Walking along the Brazilian Coast (1 Viewer)


Oct 24, 2018
Reaction score
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hey guys,

So I've been meaning to write up the past couple weeks in Brazil for some time now and finally figured it was time. So here it is, I hope you guys enjoy my little write-up


It started with me realizing that I felt trapped in the city. Something about Sao Paulo makes it simultaneously vibrant and full of energy as much as it suck you in and makes you feel trapped. I suppose that's the case with most cities, but growing up in west Texas I've never been used to the constant business of city life. I had been working there for the past month for an educational project which had been fulfilling but there was always that feeling inside, yearning to just pack up and go. And so I did, I left without much of a plan, hitching a ride for Santos with my only idea being that I wanted to walk along the coast and see where it took me.

And it did not disappoint.
I got out the car, thanked the driver for the "carona" and stretched my hands into the sky taking a deep breathe. The all too familiar feeling that I could never get enough of came rushing back. That feeling of having nothing but the clothes on your back and the all too forgotten gift of time.

I started to walk alongside the road, stopping occasionally to ask for directions to the pier. I was looking for a ferry to take me to Guaruja where there'd be coast for miles for me to walk to my heart's content.

Ended up picking up some food (some sardines and crackers that ended up becoming food for weeks- although strangely never got tired of it) and reached the pier where I took a boat across the small river straight. Once I made it to the coast, it was just simply following the route with the endless ocean always towards my right.


On my first night I had made it to Bertioga where I planned to sleep on an isolated section of the beach. I decided to kill some time on the docks chilling after a long day of walking. I ended up talking to some people who were fishing there and made friends with a guy named Bruno. I later learned that he had left his family after he was caught having an affair. It was the classic, "im going to go buy a pack of cigs" and then never came back sorta Dad. We traveled together for a couple days, he showed me how to fish without a pole and we had some nice fish for dinner. It was a nice routine for a bit, Get up early, start walking stop and laze around if we make it to a small beach town, then go fishing for dinner and at night we'd just find a place under a storefront in case it rained at night.

After we had split ways, he had told me that he was going to head back to his kids and wife in Sao Paulo. I really hope he did, he was a kind man, just made some bad decisions in his life.

Afterwards I made my way to Maresias, the surfing capital of the Brazilian coast. There was this huge ass uphill to get there though with those classic winding roads that obscure your view from drivers and them from you. Pretty dreadful not going to lie, but climbing up those last steps to get to the onus of the hill felt amazing and I was treated to this beautiful view of the sea all the way down. Later, when I had finally made it into town people would come up to me and ask me if I was the crazy gringo who was trying to climb up the mountain pass.


I bit the bullet and spent a night in a hostel and man, that hot shower felt heavenly. I never thought that a shower could make me so happy but whew I felt like a new person afterwards haha.

The next morning I spent time walking alongside the coast where I figured I'd hitch a ride to get to Sao Sebastian faster where I could catch a ferry out to some islands on the coast. Strangely I had either really amazing luck or the Brazilian coast is just the perfect place to hitchhike because I don't think I've waited more than 10 minutes on catching any ride. I had heard from lots of people that didn't have the same luck, but I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised.


I made it to the island, Ilha Bela, around midday and was planning on doing a small hike through the forest but man... It was pretty rough as it had rained the whole week more or less and left the trails completely full of mud. I think I had to have slipped something like 20 times, covering my backpack and clothes full of mud. I had enough of my poor attempt at "hiking" and decided just to spend some time in the river for the rest of the day to lick my wounds before trying to find a place to crash for the night. After about 30 min chilling there though, I met this amazing Brazilian/Argentinian couple who were local artists and school teachers that showed me this amazing natural pool with a waterfall. It was straight from the movies, completely unknown and hidden there was this amazing gem of a place. They took me in for the night and showed me around the town.


In the morning I thanked them for their hospitality and went on my way to head back to the mainland, I was determined to continue my walking trip.



A "cowboy" singing Brazilian country music in a sardine festival, definitely not what I expected to see during my trip

After a quick ferry ride back, I started on the road again where I walked for about 10 kilometers when I had this epiphany... I can't leave Brazil before visiting Rio! I had to at least see that all too touristic, yet iconic Jesus statue haha. And in that moment, while I only had 2 hours of sun left I bit the bullet and decided to try and hitch my way there before the day ended.

I had never done any night hitchhiking beforehand, and especially given that I didn't necessarily speak the language it wasn't the smartest of decisions but I was determined to do it. I caught my first ride at a gas station next to the highway from this religious fanatic who was on his way to a pilgrimage in San Jose do Campos. We spoke, or rather he "preached", about how i needed to repent for my sins and that god had a plan for me, to which in response I just politely nodded and replied 'sim'. I didn't want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere but that's exactly what happened in the end... He abruptly stopped and told me to leave, he pointed to the highway that crossed just above the one we were on and said "Rio" that way... Shit. Either something had gotten lost in translation of where he was going to drop me off, but he had sped away on his small sedan before I could protest. And so there I was, sun setting climbing up the ramp to try and at least get to the right direction in the highway. If you've ever tried to hitchhike in pitch black on a freeway with cars speeding down at 120 KM an hour, it's goddamn scary business. I had probably shortened my life expectancy with that decision, but somehow, someway, a trucker took pity on me while I was walking down the highway on the increasingly smaller shoulder. I thanked him profusely and got the hell out of there

The driver had dropped me off about an hour away from Rio as it was approaching 1 am or so. I tried to catch another ride to make it to Rio on that day, but to no avail. Tried for about an hour and then decided to find a place to sleep for the night. I start walking for a bit when I ran into a gas station that seemed safe enough to snooze a couple hours. There, working the nightshift, was this gangly bunch of young gas service workers who were slightly delirious like I was from the sleep deprivation and I was glad to have some company for the rest of the night. We had some beers and spoke in broken spanish/portuguese and lots of hand gestures. I did pick up that one of the guys was extremely proud of having had a threesome. He kept on telling me with him putting up three fingers than proceeding to hump the air after which he pointed to himself and said "eu". All in all, a good evening spent.


Around 5 am, as the sun was just beginning to rise, I said goodbye to the gas station boys and started on my way once again. Managed to catch another ride around 5:45 when the truckers were starting to move out for their day's work, and at long last, around mid-morning, I had finally made it to Rio de Janiro! It felt like weeks had gone by when it only had been a couple of days. I decided that I would spend some time in the birthplace of bossa for a couple weeks before heading back down to the coast, but that's a story for another time.


All in all, I gotta say, it was a beautiful trip from the beginning. Brazilian people and culture is just so welcoming that you feel at home no matter where you are. Although the coast was definitely a lot more relaxed with people lot more friendlier, there's something about the culture that makes Brazil such an amazing place to be out on the road. I learned a lot from this short trek, a lot about my fortitude and resilience, as well as something smaller, but more profound. It's that small part of you that only starts to speak when you've been out on the road and walking for the past 50 kilometers.

Although it isn't always glamorous, sometimes the small, insignificance is what life is all about.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this little write-up. I'm not the best writer, but I hope that it was at least entertaining. Let me know what I could improve on, I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts!



  • IMG_20190427_155355622.jpg
    1 MB · Views: 176
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!


Burrito fund contributor
StP Supporter
Jan 2, 2009
Reaction score
Foothills of the Cascades, western WA
.I hope you guys enjoyed reading this little write-up. I'm not the best writer, but I hope that it was at least entertaining. Let me know what I could improve on, I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts!
Hey, don't short change yourself! You're a great writer. That was fun to read; thanks for sharing. Now, you've got me wanting to visit Brazil!


Oct 24, 2018
Reaction score
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Wow, epic! Beautiful photos and words and stories. Thanks for sharing!

What camera/phone do you shoot with? And do you have any photos of the ocean you kept talking about!?

Thank you!
I usually carry around a sony rx100, but for this trip it was all just with moto g. Yes I do! I can't believe I forgot to attach them.


Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $25.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $25.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $25.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $25.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.