I didn’t have a chance to tell you that I’d be gone all weekend. Three friends and I left almost immediately after school on Friday in a rented car and drove through the rain and the most amazing lightning storm I’ve witnessed to date over to the center of the state of Sao Paulo to an outdoor adventure paradise city called Brotas. This place is small, quaint, and nearly everything in the city center is focused around adventure tourism: rafting, climbing, arvorismo, bike flights, kayaking, floating. So Brotas is the place we visited this weekend, despite the rain, with tents packed and coolers loaded down with cold drinks and fresh meat to put on the grill.
Saturday we did two things: went for a drive out into the country to a farm that charged R$15 for people to go take a hike to see some waterfalls. I didn’t feel like that kind of fun and insisted on crashing out on one of the bamboo hammocks that were hanging from beneath a beautiful shade tree while my friends disappeared into the trails. I took out my book and read not even one page before my eyes grew heavy and I drifted off into a heavy rest, too light to be called “sleep.” I swayed in the breeze that came through every now and then and when my friends returned from their hike, we made a small picnic and then took off to activity number 2: water sports. We headed back to town and parted ways: 2 of us to rafting and 2 of us to tubing. I’d been rafting before and it wasn’t my favorite thing ever, so I decided to go for the tubing. And here is where the photo-taking stops because we couldn’t take our cameras into the river, thus for the next several hours I was without mine.
Oh, but if I could have taken only one picture it would have been of the moment in the river when one of our guides said, “If you’re afraid of spiders, don’t look up.” And, being intrigued by the aerial Pandora’s Box, I looked up and nearly choked. Above my head were curtains and curtains of spiders. Thousands of black spiders with sharp spindly legs of all sizes, climbed or stood still on their smoky webs that extended across the river between the trees. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. It was simultaneously the most disgusting and the coolest thing ever and I’d never wished I’d had a camera so badly because no matter how I try to explain it, you’ll just never believe me. Curtains of spiders.
And after that, not much happened: dinner, staying up, going to bed, and getting rained on inside the tents. The usual camping adventure, I suppose. We came home early this morning and I have been inside recuperating ever since. Sleeping on the ground takes some getting used to. A year ago I was in good shape having slept for a month in New Zealand in tents and in cramped spaces like Dennis’ car. This weekend, though, was a shock to my system.
In other news, a super good friend of mine booked his flight to Brazil to come visit me while I am on my spring break next month. We will be going to Salvador, to Morro de Sao Paulo, and I couldn’t be more excited. Yay for visitors!!