The Adventures Continues...
The last time we saw the ladies of Women and The Wind, they had just completed their incredible North Atlantic crossing. Craving another adventure together, the girls met up in Brazil to road trip and sail their way through some of the country's most idyllic coastline.
Words by: Kiana Weltzien
The Fiat Uno Mile, the best road trip companion. Photo by: Alize Jireh
We were all stuffed into my borrowed Fiat Uno Mille, with camera bags, suitcases, and food packed to the brim. And a dog, just for the extra company. It was still dark outside. It must have been before 6 am, and it was winter in Brazil, so luckily, no one would be asking to use the nonexistent air conditioner for at least another hour or two.
The trio was back together again after one year apart. The last time we were together we were somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean on our 30-day crossing. It was hard to believe that so much time had already passed since the most incredible month of our lives. It felt like home to be back together again.
The Women and the Wind Girls with their Fiat admiring the ocean views through the jungle. Photo by: Alize JirehOur little road trip took us along the Rio-Santos BR-101 from Ilhabela to Paraty, with a mandatory stop in Ubatuba on the way, known as Brazil’s surf city, so Laerke could catch some waves at Praia Grande. For the last bit of the ride, we entered a nature reserve, where lush greenery canopied over us, teasing us with stunning views of the ocean and lush rainforest islands. Laughter was our soundtrack for the entire trip.
Laerke and their road trip companion Buda! Photo by: Alize JirehThe reunion with Mara Noka, our boat, was a sweet one. Laerke and Alize hadn’t been aboard in nearly an entire year, and I had been gone for a couple of weeks, so being there, all of us together again, was very invigorating. I believe that wood stores energy, making wooden boats special. Being on board, waves of memories from our time in the open ocean washed over us.
Most of our time in Paraty was consumed by capturing footage, interviews, and other tidbits for our documentary. We floated between different anchorages, each more unique than the last. One had a beach lined with different colored fishing/tourism boats in various stages of repair. It was a simple yet well-equipped boatyard, the most idyllic working environment one could ask for.
Admiring the view in the Nazare bodysuit and Lido one piece. Photo by: Alize JirehAnother bay, which was empty between dusk and dawn, until tourists would arrive for the day, had a couple of spooky abandoned houses on the beach. The perfect backdrop for Alize to experiment with her photography. This beach also had a hiking trail over the mountain. Walking through a rainforest with bare feet on red earth surrounded by the sounds of birds and thousands of insects brings an incomparable joy.
Finding new friends in the Emma Shorts and Ellie Top. Photo by: Alize JirehThe most convenient of the anchorages, though, is a famous stop-over for cruisers and liveaboards, called Vagabond Beach. So fitting. The boaters who call this anchorage home set up a water tank, hoses, and shower from the spring just above the beach. Salt, sun, sand, and a spring water shower… what more could we ask for?
Lifejackets hanging in the eclectic boatyard. Photo by: Alize Jireh
Three weeks came and went all too quickly, and just like that, the girls were off again and I was left alone at home, on Mara Noka. Weekly meetings, working on the documentary, and an undying connection keep us in close contact. Still, there is nothing quite like sitting on Mara Noka’s planked deck together watching a sunset, or sharing a meal, or enjoying a nice fire…
With love, Kiana
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