Charlie’s Angels gone wrong & The Ghost Beach

The main objective of this blog is for me to rant about draconian immigration laws getting in the way of, or influencing my theatre work, and share my border-crosser experiences. But it is also a blog about travelling, so occasionally, I will post stories about interesting places I’ve visited just because. Like this one.

A few days after Neale’s visit and our jaunt around Uruguay and Argentina, another friend came to visit from Scotland. Pam had been here before, so Porto Alegre and Livramento weren’t new to her, but I like taking people to different places, so my sister and I had the idea of taking her to Cambará do Sul, a tiny town on the north of the state of Rio Grande do Sul famous for its national park Aparados da Serra. My sister and I had never been there either, so that would be new to us as well. The most famous thing in the park are the Jurassic-like canyons. We spent two days getting ready to go, checking weather conditions, activating the FlavNav (you know, memorising Google Maps as we still don’t have a GPS), choosing the right clothes for the occasion, and packing bags with enough supplies to survive in the jungle in case we got lost. We ended up looking like a poor version of Charlie’s Angels that didn’t get the brief, which the picture below confirms:


So we got to Aparados, and stood at the top of trail leading to the main canyon, took a deep breath and trekked into the wild, ready to face the unknown. 45 minutes and hardly any effort later, we were at the canyon. We sat and ate our packed lunches laughing at our OTT prepping and admiring the view.

We spent a couple of hours there just basking in some nature and then went back, took the car and drove across the border (sorry, I had to!) into the state of Santa Catarina so we could U-turn and cross again into Rio Grande do Sul to go to the beach for a few days. We spent one night in Torres, the northernmost and my favourite beach in the south (shout out to Pousada Aventura, the excellent hostel where we stayed), and then went a bit further south to Capão Novo.

Capão Novo is a district of Capão da Canoa, the closest coastal town to Porto Alegre (and it feels like a suburb of Porto Alegre too). My brother has a house in Capão Novo, so we went there for sheer practicality. This, however, was November. Summer hadn’t kicked in yet, and I had never been there out of season. The place was a ghost town. Just a couple of the shops were open, and there was absolutely no one else at the beach apart from me and Pam. We did have a chilled week watching a lot of crap telly – the best show was this Jeremy Kyle-style thing in which a guy was keeping a MASSIVE secret from his girlfriend, and we were trying to guess what it was. We settled for a sex change, but it was revealed (after about 3 hours) that he had signed up to join the mission to colonise Mars!

Oh yeah, we also had a near-death experience when some loony drove straight at our taxi, but our driver managed to swerve and we escaped unscathed. A thrilling week indeed.


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