Two Backpacks

Trindade Beach

Chapter 31 - Trindade

            We’re away early the following morning, having said our goodbyes to Wesley and Julianne the night before, and are relieved when our taxi arrives at the appointed hour – eight o’clock.

            Once at the central terminus – Rotoviaria Novo Rio – we buy our tickets at the Costa Verde booth. Ron and I had taken the bus to Trindade a couple of days before, just to familiarise ourselves with how the bus services work in Brazil.

            Our bus is comfortable, and the four-and-a-half-hour journey through incredible hilly terrain passes quickly. We arrive in Paraty in time to catch the one-o’clock bus to Trindade.

            ‘Breakfast seems an age ago,’ comments Ron as we look around the bus station, trying to get our bearings. ‘Let’s see what we can find to eat.’

            We heave our bags onto our shoulders and wander through the aisles of ticket booths until we find a small section with stalls selling snacks.

            ‘They look good.’ I point to a stall selling what looks like Brazilian-style pasties.

            ‘You get the food, and I’ll grab a couple of bottles of cola,’ Ron suggests, setting off for another stall nearby.

            With half an hour before our bus leaves, we find a couple of seats close to our bus stop and tuck into our picnic. Just as we finish, the Trindade bus arrives.

            ‘That was good timing. Come on, let’s get on and grab our seats,’ suggests Ron, dumping our rubbish in one of the nearby bins.

            We jam our bags under our seats and settle down for the last leg of our trip. Our bus leaves on time and heads southeast towards some seriously high hills in the distance.

            After twenty minutes, we take a left and begin to climb, and climb and climb!

            ‘I don’t think this old boneshaker is going to make it to the top,’ I exclaim, as the driver changes down another gear, and the bus slows to a near stop.

            An advantage to our slow pace is that we’ve time to take in the scenery; green hues of every kind surround us as we climb higher and still higher into the rainforest, each new bend giving us another amazing vista to oooh and aaargh over.

            But what goes up must come down, as the old adage goes, and before long, that’s what we’re doing, albeit very slowly. The driver has to navigate some extremely tight bends, and with the road being single-track, passing oncoming traffic is also a major hazard.

            ‘Look! The sea!’ I exclaim, but before Ron turns to look, the view disappears again behind the thick curtain of trees. Finally, the road levels out a little, and we stop to let passengers off the bus.

            I gaze around, curious about where they’re going; the only clue is a single dirt track that weaves its way through the trees towards the forest.

            Once everyone and their assortment of bags and boxes are on the roadside, we continue our journey. A few minutes later, the road dips again. We turn a bend, and there before us is the ocean.

            ‘Oh, Ron. Look at that!’

            The sand is a light gold, the sea turquoise blue, with sunlight dancing on the waves as they rush up the beach and crash into the rocks, sending spray flying over the road.

            Our driver carefully inches the bus from the road onto the rocks. Instinctively, I reach for Ron.

            Another wave crashes against the rocks a few feet away. I watch in horror as seawater rushes beneath the bus.

            ‘We’re not going to get washed away, are we? This is madness!’ I cry as the bus driver continues to manoeuvre over the uneven rocks.

            Ron’s now holding onto the seat in front of him, concern etched across his face.

            ‘Just hold on tight. They must be used to doing this; otherwise, they’d never attempt the crossing,’ Ron replies with more confidence than I know he feels.

            A few minutes later, we both breathe sighs of relief as we reach the tarmac road again. Trindade Bay, our destination, comes into view – a beautiful curve of sand with ramshackle homes, cafes and pousadas lining its single cobbled street. We’ve arrived!

            Once the bus pulls to a stop, we offload our bags and take a few minutes to look around. I pull the details of the hostel I’d booked online from my pocket and ask one of the bus company’s staff for directions.

            The hostel, located up a steep hill, is on the forest’s edge. We take our time, our bags weighing heavy on our shoulders. When we arrive, somewhat breathless and wishing we’d chosen accommodation in the town, we’re shown to our room.

            It is located below the main reception rooms and kitchen and beside the laundry, where washing machines and dryers are noisily whirring. The room is damp, the linen grubby and the bathroom is grimy. On top of that, there’s a giant boulder in the room!

            We look at each other and nod. There’s no way we’re going to stay. We cancel our booking and have to pay for one night’s accommodation. It means we’ve overspent for the day, but I’d rather do that than share our room with a boulder!

            We set off back to town to look for somewhere comfortable and closer to the sea.

            The return walk is much easier, and we soon find a room at Pousada Prada da Trindade, a guest house on the beach. It’s a little more expensive than the boulder room, but its location is worth the extra cost. We unpack, take a nap and then head out to explore and find some supper.


            We’ve done nothing for the past few days apart from lazing on the beach and going for long walks. Although the weather’s been cloudy, it’s been warm, and I’ve got a few more freckles.

            It’s Friday, and Trindade has transformed from a beautiful, quiet backwater into a rather noisy, raucous retreat for weekenders. The boarded-up shopfronts are now crowded restaurants, cafes and bars!

            ‘Let’s go out tonight and enjoy ourselves,’ Ron suggests from the comfort of our bed. It’s five o’clock in the afternoon, and we’ve just returned from a walk along the seashore.

            ‘Great idea. Let’s have a nap and head out for about eight,’ I propose.

            Our host at the guest house tells us that the reason for the influx of visitors is the Trindade Festival, held over the weekend, where local exhibitors sell handcrafts and paintings and bands perform on the beach.

            Ron and I wander through the town, occasionally stopping to look at one of the many stalls on the roadside.

            ‘The place is heaving. Let’s go down to the beach, get a couple of beers and listen to the bands,’ Ron says, grabbing my hand.

            We’re leaving tomorrow and returning to Paraty, but tonight, the music’s rocking, and everyone’s out having a good time, including us!

Beach sellers
Beach sellers
Nighttime in Trindade
Nighttime in Trindade
Rainclouds Trindade
Rainclouds Trindade