My friend Mandy and I decided last night to have an adventure today that would involve running, eating, reading, and hammocking. We wanted to take this fine Sunday afternoon and relax in the best way possible, in the most perfect place imaginable: out at Casa da Fazenda in Souzas. (Or is it Joaquim Edigio at that point?) Mandy assured me it was something like 3K from the center of Souzas up to the farm, and so I took on the challenge with zest and excitement. The weather today was absolutely beautiful, and on the warm side, so even waiting for the bus to take us from Campinas to Souzas had us breaking into a sweat.
We were offered a ride to the farm by two people who thought we were crazy. “It’s probably another half hour after you get off the paved road,” they told us. But we were determined to run it and feel good and exhausted by the time we got to the farm, deserving a hearty lunch and a sleep in a hammock. And then we found ourselves twenty minutes later, still walking–as a warm up, of course–on the paved road and wondering exactly how long it would take to get to the farm, not knowing that in fact it was about 5K from the center of town to the farm itself. When the road began a steep incline we asked ourselves if we would prefer to run it or to just walk it briskly. We decided on the latter and by the time we got to the farm, we were both coated in a thin film of sweat and caked on red dust. Mandy had streaks across her arms and I felt dirt in the creases of my eyes.
We did indeed deserve a good meal and we each had plates of salads and meats and mashed squash and polenta. We drank fresh watermelon and orange juices and I finished my meal with a tangy caipirinha. Distracted the whole time by the four yellow lab puppies, each a month old, and by the thousand children who carried them around like teddy bears, I made my way happily to a hammock and drowned myself in a book that I’m desperately trying to finish. I’ve never wanted to be over with a book as badly as I have this one. It’s not written well and I just want it over. But despite how poorly it’s written, I was still brought to tears over a couple of passages, and while I rocked myself back and forth in my blue hammock in the shade, I managed to get through 20 or so pages while Mandy, curled up in a red hammock, fell into a solid sleep.
Our day ended by walking back the same 5K to the center of Souzas, catching a bus that brought us back to Campinas, and we parted ways where our streets split. I showered immediately, glad to wash the dust off and out of my skin, and now I’m back listening to Dave Brubeck on online radio. Today was one of the most incredible days–so long and so peaceful.
I wish you could see it here, smell the hot dusty air with the occasional scent of lilac or mint wafting out of the forest. Above our heads on the walk to and from we heard the faint zapping of electricity through the wires and were caught off guard a number of times by big barking dogs running alongside the road as we tried to decide if they were killers or not. Some were too little, some too old, and some thankfully restrained by barbed wire fences. Tall clusters of bamboo lined the dirt road, maybe decades and decades old, green and thick. The earth, already red, irradiated crimson in the sunset on our walk home. Crunchy gravel and sand beneath our sneakers, cool shade beneath the trees’ canopy, and us, walking and talking about good times and the people we love. I can’t imagine a better day.