Deserted mysteries of a decrepit hotel

avatar of @mrprofessor
4 min read

Heeeyho Readers! Got sand in the underwear for this one.

About two hundred and forty kilometers is the extension of the beach where I live. Numbers are often disputed, although Praia do Cassino holds the Guinness World Records' longest beach title. Eat that bitches beaches. Think of a giganormous stretch of rideable/drivable/walkable sandy shoreline going all the way down to where Uruguay begins.

Heading down south, the whole middle portion is absolutely remote, with the first settled spot being a navy-guarded lighthouse 120 kilometers into the "abyss" — there are four lighthouses scattered 60 Km apart from each other, but only one is inhabited. For a long time, maybe until the XX century, traveling the full extension wasn't as safe as today. The remote nature down there used to attract all sorts of criminals trying to "disappear" from the eyes of law, hence, was called no man's land. Don't believe me? Search for the sinking of the Prince of Wales.

Uff! What a huge introduction. It's necessary nonetheless, otherwise readers won't understand what it means to explore the region, that's covered in shipwrecks and the subject of this post. Let's go!

Praia do Cassino, Brazil

Searching for the abandoned hotel

I decided to ally structured cycling training with a bit of exploration last weekend. Some 15 kilometers down south, on the shore, lays a popular touristic spot: the Altair shipwreck (already featured in this blog). I go there once a year or so to check how much it has decayed since my last visit.

On the way, a brief stop to photograph shells for @mipiano. Shall I shell you my shows? {internal joke}. I picked three out of a dozen different ones; the real huge ones are yet to appear when winter arrives.

cool sheshells

Baby one

Altair is still there, though more decayed than last year. It's a matter of time until rust eats away the remains of the last mast (out of six) of the former 120m cargo ship. Twenty years ago we used to collect mussels from the deck. What you see is almost 50 years of decomposition.

Altair, 2024

From here on not everyone goes because there are no notable spots until the first lighthouse, about 40 kilometers away into a very desolate shoreline. Or maybe passers by ignore the ruins of a certain hotel buried under the dunes. To be honest, for a distracted eye, the ruins pass unnoticed. Even myself had a hard time to find it.

El Aduar hotel ruins

As I walk over the dunes towards the hotel, one question keeps bugging me: What the hell were they thinking? I mean... isn't it obvious that the dunes would take over? Dunes move, Goddammit! Not to mention the risks of inundation when the sea rises under stormy conditions.

El Aduar hotel ruins

The hotel is a complex of various buildings scattered over the area. Today is hard to distinguish what is what, especially when there aren't pictures of the place from back in the day for reference, which is really intriguing. Decades ago when I was a kid the buildings still had remains of the tiled roofs. They are long gone by now. Most of the buildings are already under the dunes.

El Aduar hotel ruins

The only information online states that the hotel is a failed real estate speculation from the late 1950's. Back then, the beach was the only route connecting the city of Chuy to the rest of the state. Based on that, a group of idealists thought that the region would expand to the south. Couldn't be more wrong. Early into 1960, the Government finished the highway farther inland, completely frustrating the plans.

I've crossed the whole 240 kilometers in a 4x4, but can you imagine doing the same on a 1950's car/bus? Non-sense! Even on good conditions the beach is quite demanding on any vehicle; on bad weather it's simply impossible to cross.

El Aduar hotel ruins

I spend some time wandering around before going back home. You can see in the background a group of people camping, which kinda inspires me to go back there to spend a night — it must be epic to observe the sky at night.

Below is a glimpse of how nature reclaims its space when humans leave. Can you see the rest of the buildings?

El Aduar hotel ruins

Many questions remain unanswered though: If the land was claimed and registered in the 50's, is it considered private property? Or were the rights completely revoked? From what I know, constructions anywhere near the dunes are completely forbidden based on today's laws, which frustrates anyone having the same brilliant idea. And not only that, every terrain by the coast belongs to the Union, which creates a whole new level o bureaucracy.

I've heard there are people living on the dunes farther down south; we call them hermits, although most are just idealists seeking a lifestyle away from anyone. Interesting? Maybe I'll drop down there to have a chat.

I hope that you've enjoyed this post. Until next time.


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*Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 5.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.

I'm Arthur. I blog about Adventure Stories, Brazil, Travel, Camping, & Life Experiences.

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