Monday, January 31, 2022

[UBATUBA] Uba-Chuva Indeed


After some last-minute itinerary booboo, this São Paulo trip ended up being an overnight transit in the city itself, although I managed to stay a day or two in Ubatuba which is still technically in São Paulo but the state, not the city. As is the norm in naming conventions of some cities and regions, some states or districts are named after their biggest or most popular city. Such is the case for Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo but look at a map and you’ll see how bigger these states are than those actual cities mentioned.


Ubatuba is on São Paulo’s Atlantic coastline with kilometers of beach that you can freely choose from. Some of the beaches are nicer than others but mostly crowded. And then you have some untouched by civilization. Staying in Ubatuba, the beach I ended up at was more of an accessible beach for the residents there but not really that jaw-dropping. It was only when I was finally on my five-hour bus ride to São Paulo the city did I get to see the other nicer beaches frequented by tourists and locals alike. Well, too late.


Most people here call the town Uba-Chuva. Forget everything remotely Jolina Magdangal-related in your long-term memory. Chuva in Portuguese means Rain. And rain it did all day and night as I was in Uba-Chuva. Since I’m not the type who would carry an umbrella with me everywhere I go, I just resigned to being soaked every time I got out of the house. Yes, Mother Nature, make me wet. I have a bottle of Tylenol leftovers from when I had my booster shot anyway. I’m sure I can manage.


Such meteorological conditions do your photos no favor, though, as mine all turned out gray as dictated by the prevalent rainclouds. I’m sure the color of that ocean is not that bland, but we can only do so much in the face of such bad weather. Ubatuba has a rather lackluster bay walk stretching a few miles with a smattering of restaurants here and there. It seems as though this side of town is less popular, though, given the absence of hordes of tourists. At least you'll end up getting some alone time with that colorful U-B-A-T-U-B-A sign.


But I guess what I enjoyed the most was the view of the verdant mountains in the horizon. This is what I find puzzling about Ubatuba. It’s as if it’s caught in between Rio’s urban get-up and Ilha Grande’s bucolic appeal. Walk a block or two inland and you end up in what looks like a subdivision in the suburbs, as opposed to the complementary high-rise buildings of Rio’s beaches. But then again, point your gaze towards the horizon and you end up seeing green mountains jutting out of the sea.


It’s confusing like that, but I do love the contrast. It’s as if a beach and some mountainous islands suddenly sprung up outside of your village’s gate in modern-day suburbia. It also helps that you have all the amenities of a functional city within reach, including Uber. They also have Burger King and McDonalds, so, hooray me. I no longer bothered to go island hopping despite many agencies offering tours because I just did that in Rio de Janeiro. Ubatuba, to me, feels like a good place to relocate to if you want some sort of marriage of convenience between suburban life and easy beach access.


To get out of here, you can hop on a bus to Paraty in neighboring Rio de Janeiro. That will take you less than two hours sans traffic. Or you can always brave the five-hour bus ride to the capital if you miss the hustle bustle of the big city that much. No need to worry, long distance buses here in Brazil are worth the price. They are comfortable, seats can be reclined, and some of them even have WiFi. As for São Paulo, we’ll see each other again in two weeks after my adventure in the Northeast!

[UBATUBA] Uba-Chuva Indeed

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