Caiçara Spirit

I woke with the first soft rays of light to a watercolor sky of oranges, pinks and yellows. My sleepy eyes smiled and I slipped out of my tent, bare feet in the cool sand, still wet from the night's rain. There are few gifts in life that are more rewarding that waking to see the sunrise. This was to be the first of many gifts, many mornings and many sunrises in Trindade. As the colors saturated the horizon I gave a silent namaste to the universe. My day was complete before the rest of the world was awake.

Bugre, the old pirate
Praia do Caixadaço is a special place. It is not for everyone, but as I sat alone that first morning I had an easy feeling that this was a place I could stay a while. The few people who live in Caixadaço are not always the most welcoming to outsiders. Their homes have been  threatened to be taken away when the government declared their land a Nature Reserve, their front yard has been invaded by tourists and they have been forced to compromise the seclusion they once enjoyed. Accessible only by boat, Trindade and surrounding areas existed for generations almost completely removed from the outside world. The area was populated by the Caiçara people; small fishing communities of indigenous families who lived off the bounties of the sea and planting local crops to trade with surrounding villages. Guadalupe has lived in Caixadaço for over 35 years with her husband, who was a Caiçara chief, and their five children. Guadalupe, now a grandmother of two, is learning to live again after losing the love of her life to cancer. Much has changed in the three years since the chief passed away; the family built a new house with generator-powered electricity, opened a restaurant and campground and now share their once quiet oasis with the many foreign backpackers and clients that come during high season. Perhaps you will receive a guarded smile, but you can see the sadness in her eyes. The family is protective of each other and of their story. They can come off as cold and closed, but it    
is merely a defense mechanism, a way to measure the character of those they come in contact with. They are the keepers of one of the most beautiful places on earth and I am fortunate enough to call this place home for a short while. 


front yard

swimming pool

My days here are simple and quiet. I am learning to be still. Living here is like an constant meditation, the sound of the ocean and music of the jungle forever guiding you through your unconscious practice. I have learned to live with very little, learned that far less is required to live a fulfilling existence. I have passed entire days and weeks simply contemplating a waterfall, a flower, a twisted vine, the clouds on the horizon, the erratic flight of a butterfly, the rise and fall of a wave. I have spent many hours at a friend's house in the jungle reciting poetry, making music, discussing the beauty of life and the harmony of nature. I have learned the art of cooking over a campfire. Some of the best meals on this trip have been cooked over an open flame, eaten with hands on a banana leaf plate on the beach. Fresh caught fish stuffed with onion and banana, rice and feijão (beans) with mango, pineapple & avocado salsa, fish stuffed with farofa, fish pan fried, fish baked with shrimp cream. Sensory overload every day. Waking up in the wee hours of darkness to the sky filled with millions of stars streaking the milky way, midnight walks barefoot through the jungle, hallucinations of creatures in the shadows, a tiny neon worm spotted squiggling on the black ground, glowing algae glimmering in the sand, streaks of glitter with each swipe of the foot. So many tiny magical moments, memories of the time when I lived in a real life Jungle Book.

Felipe e Marquinhos

world's teeny tiniest banana

a casinha da Mechi
it's always a party here
a casa de Felipe
carrying firewood
view from Casa das Roças
whale vertebrae 
Cachoiera de Praia Brava
first caverna, hike to Cabeça de Indio

Cabeça do Indio

painted sky
a very choppy boat ride to Ubatuba

a boy and his boat

Blue skies I will never forget, people and friends who will forever be dear to my heart, rains to wash away the Saudade, cool waters to refresh awaken my senses, and the promise of sunshine to reassure me that it was all real. Obrigada por issos momentos, obrigada Trindade, obricada Caixadaço, obrigada a todas as pessoas que me fizeram sentir tão bem vida. Love always...

last day with my libelula