Recife, Brasil

Trip Start Aug 09, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, November 6, 2006 where did I leave off..time is a little funny here because every single day something new happens, so when I look and see that my last update was in Itacaré...that feels like 2 years ago.

Anywho, so I did change the flight to Uruguay to February 27th. Which means I get to be here for Carnaval. Sweet. Took the bus/boat over to Morro de São Paulo. Wasn´t planning on going there because I knew it was touristy and was afraid of the prices, but man am I glad I went. Really really cool. I was informed by the posada woman though, that I had to leave in 3 days because it would be November soon and there were reservations (even though I was the only person in the whole place at the time). Took a boat around the island, did some snorkeling in the reefs (there are even floating bars way out there), stopped at a couple old towns (overrated), and visited Boipeba. Boipeba might just be the prettiest spot yet. I had met up with a couple of folks that stayed with me in Itacaré so we had fun there. I think this was the first time I actually got burned - not too bad though. You can´t deny all the touristyness on Morro de São Paulo, but it is easy to ignore given how pretty the areas is. I really dug the time here and think I would have stayed longer if busy season wasn´t coming. The guy who claimed to be King of Ice Cream kept trying me to get to watch movies - so I did. How funny is it to watch "Branquelas" in Portuguese? ("White Chicks") There was a storm on the last night which meant constant power outages for the whole island. And when the power went out it was dark, man. Lucky it was not a new moon.

Left Morro de São Paulo for Praia do Forte, just north of Salvador. How complicated was this trip...ugh. Boat,bus,walk,bus,ferry,bus,bus,walk. In that order. This was kind of when I decided no more going way out of my way just to check out any more beaches. I´ve seen plenty of awesome ones. Just pick one and stay there! But Praia do Forte is headquarters of the Projecto Tamar which is trying to protect sea turtles. Went there and saw I think 5 different species, eels, fish, rays, and nesting sites. Reminded me of SC and the little guys running out to the ocean after hatching. Was cool. After that, walked out to some castle that some lady told me was supposed to be cool. I guess the king of Portugal was giving away land to rich friends, but for some reason some nobody got a bunch of land so he built a castle on it. Has some nice views of the beach and funny to think of an old old castle being there in South America of all places, but I´m not recommending coming here. Later at night, met some Brazilians, got to talking, and I guess the house prices around there are US$500,000. Dang. Guys at the beach played something called futevolei which is basically volleyball without hands. Yup, soccer/volleyball. And it was awesome.

Next, was ready to leave and wanted to go to Maceió, but the only way to get there was to go back to Salvador to catch a new bus going back north. All this, along with the hassle of getting there, made the Praia do Forte stop a little annoying. But hey, I got nothing but time, right? So, went back to Salvador. After the 4th time in Salvador in just a month, it is starting to really rub off on me. I like it there quite a bit now. Kinda bummed around the beach for the day, met up with a friend living there after she got off of work, and then barely caught the 10pm bus (I like the overnight buses so I don´t have to pay for a night in a posada). Oh yeah, a big Bahian food dish is acarajé. Only made by Bahian women and I guess the recipe is secret. Don´t really know how to describe it. I´ve seen it described and don´t think it does a good job. But...shrimp, bread-like-stuff made from beans and onions, tomatos and onions, and some goo. All on a little styrafoam plate. Shoulda taken a picture.

So a month later and I finally left Bahia!! Can´t believe I was there so long. Really liked Maceió. Was very chill I thought, but also a big city. All these places I´ve been staying at are right next to the beach so that is always a plus. Maceió, or my neighborhood of Ponta Verde, actually reminded me of A1A in south Florida a little bit. Decided to take a walk downtown, which turned out to be a big wild goose chase. Considering I didn´t exactly know my way around, and yet my brain seems to still say "lets just wander around and explore!". So after I get there I´m thinking, man, this town sucks over here...Nothing open, no people around, quiet, just nothing. It was like a ghost town. Then it ocurred, I think I remember that Nov 2 is some kind of holiday. Turns out it was. Ugh. Went on a "Nove Ilhas" tour which goes around on boat showing 9 pretty little islands. The helicopter view from above, postcard shot, is really pretty. Unfortunately, we were in a boat, so the tour was pretty much crap. Putted around, stopped to swim and chill, the putted around some more. Next day was more worthwhile, going out to Praia Gunga. First stopped at Praia Frances (nice) and Barra do São Miguel (nice) before Praia Gunga (totally sweet). Like a peninsula of all sandy beach. Seems like every picture I take never does the setting true justice...Anyway, we spent all day there. Next day, I wanted to catch a bus to Maragogi which is still in Alagoas, because I guess they have a way-offshore marine sanctuary where you can snorkel and see cool stuff.

So, I caught the bus to Maragogi. How is it? You´ll have to ask somebody else, because I slept right through the stop. Finally dawned on me when, at a later snack stop, I saw a plaque saying something about the "Governador do Pernambuco". Okay..guess I´m in the wrong state. So, I guess I´m going to Recife now. There is metro connecting the bus station to downtown. Felt back at home on the subway! And I´m kinda getting good at the bus system in these big cities. Anyway, made it to Boa Viagem (in Recife) where I´m staying. In a place above a Mexican restaurant and Capoeira/Tai Boxing place. Huh? More on Recife later.
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