Posted on June 10, 2009 with 1 Comment
Long story short: I went to Brazil for a week, and then my internet has been out for a week (another story, which I won’t bore you with…suffice it to say I am through with at&t and their so-called “customer service” in which I actually got hung up on by one of their “customer service” representatives–buh-bye at&t, hello, Lake Tahoe On Line!)–but the real story here is Brazil!
and I were lucky enought to get to represent the TNF athlete team at the opening of their brand new store in Sao Paulo; I felt incredibly fortunate to get to go to a place I’ve been wanting to visit for so long, and even more lucky to be treated with the utmost hospitality and shown such a wonderful time. Thanks to everyone I met for their friendliness and amazing hospitality–muito obrigata!
I landed in Sao Paulo and was immediately whisked off to Ihlabela with Jacob from TNF and his uber-adventure-athlete cohorts, Belo, Camila, and Andre.
Ihlabela is a beautiful jungle island a few hours from Sao Paulo that apparently has great kite-boarding–it was sort of rainy so we just had lunch and went swimming on this beautiful beach. I didn’t mind one bit!
We drove to a beach called Maresias that night, and the next morning got up super early so these crazy Brazilians could compete in a 70km relay run. Here’s the start of the run–just goes to show you that everyone in that country really is fit.
I didn’t want to disgrace the gazelle-like team of my new Brazilian friends with my amateur running presence, so I went for a mellow jog on the beach while they took turns doing 7-10km at a time at what looked to me like an all-out sprint. Of course, they took second place and claimed they were just doing it for “fun” anyways…!
It’s cool, you guys…I’ll just be over here–let me know when you’ve finished that 70k, alright?!
The finish of the race on the beach at Maresias happened to coincide with a day of huge waves–there must have been 20+ jetskis towing people into pretty massive waves. It was sensory overload between the Brazilian beach scene and the barrels…so much to look at.
After a long day on the beach, what’s better than grilled cheese on a stick?! This was one of the many culinary treats I got to experience in Brazil–we were invited to Amendoin and Vivi’s (more new friends from Brazil) beautiful outdoor garden that night for a BBQ and were treated to lots of great food and this cheese that comes on a stick; you put it on the grill until it’s a bit charred and kind of melty, and it tastes amazing. Who knew?
It’s true–Brazilians are all good looking, they rock thongs like it’s nothing, and they’re all tan.
After the days at the beach & the jungle, we drove back to Sao Paulo, where Cedar joined us straight from Rio de Janeiro. Jacob, Cedar and I got up early and braved the Sao Paulo traffic to drive 2 hours out of the city to the mountains–Campos do Jordao. We met up with local mountain bike rippers Elivan and Marceo, and they led us on a stunning 50km ride.
Cedar, demonstrating the view and the stoke. We stopped partway through the ride and were treated to a lunch of trout and the pinenuts from these Dr. Seuss-looking trees behind Cedar, a local and super cool variety of pine tree called the araucaria.
After the ride, we enjoyed a locally-made beer in the town of Campos do Jordao with our hosts. It’s a striking place–a Swiss-style village nestled amongst the tropical vegetation–where the Paulistas go for their mountain fix.
Finally, we had a few days to try to absorb a bit of the enormous city that is Sao Paulo–Fabricio and Jacob and friends really rolled out the red carpet–the opening store party was full of Brazilian actors and models, and I only wish there was more time to explore this beautiful country. I can’t wait to get back!