Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kids in the Hood; Armação, Florianópolis Brasil

So I feel in love at first sight with Brazil I was jumping around singing at the top of my lungs, doing my happy dance, little did I know I was in a Brazilian twilight zone. If you are a follower of my blog (which you should be!!) then you may remember an entry from last year where I talked of the weird twilight zone in the Bahamas full of red necks and a traveling freak show. You should really read that posting its pretty darn refresh your memory

but after reading this one first, focus!

Like Abaco, Bahamas this beach destination in Brazil where I was staying called Praia Armação was stunningly beautiful but don’t let looks deceive you.

Tracy had picked our hostel in a hurry so she could show the consulate where we were staying when she was applying for her visa. She found a place with a fantastic price for Brazil and it was right on the beach. I discovered when I mentioned to other travellers where I was going to be staying they had no idea where I was talking about and never came across such a great price. I arrived to Armação early in the morning one day after Tracy. The bus from the mainland dropped me off right in front of Bell’s Company Hostel but it was all boarded up and no one answered the bell. A guy on a motor bike saw me and decided to help out; he climbed the wall of the hostel and opened the door from the inside. This was an odd way of getting in but I went ahead. I decided to try and rest on the couch in the common area until I saw a worker or Tracy.

I eventually met the owner’s mother, had breakfast, read my book, and went for a walk on the beach but no owner and no Tracy. Apparently the owner sleeps in, but how was I to check in? There really wasn’t anyone else in the place except a few Argentinean girls including one who decided to apply sun screen to her naked body in front of me while talking to me in the washroom. The owner’s mother told me my friend Tracy was here but it turned out to be another girl from Australia name Grace (who we later named Gracey, it just fit better with us).

I spent most of the day with my new Australian friend who couldn’t check in to the hostel either. Eventually Tracy found us and she had been sleeping this whole time, a bit too much fun in Uruguay apparently. She informed us the owner was a bit weird and at night the hostel turns into a bar. Most hostel owners are slightly strange and well I was up for some action so all was good. We spent the day on the beach relaxing and close to dinner time the owner had woken up. He was a small man who was a bit weathered from the sun. He never wore a shirt, just red swim trunks. He was very excitable like a 15 year old in a 45 year olds body. He was in the midst of setting up for a party and I was in the way of his sound equipment and disco lights when I was trying to check my e-mails. We went out for dinner at a seafood restaurant across the road which was amazing and treated ourselves to per kilo ice cream. This was the start to our love with per kilo restaurants in Brazil where you load up your plate buffet style and pay by the kilo, an amazing concept!

When we returned from ice cream and purchasing beer from the grocery store we had to get stamped to enter our own hostel. Good thing our names were on the list the teenager at the door had. We then entered the Armação twilight zone. It was a full on hip hop dance party for local teens. They were all underage and looked like they crawled out of the ghetto. Were they filming a Little Bow Wow music video here? It was very odd. The tables on the waterfront had a few older people but the average age was probably 14. In typical teenage fashion the guys were on one side of the dance floor with their hats, white wife beater undershirts and fake chains looking at themselves in the mirror as they danced. The girls were on the other side wearing revealing clothing and shaking their asses a way they shouldn’t know how. We sat at a table with our beer awe struck. There was only one other bar in Armacao that had a few pool tables. Our hostel was the place to be in this small beach village, everyone knew about it. Perhaps it was the hostel owner’s way of keeping these ghetto kids out of trouble, he contains them to one place and they seemed to be behaving although I was pretty sure it wasn’t fruit juices they were drinking. Thankfully they were not allowed inside the hostel just on the patio and bar area. We were sitting amongst it all but the hommies and the fly girls had no idea we were even there.

In the morning random people were passed out in the outdoor common area including one older man who looked like a leather bag from the sun. He seemed to be passed out in the hostel for quite a few days that followed.

Despite how beautiful Armação was we didn’t see any other travellers. There were a few people that would show up to the hostel but they all seemed a bit strange as well. The beach was fantastic with clear warm blue waters that rolled into shore. At caipirinha O’clock we could just sit at one of the beach side tables and be served right there. Nineteen year old Grace was our new protégée we were going to take her under our wing and that started with buying her drinks which would in turn help us out later on. It was all in the name of Alcohol karma.

We discovered there were only three restaurants, one grocery store, a small bar and our hostel the ghetto kid’s night club in Armação . This wasn’t the Florianopolis everyone had been talking about.

Tracy wasn’t feeling well when I first arrived so we didn’t mind hanging out on this stunning beach and going to bed after laughing at the kids in the hood but enough was enough we wanted to see Florianopolis, we wanted action and to meet other travelers. We left this weird twilight zone for Barra Da Lagoa, where it appeared most people stayed by looking at the map view on hostel world.

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