So in a few days, we’ll leave our home in the ‘US of A’ to take on the world. As it happens, I have been granted an entire year to read, research, and write, and you can do all of those things almost anyplace. Most of those things can also be done naked… at least if it’s warm enough!
So we’ve been busy getting ready to see the world through naked eyes. I’ve already outlined the first three months of our journey in a previous post (“Blowing through Europe…”), a journey that will take us across the southern region of France and down the Adriatic coast until the weather starts to turn. At that point, if all goes according to plan, we plan to explore the southern hemisphere with visits to lesser known naturist places, such as Harmony Nature Farm and Sun Kissed Villa in South Africa, a couple new naturist places in Thailand like the Oriental Village near Chiang Mai, and the Lumra Resort (which is advertised naturist, but seems to be a work in progress) on the rail line to Phuket. Can one work on no tan lines all year long? We’re going to try!
But the big project as of late has been trying to find a way to get naked in Brazil!
You wouldn’t think this would be such a difficult endeavor in a country that is famous for the unabashed practice of removing unwanted pubic hair, but as it turns out, though Brazil is a big country, Catholicism is rampant, and naturist resorts are few and far between. (Seems to be a South America thing! Naked is REVERENT…?)
My first round of investigation led me to what appears to be a lovely mountain retreat about 90 minutes from Rio called Recanto Paraiso. A nice place, perhaps, but despite the simple and beautiful bilingual website, my emails inquiring about summer accommodations went unanswered. Either they’re closed for the winter, or foreign visitors are just too much trouble.
Then I found Praia do Pinho, near the city of Navegantes, several hours south of Sao Paulo. Turns out this would be the winning ticket… I hope!
Located about an hour north of Florianopolis, (a major tourist destination for foreigners and Brazilians, alike!) this naturist village apparently lies adjacent to one of the finest naturist beaches in all of South America.
Easy booking via webform? Not really.
Accepts credit cards, American or otherwise? Nope. Gotta send money by Western Union MoneyGram.
Easy to reach by direct flight from Rio? Well… no! Either an airport change in Rio, or a connecting flight in Sao Paulo, or most likely – BOTH! Two hours in the air will require several hours in various airports, dealing with security, body-scans and the like – all in Portuguese, of course. (Haven’t a clue how to speak Portuguese!)
And who knew that Americans need to have a visa – an expensive visa – to visit Brazil? You can slip in and out of Colombia, South Africa, or Thailand with just a passport, but a visit to Brazil requires a visit to the Embassy, which we may well have to manage in Paris – in French! All this, as my wife reads to me about the current political unrest in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Are we crazy? Probably.
But, indeed, the place does look amazing! Even the Lonely Planet guidebooks say these are some of the best beaches in the world, and by the time we get there, it’ll be snowing in Germany and New York, but it’ll be the longest day of the summer in Brazil!
And it seems that organized naturism is just now catching on in Brazil, which makes sense, as they seem to be taking the lead as the emerging economy in South America. (What a great place to stage the Olympics – naked, eh?) If they figure out the naturist tourist thing, it seems half the world would be eager to doff their big furry coats and thermal gloves to celebrate a blue Christmas. We’ll let you know – when and if we can figure out how to get there!
POST SCRIPT: We’ve been working to wire our deposit to Praia do Pinho, the resort on the southern coast. It’s been three weeks now, and it seems Western Union has cancelled the transaction. No foul play, I believe, but just confirming that it’s difficult to navigate such transactions from the US to Brazil. I’m still determined to figure this out.