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The magic of Kilombo

BRAZIL | Wednesday, 1 February 2012 | Views [634] | Comments [1]

Entrance gate

Entrance gate


It's really hard to describe my time at Kilombo. It's such a special place. I didn't really have any expectations as didn't really read anything about the place apart from few email exchanges with Mestre.




We left Morro, finally, after 4 days. It was a bit difficult to tear ourselves from the beach and the life of a little bit of eating, a little bit of sleeping and a lot of sun, swim and partying... So we decided to stay and extra night. Thanks to that we experienced a total blackout as the island experienced power-cut and complete darkness. The quiet didn't last long as soon enough everyone pulled out their laptops and started the party... Nothing like a good community spirit...



In the morning we parted ways with our Argentinian friends and Frederico and headed for Kilombo.


It's not that easy to get here. Fortunately we gave ourselves enough time to get to the place before it gets dark.




For anyone who wants to visit you need to remember to get to Valenca before 5 pm - the last bus leaves at 5.20pm and after that there are only very expensive taxis.


So the idea was to get the boat from Morro straight to Valenca and from there bus to somewhere near Bonfim... Unfortunately the bus driver that knows where Kilombo is was not available so the only option we had was to get off at Bonfim and hope there will be someone to help us. It all of course worked out fine but the 1 km walk from Bonfim was tough in the midday sun.


Kilombo is literally in the middle of nowhere.The mobile signal stops in Valenca and there is one place with internet that stops working when it rains and also has Brazilian opening hours...



But when you get to the right turn off you are greeting by berimbau gate and you know straight away that the place is going to be amazing. It truly is the most tranquil of places. The people are incredibly welcoming and you are invited to chill out, enjoy the grounds and the river and do a bit of work. And you are constantly surrounded by positive energy and kindness.




Everything you eat is from the farm and all vegetarian making it true heaven for me :)



The routine is simple, wake up for 6 am training - its pretty incredible to watch the sun rise as you train; after training everyone has breakfast together and then breaks out to do work or get on with their own business. Nothing is forced on you, if you feel like doing something just go for it but the need for relaxation is well understood. Everything is collective here so everyone meets back for lunch, swim in the river and then back to work... The day ends with dinner and then a bit of music, samba or watching DVDs of capoeira games.



It's so special to start the day with capoeira, it makes you live and breathe it throughout the day. Training is through play - there are no classes, the idea is to pick up movements from each other, try new things that may be a bit too dangerous or daring to perform in the roda.




Things changed a bit during the Permangola event with more people arriving. Mostly capoeristas but also people solely dedicated to permaculture. For some of them its the introduction to capoeira that gets them inspired to train more.



During the event there is the daily roda before dinner. And samba... A lot of samba. Since everywhere we go we take our instruments it makes it easy to start dancing, anywhere and everywhere, buses, street corners, whereever we have 5 minutes to waste.


Mestre Cobra Mansa welcomes everyone and makes you feel immediately at home. He is one the kindest and most patient people I have ever met.



I couldn't simply leave after 4 days. Beach at Arrial sounded really tempting but at the day of Claire's departure I decided to stay another day. Another day changed into another week as I wanted to experience the Permangola event.




As a volunteer I continued with the normal routine of morning training and then helping out in the kitchen. Spending the morning gossipping with the girls whilst preparing food for everyone. It did my Portuguese a wealth of good... Somehow I went from not knowing any to understanding a lot and being able to have an actual conversation. It shows what living with natives can do for your language skills : ) I have been banned from trying to speak English to anyone and a bunch of capoeristas can be very persuasive...




I also got to experience the event and got to camp. Yes, finally, it had to happen. Since for the duration of the event the house must be empty we all move to the field... To put it mildly I was not happy about that. The first night was horrendous. I slept in the tiniest of doubles with another girl and my bags... We slept nothing. In the middle of the night the rain came and we realised that the tent was leaking... Not the best of introductions.



The next day I swapped for a bigger tent and even though I can't say that I enjoy the experience I can live with it... It does help that since I am a volunteer I have access to the house which means showers in four walls rather than the field... But I still maintain - I am not a camper!


Unfortunately even the best experiences must come to an end and even though I have hestitated a lot, decided to leave Kilombo after Permangola. It will remain a place to which I can see myself going back whenever I need to unwind, get closer to nature and myself.


I am starting to also realise that as my journey progresses there will be even more places that will be very hard to tear myself away from. Its that combination of a beautiful spot and amazing community that makes the place unforgetable. Luckily I can always go back!

Tags: brazil, capoeira, kilombo, permaculture, valenca



Glad to hear you at least gave the camping a go! You and Nemo will get the hang of it eventually! :o)

  Ayanda Feb 3, 2012 4:02 AM

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