Surf town of Maresias
Two weeks ago I started my Tuesday morning by heading to the major bus station in the city of Sao Paulo (Tietê) to catch a bus to Maresias, a surf focused beach town, about 5 hours away via the common bus line, Onibus. I had been told this bus ride would be about 3.5 hours, but as I continue to learn, time seems to run differently in Brasil.
When I noticed that the bus stops tended to be small and without signs, I realized that I did not know how to navigate exactly when to get off the bus. My Portuguese is minimal right now so I had a local friend send me a text in Portuguese that I showed to an older woman behind me, which essentially told her I don’t speak Portuguese and asked her to help me with when to get off the bus. While I was a bit embarrassed, all is well that ends well, and I arrived fine around 4pm, thanks to google translate and friendly locals.
When I got off the bus in Maresias I used my Apple maps app on my phone to walk about 1km to my hostel. The town was very simple. I felt uncomfortable on this first walk, unsure of language, culture, safety.. the first time you’re alone and navigating a country where you don’t speak the language can have a tendency to do that to you. Once I arrived at my hostel I was surprised to find that even the reception staff didn’t speak any English, and sad to find out that my 10-bed-female-dorm room only had one other guest. I was pleased with the cute courtyard, delicious breakfast, friendly staff and cleanliness of my hostel, Tubes Maresias, which only cost me BRL54.75 ($14USD) per night.
Thanks to the use of Bumble BFF, Tinder, and other common millennial dating apps, I believe the world of traveling alone has changed. Despite my hostel being near-empty, I was able to quickly meet local people through these apps. My first morning in Maresias I was invited to go to the beach with two Brasilians who were also visiting Maresias from the city of Sao Paulo. I was informed we were going on “a short walk to the beach” but it turned out to be a climb up and over a small mountain headed north from the main beach (Praia de Maresias), to another beach called Pauba. The walk was easy to moderate most of the way, but the descending trail on the other side of the mountain was muddy, wet, and steep, a tough combination. This was one of the many moments on this trip that I have been thankful for my Chaco’s, which are known as “outdoor sandals” and have proven to hold up amazingly on multiple hikes, swims and every outdoor activity in-between. The photos below are from this hike and on Pauba beach. The water on Puaba was cold by my Florida standards, but it was refreshing.
After a swim at my hostel I decided to walk around the town and explore, when I stumbled upon an alley full of beautiful street art called Beco Da Mulher Maravilha, which translates to “Wonder Woman Alley”. This alley is a beachside version of Vila Madelena’s Batman Alley, located in the city of Sao Paulo.
After exploring Beco Da Mulher Maravila I had dinner with a new local friend and got to bed early. My Garmin watch logged 19km that day and I was beyond exhausted. The following day started with surfing and ended with having dinner at a local’s house which consisted of chicken, potatoes, and most importantly fresh Caipirinhas made with maracuja. The word maracuja come from the Amazon, and the fruit is from the same family as passion fruit; and spoiler alert: its delicious.
The night ended at a local , outdoor, “Funk Party” that lasted until the sun came up. Funk music is a genre of music that began in Rio de Janeiro, derived from a a combination of gangsta rap music and Miami bass. The following day was filled with relaxation and an evening walk on a beach area called Calhetas, located about 10km north of Maresias, which allowed for beautiful views that are pictured below.
Later that evening my partners from Sao Paulo arrived to visit for the weekend and we spent the entire next day playing at the beach and getting way too much sun.
My time in Maresias was filled with more sun, water, fun & culture than I could have ever hoped for! After spending an incredible five nights in this beautiful surf town, I woke up Sunday morning to catch a ferry to move on to my next adventure, on an Island called Ilhabela.