Main | March 2005 »

February 28, 2005

Full Psy Sun

Full Psy Sun (as the psy-trance party in Ibiraquera was called) was immense fun with some great DJ'ing in an astoundingly gorgeous location!

Full Psy Sun

I went to the bus station and tried to find out how to get to Ibiraquera. The best I could do was go to Rosa and walk from there. I got to the Rodoviaria (bus station) as 10:15, and the next bus for Rosa was scheduled to leave at 10:30. At 11:15 I gave up waiting and walked to the town square to get a taxi. I'm really not having good luck with buses here.

I had copied down the directions to the party in Portuguese and handed them to the driver. They basically said "go down such and such road until you see the Rosa Cafe, then keep going until you see the green wall." This worked perfectly, gotta love small towns!

The green wall had a gate in it manned by 5 or 6 guys with a walkie talkie. I could hear music in the distance coming from across a valley with a few houses along the the opposite ridge, but first I had to talk my way past the gates. After starting with my usual brief Portuguese introduction ("My name is Dav. I'm sorry I don't speak Portuguese well, I'm American") the gate guards put me on the walkie talkie after explaining there was an American at the gate named David.

A woman on the other end said "OK come on in"; I wasn't sure at this point if it was actually a private party and by chance they'd expected another American named David, but the gate rolled back automagically and the cab driver and I continued down the road and up the steep ridge to the houses. Before paying him the $R40 fare I put his phone number in my cell phone and then I wandered past the buildings towards the music. As I crested the narrow ridge I found another steep drop off with an amazing view of a gorgeous lake (Lagoa de Ibiraquera) and a small wooded clearing far below with DJs spinning psytrance under the midday sun.

As I descended carefully down the steep irregular concrete steps I started to realize I had made one mistake already. Since my original plan was to take the bus into Rosa I figured I'd eat lunch there before going to the party, but since the taxi took me straight out into the middle of nowhere it would be a long walk back to Rosa just to eat and I was already starting to feel hungry. At the bottom I went to the a shade structure that sold beer and had a grill but quickly confirmed my suspicion that only red meat was available.

Since I have promised myself that I will only eat red meat or fowl again after I have hunted, killed, prepared and cooked the animal myself I figured I was going to have to find a chicken and beat it to death within a few hours. As I was standing perplexed considering my options I noticed someone I knew sitting on the grass, Brendan the crazy Australian (like there's any other kind) that I met in Ferrugem a few days earlier. I mentioned my problem and he brought me over to Fabiano who was one of the event organizers. Fabiano, who spoke perfect American English, said that the woman who owned the property was also a vegetarian and could probably help me out. He left to go up to the house and see what was available and soon came down to report that Shawny would be happy to whip something up for me. Buddha provides.

Brendan from Australia Shawny

Back up at the house Shawny shared some food and a smoke and we had a nice chat. She turned out to also speak great English and was the event producer for this party and others (Shakewell Productions). As the night went on I learned that both her and Fabio had lived in America for many years although they had grown up together in Brasil, only leaving as adults. They're both interesting and good-hearted people, I feel so lucky to have run into them here. They even lived in Atlanta for a time which was briefly one of my stomping grounds.

Fabiano actually lives in Prague where he's been running a new weekly English-language magazine and guest lecturing at the Charles University. He only came back to Brasil for a month or so to escape the Czech winter after four years of constant toil in his startup venture (I know how that goes!). He's a well educated (I think he said a PhD) cultural historian and journalist so was a superb conversationalist. I felt pretty fortunate to hear some of his well thought out insights on Brasilian and American culture.

Lagoa do Ibiraquera Lagoa do Ibiraquera

Through the heat of the afternoon I spent much of the time up top at Shawny's house talking and  trying to listen to the Portuguese conversations between the ever changing group of folks coming in and out, but every now and then I would wander down to the party proper. I think my favorite place was on the wooden walkway that led from the clearing to the edge of the shallow lagoa through a thick strip of wetland vegetation. There was so much life and beauty there!

Lagoa do Ibiraquera Full Psy Sun

Later as the sun began its descent, the air cooled and my mind turned more psychedelic (as it is wont to do at psytrance parties), I enjoyed what seemed like a three hour sunset blazing across the semi clouded sky and reflected in the lake. I spent much of that time dancing alone at the end of the walkway on the edge of the water. So much life and beauty. So many shimmering and changing colors.

There was some fantastic music played during the evening too. I particularly liked a set by an Argentinian DJ whose name I forget. I'm hoping to get in touch with him through Shawny though, as I told him I could possibly connect him with some psy-trance folks in San Francisco.

Sometime after the sky grew dark and the moon rose, the music was turned down and I caught a cab home, still buzzing with pleasure and with plans to return again to hang out with Shawny, Fabiano and friends. Thanks again to Marta for letting me know about the event!

02:00 PM in Music | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 27, 2005

second chance

Marta, aka My Guardian Party Angel, sent me this last night as I was moping alone with my cervejas and laptop listening to Distance to GOA mp3s in a dark apartment:


As produtoras Shakewell e Psyco-Barceta estão trazendo direto da Argentina os DJs de psy Pepsan e Chakal para a rave Full psy de 15h na beira da Logoa de Ibiraquera, Praia do Rosa, em Imbituba/SC, no dia 27 de fevereiro.

DJ Pepsan: criador do crossover entre estilos, adora o bizarro. Busca o lado experimental do Psy-trance. Eleito como melhor produtor novo da Argentina em 2003, no premio Buenos Aliens.

DJ Chakal: ideólogo de Underbeat, brotado da necessidade de criar novos espaços para a música underground na cena Trance da Argentina.

Local: BR-101 Sul, sair no trevo de Garopaba, seguir 950 metros e virar á direita no Posto Repsol, andar cerca de 5km pela Estrada Geral de Ibiraquera, passar o Rosa Café (antigo Bicãoo) e ir até o muro verde, onde estará sinalizada a festa.

Os ingressos estão custando: R$15 o masculino e R$5 o feminino.


Apparently this thing is an Argentinian psytrance production. It started at dawn a few hours ago and will go all day until around midnight. Ibiraquera is further south, but not too far. A little further than Praia do Rosa. I'm getting ready to head to the bus station now and figure out how to get down there. I think worst case scenario would be to take a bus to Rosa and walk a few km. Thanks Marta!

Oh and she also found this one next month, north of Porto Alegre: Garapia Trance Festival 2005.

04:36 AM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 26, 2005


I just made a couple of minor corrections to past posts, sorry if they show up in your RSS reader again because of that.

Marta said: "it is NO brasil and not NU brasil. 'nu' is the same as 'naked', which makes a funny title that one americano nu brasil. i suppose you may be spiritually naked somehow here as well..."

My response: I stand naked before your criticism. I'm not finding it easy to read and write Portuguese as I am learning it almost exclusively from an audio course. I'm constantly surprised at how words I know how to say are actually spelled. Thanks for the correction though, at least I should remember that one from now on :)

Michael Rei said: "...the roles upon which my practice is based are Architect, Architectural Historian, and Illustrator/Artist.  I don't mind that people might think of me as an archeologist, but for marketing sakes, I gotta stay-on-message."

My response: Doh. I knew that. Stupid brain. I should add that Michael is my favorite illustrator ever and he should get a website that I can link to for marketing sake! Hugh of practically copies Mike's style (not really I'm sure, but it seems that way to me). Oh and I guess (for marketing sake) I should also state that his name is Micahel Ray ...I've just always been fond of his family's pre-immigration spelling of the name.

09:54 AM in minutiae | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

psych! trance party

Picture this:

I am ready to leave my apartment and go to the bus station for the 6 hour trip to Porto Alegre. The plan is to meet Marta when I arrive at the PoA bus station around 7PM, hang out for a bit, and then take the midnight party bus from downtown to the remote location. To make the trip worthwhile I am prepared to stay in Porto Alegre for a few days and enjoy the urban life for a bit. Maybe I can pick up some new jeans and a yoga mat.


  • washed all dishes and cleaned counters
  • washed my clothes and hung to dry
  • packed toiletries
  • packed socks and underwear
  • packed my favorite dancing outfit, the illig spider pants and shirt
  • packed ipod and charger so i can do another dozen portuguese lessons on the way there and back
  • packed cellphone and cellphone charger
  • made sure marta's numbers were in my cellphone contacts
  • packed a tuna fish sandwich wrapped in foil
  • packed an extra shirt
  • last minute skype call with the love of my life mie

The clock on my Powerbook hits 12:30 and I am ready to leave, the bus is scheduled to depart the bus station at 1PM.

Step out the house; stop short. "Oh no!"

I look down at my cell phone and the time says 1:31PM! Stunned, I quickly call Marta and ask her what time it is. She says it is thirty minutes past midday and explains that my cellphone must still be on "summer time" which has just ended.

Whew! Everything is OK now, scared me for a minute. I still have plenty of time to get to the bus station and arrive there quickly as I jog through the rain. I get to the window and tell the ticket woman "Eu quero ir a  Porto Alegre." She asks at what time, I respond "a 13:00 horas". She tells me there are no seats left. Yep. Some dumbass didn't think to buy a ticket when he was at the station yesterday.

Sooooo staying home on a rainy weekend and hacking sounds like fun right? Better than dancing in the mud to silly psychedelic trance. Yep. Yeppers. Yep.

08:38 AM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 25, 2005

camphone pics

Today I walked down to the Garopaba bust station to check on a bus to Porto Alegre. I had mentioned to Marta that I really liked PsyTrance music (there's a big festival in Cachoeira in northern Brazil next Month) and when she got an email yesterday about a party outside of Porto Alegre she emailed it to me. So I think tomorrow I will go there and try to figure out how to get to the party. It's often not easy to get to PsyTrance parties since they are usually held in secret locations in the middle of nowhere and you only get directions at the last minute, but if I translated the information right there is actually a party bus leaving from Porto Alegre tomorrow.

While I was at the bus station I saw a schedule of the local bus routes, from Garopaba to places like Praia do Rosa and Ferrugem. Since there were no take-away pamphlets and I didn't have a pen on me, I took camphone pics of the schedules:



When I first arrived in Rio de Janeiro I got a sim chip for my Nokia 6600 from a local carrier named TIM. It worked fine for making phone calls although the per minute rates seem crazy expensive, especially if you are roaming. Unfortunately after several hours of working with the nice ladies at the TIM shop in Botafogo Shopping Center spread over two days, we finally came to the conclusion that there is no way for me to get Internet or email unless I buy a new phone here in Brasil.

To the left is the TIM employee who spoke the best English talking to the technical support folks. A new phone would be around US$500 so I decided I can live without moblogging. It's very disappointing. It's also very frustrating since I see signs in the airports here featuring a Nokia 6600 with the word INTERNET prominently displayed. I don't think the problem is hardware at all, I think it's just a software issue and the TIM technical people just don't know how to make it work on a foreign phone.

It's weird, but a phone without Internet access seems almost useless to me these days.

I can still take photos with the phone of course, and then transfer them to my laptop (like I did for this post) but that seems so archaic. Like washing your clothes by hand in the sink or something like that.

Still, it has its uses. For instance I had forgotten until today that I actually did get some photos of that little island village near Barra de Tijunca in Rio that day I was there:

Image100islaprimeira1 Image101islaprimeira2

It's called Ilha Primeira (or First Island) because it is the first island coming in from the ocean along that inlet.

05:03 PM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

praia ferrugem

Mike has decided he has had enough relaxing in sleepy little Garopaba and has decided to head on to Buenos Aires for a couple of weeks and then return to New York in time for his girlfriend's birthday. Before he left though, we took a taxi down the road to Ferrugem, a beach that lies halfway between Garopaba and Praia do Rosa.

Centro Ferrugem Centro Ferrugem, Brasil

Hanging with the crew at Ferrugem Praia Ferrugem

Ferrugem is basically a one dirt road town, but since the beach faces south (like Praia do Rosa) rather than north (like Praia Garopaba) it gets better waves and thus quite a number of surfers. In fact it is quite a party town, populated almost entirely by college age tourists from Argentina and Chile. Garopaba has much more of a family resort area feel to it, so it was fun to be in a real party place for a night. I guess there is no drinking curfew like in America, as I was out getting smashed on caipirinhas cachaças until 5AM with a few other travelers I met, a nice mix of Chileans, Brasiledos and an Aussie tossed in for good measure.

Mike Ready for Surf Lesson Surfing at Praia Ferrugem

Luckily Mike and I got some surfing in before when went out drinking, because I didn't have the stomach for it the next day. I left Mike there and headed back by bus to Garopaba, intending to return again that night after taking care of some stuff at my apartment, but I still felt hungover that evening so decided to stay in instead.

The rest of the photos are in a Flickr set: Praia Ferrugem. I took a few shots of the cute women on the beach for my buds back in the States :)

08:54 AM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2005



Marta, a Brasileda I met through Hospitality Club, lives a couple of hours south of Garopaba in Porto Alegre. Since she knows this area, she has been urging me to check out Silveira. Praia Silveira is a beach on the other side of the south ridge of Garopaba, and is a much better surfing beach than Garopaba beach because most of the ocean swells come from the south and the bay of Garopaba faces to the north. Silveira on the other hand faces a more southerly direction. In fact lists Silveira as a "pro or kamikaze only" surfing beach (I assume that means at high season).

As the ocean had been flat in Garopaba for a few days, I decided to make the walk across town and over the ridge to check it out. On the way back I chose to follow the coastline instead, which turned out to be a bit of adventure as there was no trail along the coast for most of the way and I had to climb over huge rock formations, sometimes next to a 40 or 50 foot drop into the ocean. The trip to Silveira took 40 minutes, the trip back over twice that. Many cows and cow patties were encountered along the way. I took a lot of photos, especially on the way back. The entire set is available here. I will post some specific ones below.

The walk to Silveira was fairly simple. The town is mostly on a flat plain and there is a single dirt road that winds over the east ridge. I took this panoramic shot of Garopaba looking back before I crossed over the crest of the ridge:

Garopaba Panoramic Facing North

and when I crossed over and got my first glimpse of Silveira, I took this panoramic shot:

Silveira Panorama 1

The waves were not too big at all, but considering how flat it was at the same time back in Garopaba it was pretty nice. It will definitely be worth the 40 minute walk! Next time I'll bring my surfboard :)

Silveira Surf Silveira Surf

I started climbing up into the hills to the north of the beach. On the other side was a vast hilly coastal pasture loaded with cows (of course) and even a horse.

Me in the hills north of Silveira The hills north of Silveira

Coastal Cows Coastal Hills North of Silveira

Soon the pasture ended in a mess of rock formations along the water and thick vegetation further up. To continue I had no choice but to start climbing over the rocks. This was slow going and wasn't terribly difficult but certainly wasn't easy either. Occasionally I had to stop and backtrack to find a way through as a path I took unexpectedly ended in a 30 foot drop to the rocks or ocean below.

The coast south of Garopaba The coast south of Garopaba

The coast south of Garopaba The coast south of Garopaba

The coast south of Garopaba The coast south of Garopaba

After thirty minutes of making my way alone along the rocks, I started to see people! This was exciting because I figured this meant that it was possible to connect back to Garopaba along the coast, something I had begun to doubt. However there were still a lot more rocks to pass.

Fishing From the Rocks The coast south of Garopaba

Eventually though, I met the Garopaba Welcoming Cow and found myself back in civilization.

I Slaughter You With My Cuteness! The coast south of Garopaba

There were some really nice houses in the hills on this side of town. My favorite was this one with an interesting arched driveway overlooking a semi-private beach.

Back at the Edge of Garopaba Cool Garopaba House

I took a few more panoramic shots as I approached the town, this is one of my favorites:

Garopaba Bay Panorama

There's some more nice shots I think, check them out on Flickr.

05:21 AM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 22, 2005

Minha Casa

I bought a wine opener, but I didn't have to buy a can opener since this charming contraption was in a kitchen drawer:


A little iron is good for you right?

We found out that there was no propane for the stove, so Mike mentioned it to the landlord. A new tank was soon installed. If you look at this close-up of the stove in the photo below you should notice that there is a glass cover on top of it. In order to light the stove you have to lift the cover and turn on the glass and use a lighter.


That evening I warmed up a can of peas. I was not sure what the deal was with the glass cover. Was the intention to put it back down and cook on top of it? Did it perhaps distribute the heat more evenly? I am almost sure I have seen glass top stoves where you put the pan directly on the glass before, but in the end I decided not to leave the glass down since obviously I could still put the pan directly on the gas as well.

Later Mike went to boil some eggs and he had the same questions but chose to lower the glass cover before putting the pan on. After the eggs were boiling Mike went to the stove and noticed that the plastic rim of the glass cover was getting burnt! So he lifted the cover up and went to the sink to grab a sponge and attempt to clean the rim.

As soon as he touched the cold wet spong to the glass there was a sharp sizzling and an explosion of glass shards. No more wondering about what to do with the glass cover!


The other thing missing from this apartment is a washing machine. I have the option of walking 15 minutes down to town and using the laundromat or else using the washboard sink and drying rack on the deck. So far I've been "lazy" and have been hand washing my clothes in the sink. There's something comforting about washing my clothes by hand, but that's probably just some kind of bullshit naive yearning for simpler times that I'll get over in about a week.

Img_2899 Img_2898

07:26 AM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hauling in the Net

Twice when Mike and I were down at the Garopaba beach during late afternoon we found a lot of people pulling in nets from the surf stuffed with fish. I'm not sure if they do it every day or not. The first time I didn't have my camera, and the second time I got there after they were almost done collecting the fish into baskets. I'm going to try to time it right again later for a better set of photos.

Catch of the Day Nets in Garopaba

Catch of the Day Garopaba beach

06:54 AM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2005

o Americano no Brasil

Garopaba Surf Biking on the Beach

During the following week Mike and I would walk down to the beach closest to our house, about 15 minutes away. The first day there we rented foam boards from the surf school and I made a sad attempt to teach Mike how to surf. I'm not much of a teacher though, I could only tell him what he was doing wrong, which was nearly everything so I don't think I was much help. He decided he'd go back later for an hour class at the surf school.

Michael Reyes My new used board

On the third day I purchased a used surf board from a local shop. The shop proprietor told me the board's shaper was a Brazilian who had moved to Hawaii where he had recently been killed kite-surfing. I did some googling and found his name was Fernado "Sheena" Ribeiro but I was unable to find details on how he died. I've heard kite-surfing can be very dangerous.

I went surfing one day with the new board, but the waves had gotten much smaller and it was difficult to catch anything on a shortboard. After that the waves went really flat for a few days, so I spent more time on the beach drinking beer than surfing. No complaints though :)

Espetinho Man Hanging out by the Drainage Ditch

01:33 PM in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack