Olinda or Recife

Trip Start May 10, 2010
Trip End Apr 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
Pousada d'Olinda
Hostel Boa Viagem

Flag of Brazil  , State of Pernambuco,
Monday, April 11, 2011

Olinda, Brazil's colonial capital and home to one of the country's best carnivals, is still in full progress of restoration (partly financed by the Netherlands after they burned everything down in the 17th century). Olinda was recommended over nearby Recife as a much more appealing base for exploring, but besides its colonial beauty, visiting the many churches and convents which towers pierce idyllicly through the palm tree foliage, there isn't an awful lot to do.

On the next day I go to look where the action is: next door Recife, a surprising city with a creative music scene. Fascinating to see how many recifenses come out to the beach front in the early hours of the day to go for a jog, play some beach volleyball or have a swim (inspite of the shark attack warning) before going to work. Perfect start of the day.

Paradoxically, the reason for my rush through Brazil's Northeast (with a lot more stopovers than foreseen) is to spend the last week completely tranquilo: no more catching 20-hour bus rides, no more trying to get everything stuffed in the backpack. Nothing more to worry about than sun and beach.

The bus from Recife to Salvador will be the final shackle of a long chain of connecting bus rides. It will also be the first bus that I will miss in one year travelling (starting with a grave underestimation of the extent of Recife's rush hour and giving up on the last whim of hope during a 15 minute metro breakdown two stops away from destination).
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