I’ve lived in Sydney for more than ten years, and have not once been to the Sydney Aquarium. But throw me into a foreign city and suddenly I’m at the aquarium within a few days…
It’s incredible when you get the opportunity to see some of the amazing creatures from below up close. You remember just how forieng and strange that world beneath sea level can be.
Tiny seahorses, crabs, anenomes and fish of all sorts, shapes and sizes fascinate the eyes and mind.
That strange world below ours is just as fascinating as the one we live in, and well worth a visit just as any other tourist destination deserves.
At the aquarium I suddenly became that small insignificant being observing all that was around me, and wondering about the part I play in the gigantic yet strangely small world of ours.
These moments are greta – they reignite the wonder that time erodes, and leave you dazzled, filled with questions and looking at things from new perspectives.
After catching a local bus for just 2 Reais, and seeing beach after beach fly past the window, we finally arrive at Praia Prumirim. The bus stop is not all that obvious, or very promising, as it appears to just be in the middle of nowhere.
But walking on, down the trail, we find the street access, and then soon we’re surrounded by nice beach houses scattered in and around the foliage.
The foliage parts, and now we’re on a fairly secluded beach, with just a few other beachgoers beside us. At the north end of the beach lies a kiosk, beside the lagoon, with deckchairs and sunbrellas waiting…
For just a few dollars, drink, food and water are at your beck and call. The tranquility is free, and you’re safe to leave your things behind as you take a dip in the refreshing water.
Turtles pop their heads up every now and then to gaze at you with mild curiosity, and crabs scamper across the sand to their hideaways as you head back to waiting caipirinhas and snacks.
Now THIS is Brazil…
Ubatuba is a stretch of beachy paradise between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It’s not a frequent stop for many foreign tourists, but the South Americans love it!
Paulistanas (people from Sao Paulo) use it as their weekend getaway, after all it’s just four hours from the centre of Sao Paulo by bus, and much less if you are traveling by helicopter, one of Sao Paulo’s prefered methods of travel.
In Ubatuba, there are more than a hundred beaches to choose from, some busy with tourists and traders, others more secluded with just one or two beachfront kiosks for food service and drinks, and yet others where you are its only inhabitant for the day.
You’ll also find a thriving local turtle population thanks predominantly to the Projeto Tamar group. It’s quite an experience to swim in the beaches with turtles around you.
In the city centre, you’ll find bikes to rent, a great skate park, ice skating in summer (yep!) and plenty of great places to eat, shop and relax.
But if it’s beaches you’re after, then you’ll need to catch a bus either north or south and checkout some of the favourites like Praia Grande,Praia Vermelha, Felix, Itamambucu and Prumirim.
When visiting Ubatuba, you HAVE to try the local creation of ‘Azul Marinho’ or fish with banana – a delicious stew made with fresh fish fillets and green bananas.
Thanks to Marcio, meu amigao, for showing me around Ubatuba and introducing me to some of the local culture.