After a 3h30m flight, followed by a 3h30m car drive we arrived in Barreirinhas, a small village in the Northeast of Brazil. We were greeted by the tour agent that had arranged to get us from this place to our final destination Atins.
It’s a one-hour speed boat ride.
He tells us we are in for a treat and about to have ‘the most amazing boat ride in the full moon’.
So of course in my head I start picturing an almost gondola type experience (minus the serenade).
Except it was nothing like that
We got on a long speed boat, got handed 2 life jackets. It was 7pm and although the port was lighted, once we were on the boat and off it was pitch black. The driver starts accelerating and we can barely make out the river banks. It is 50km ride along Rio Preguiças (‘Lazy River’) which takes roughly an hour, but there was nothing lazy about that trip. On a small long speed boat taking just the two of us as passengers let’s just say it went quite fast. We were sitting at the front and the driver had a colleague or friend with him at the back. They were chatting – so when I looked back although he is at the steering wheel, most of the times he is looking sideways at his friend. Speeding along a river in darkness.
Eat your heart out Disney. This is an adrenaline rush like no other I have felt before And it seemed to go on forever. 1h10minutes, 70 minutes, 4200 seconds – it seemed to take forever.
I nervously asked the driver ‘when exactly is the moon coming out?” He chuckled and said in about 20min time. Deep breath. By this time I just wanted some light to be able to see something.
We were speeding along and every once in a while we saw some kind of flashlight moving around, and we slowed down, I scrunched my eyes and managed to make out a tiny little fishing boat. And as we passed by, one was quite angry as we were quite close and must have been quite scary for them, needless to say dangerous. A couple of times the flashlight signalling was quite intense so we actually slowed down almost to stop as he told us there was a fishing net. Thank goodness we didn’t actually get caught up in one of those at high speed.
The wind was blowing in our faces, it was thrilling but also scary. Or at least for me. Nicolas is as always very laid back and looked completely unconcerned. Just enjoying the moment. Whereas I was enjoying-the-moment-whilst-at-the-same-time-hoping-we-would-get-there-soon. My mind was actually thinking of all the things that coud go wrong. And so I remembered my techniques to calm down. To let go of the worries. And I did my best to get to that ‘place’ and feel my heartbeat slow down to a more normal pace instead of feeling as if it was jumping in my throat.
Suddenly we started hearing noises and seeing things jumping up from the water. We looked at each other and both thought ‘flying fish’. It goes on. We were laughing.
Until we were not. Thump, thwack, boom and we were hit by something in full force. He stops the boat. Without needing to say it we knew it was one of the flying fish.
We jumped up and Nicolas switched on the light on his phone (these things do come in handy) and we could hear it thumping away somewhere. He managed to get a hold of the slippery thing and threw it back into the water. He saved it. Not sure for how long with all those fishing boats in the river…
It was hilarious. The funny thing is Nicolas had been thinking exactly that (‘what if one of these fish jumped into the boat?’) a few seconds before and then bang boom it happened. Talk about the law of attraction.
We finally did reach our destination. Again they had said “port” I was thinking not exactly a pier, but at least some kind of wooden plank to get out of the boat. Again, not what I had expected. We hopped off into the water and waddled our way to shore.
And although we had been ‘sold’ a moonlit ride, the moon only started to appear when we arrived and it was by no means lighting up anything.
Here is a sneak peak of our ride. Just so you can picture it better.
Moral of the story:
1) Expectations. What someone ‘sells’ you conjures an image in your head. So make sure your promise to your customers is true. Don’t oversell.
2) Mind chatter. Your fears and your worries make you miss out. Enjoy the moment. Do your best to turn down the volume of your thoughts, and better still switch off completely if you can.