditional shops.
Brazil is said to be dangerous. We know of people who got robbed, and in one instance killed. So, yes, Brazil can be dangerous, we guess as it is the case in any country whose population has a high ratio of deprived people. We did not have trouble so far. We are just being cautious, and we avoid being in places known to be dangerous in particular at night. At anchor though we keep the hatches open (it is too hot to lock us up in Silmaril), and often we leave our dinghy on beaches unattended for hours to find it back untouched. Again, there is a high contrast between the inherently gentle and helpful character of most Brazilians and a minority of bandits.
In a few hours we will be back home, with all the luxury of our place in Mechelen, and the foresight of being back in Brazil in October. Isn’t happiness based on contrasts?