Monday, April 25, 2011
We have decided to take the coast road, once again in lieu of the more direct route to Sao Paulo. As with many of the large cities, Sao Paulo with an estimated population of 11 million is somewhere we will try to avoid if possible. Large cities and RVs do not mix well! Also the coastal route between these two renowned cities, a drive of 375 miles is considered one of the most stunning stretches of coastline in the world. The Costa Verde or “Green Coast”. Our first stop was a little south of Angra dos Reis (The King’s Cove) which is a beautiful bay with hundreds of tropical islands. This is a perfect bay for snorkeling as it is a protected marine area and you can see thousands of fish and turtles. After the madness of Carnaval in Rio, this was a welcome respite and we stayed for a few days parked at a campground in Tarituba which also offered cabins for rent but we were fortunate to be able to park the motor home next to the beach away from the cabins. As we continued south we avoided the larger resort areas and camped at smaller beaches along the way. At Praia Boicucanga, we parked along the roadside by some restaurants and were lucky enough to pick up Wi-Fi from a local store and at Boraceia we found a campground which offered us power and water and was again close to the beach. We are now no longer in the protected bay and these praia are well known surf spots so Tom got in some well deserved boogie board time. Winston ran like a mad dog on the beaches, relishing his freedom. When we arrived at Boraceia we immediately saw another RV, a Mercedes, smaller than ours. No-one was around but after about 30 minutes, a couple returned. Jo and Lis are from Sao Paulo and they were able to give us the names and directions to other campgrounds as we go further south. Thanks to them, our next stop was in Bertioga at a really nice, well maintained campsite opposite the ocean. As we pulled in we saw a huge motor home, about 45 feet long. The biggest we have seen since leaving Mexico. It was obvious that it had a permanent place at the campsite. Chico and his wife Marcia have a business in Santos (a city about one hour south) and come up on weekends with their two daughters, Carolina and Vivi. We quickly became friends and shared several meals with them. Vivi is three years old and fell in love with Winston. She just could not stop chasing him, petting him and playing with him. Carolina had her laptop and when English got too difficult we resorted to Google translator to help us out. After they left on Sunday, we stayed a couple more days before leaving. We did not want to stay in Santos but we needed to stop and find propane. In Rio, Bruno at Ultragaz had been very helpful and after getting lost in the port area only twice, we found the Ultragaz main facility. Cesar is the manager and speaks English. Yes, they would fill us but we would have to wait until about 3pm for a truck. No problem. We also asked about places to camp for the night and after much discussion we were told that Santos was not really suitable but Praia Grande just a little further south should be ok. We parked by the side of the beach overnight and then made our way to the last beach town of Peruibe before heading inland to the border at Foz do Iguaçu.