Beachtime

How do you write about a boy playing on the beach in southern Brazil without resorting to cliché? I’ll have to tackle it, in any case. Summer is ending, weekends at the beach are numbered, and I wanted to make a weekend post just to show this photograph that so effectively conveys the feeling of being the last person at the beach. Even when it’s time to go home, we can still hope for one more wave.

Beachtime

Sugar Shack

Granted, I don’t speak Portuguese—but if I studied the signs correctly, I believe this building is a recreation of the sort of shack used in converting sugar cane into raw sugar. From the outside, it has just the right Brazilian charm. From the inside, the dichotomy at the heart of modern Brazil is even better represented: traditional cane processing equipment, including massive grinding stones, spend time alongside comfortable couches and a television.

Sugar Shack

Sand Fortress IV

Another in my ongoing series of sand castle photographs (see I, II, and III), this shot comes from the gorgeous coast of southern Brazil. While everyone else is off playing in the surf, these two boys stayed behind on the beach to construct this complex of truly epic sand castles. (That sand castles are as wondrous and short-lived as childhood is perhaps too trite a metaphor for me to acknowledge in any way beyond the parenthetical.) I just love the universality of building sand castles on the beach–from the east coast to the west, and the from the northern hemisphere to the south, it’s a worldwide past time.

Sand Fortress IV

Pirate Island

As a child, I held on to the fantasy of discovering a secret island all my own–one stocked with secret forts and pirate treasure and relaxing fishing spots. During our trip to Brazil last fall, I was entranced by the rocky but just-the-right-sized islands off the coast of Florianopolis. If I could have only gotten out there, I know pirate treasure awaited me.

Pirate Island

Crashing Wave Path

Far along the beach, the Atlantic waves crash against Brazilian stone. The Sun has just dropped behind the horizon, and I’m standing on these steps beyond a strange little pseudo-bridge and this odd sculpture. To this day, I’m still not sure whether it’s functional, or purely decorative.

Crashing Wave Path

No Dark on the Beach

The beach at Costão do Santinho is as bright as day, 24/7. In the winter, it was eerily empty (save for a few roaming packs of wild dogs, later on…) I’d like to imagine that the warmer weather brings all-night volleyball tournaments.

Either way, the mist-capped waves, black rocks, and bright bits of algae make the lonely beach even more alien.

No Dark on the Beach

Jet Set Hotel

Costao do Satinho fills almost an entire end of Florianopolis’s island, and the hotel pictured here represents just a small bit of it. There are villas and beaches sprawling out over acres. Still, this part (at night) was one of my favorites, with its 1960’s style and very jet-set-minded architecture. This is a place that caters to a group from the past.

Jet Set Hotel

Surf: Brazil

Saturday isn’t a normal posting day, but I was so excited by this shot that I thought I’d bring you guys a bonus. I’m currently in Florianopolis, Brazil, home of (they claim) the best surfing in the world. The waves weren’t quite that impressive yesterday, but they were pretty close. The blue green-ocean, black rocks, and golden barnacles make for the perfect “Royal Surf.”

Surf: Brazil