Natal, Fortaleza, Sao Luis and Belem

Hi English-speaking friends! In this moment I’m in the middle of the Amazon, in Alteo do Chao, near Santarem. I arrived here after a three day journey on a cargo boat on the Amazon river, but before I tell you about this, I tell you about the places visited before going on the boat.

After Praia da Pipa, I went just for a day in Natal, where there wasn’t much to see apart from a well-preserved Portuguese fortress. After, I’ve been to Fortaleza for three days. Even there I could have stayed less because there isn’t much to see. I didn’t like much and I had the feeling that was a bit dangerous. For sure there is a lot of nightlife but, having now already a certain age, I preferred to skip it.

From Fortaleza, I arrived in Sao Luis, where I have been hosted for the first time through Couchsurfing, by a very kind lady, Alba, who gave me a room for myself, cooked, and from the beginning made me feel like at home. There were also her son, a twenty year old boy, programmer and hacktivist, and her daughter, a little girl of five, very sweet and fun.
Sadly, during the three days I was in Sao Luis, it rained a lot so I didn’t have much time to get around. For sure is a place with great potential because full of fascinating Portuguese colonial buildings, but at moment most of them are literally falling to pieces, they are not even inhabited.
Actually, there are beautiful places between Fortaleza and Sao Luis where I was undecided if going or not, in particular Jericoacoara and Lencois National Park. Eventually, I decided to skip them because the original plan of this trip is visiting also Central America, but if I continue with this pace I’ll arrive in 2013 and, as you know, the end of the world is set for December 2012.

And finally, Natal, a very interesting city where I would have gladly stayed a couple of days longer, but if I didn’t take the cargo boat to Santarem, the next one was a week after!


Praia da Pipa was just a fishing village until the arrival of the first hippies and surfers in the ’70s.


Little football match on the beach.


A surfer in the waves.


The Portuguese fort of Natal, called “Three Kings” (The biblical Magi) because it was started being built on 6 January 1598. Natal was instead so named because it was founded on Christmas Day of 1599.


The interior of the fortress, with the skyscrapers of Natal in background.


Close to my ‘pousada’ in Fortaleza there was a pleasant complex of art and culture made up of small clubs, museums, cinemas, etc. … Here a group of boys is dancing in turn the break-dance.


Sao Luis, among the Brazilian capitals the only one founded by the French. There is very little of French, because after only 3 years of its founding (in 1612) it was conquered by the Portuguese.


What this man is peering with so much interest?


Aaahhh… dancers! Well, well. – P.S. Can you see me?


A street of Sao Luis.




Another street.


Beach in Sao Luis near the house of the lady who hosted me.


Belem from my hotel room. In the background the Amazon mingles with the Ocean.




The Amazon river.


A boat on the river.


Well. As I said, after Belem I took a cargo boat through the Amazon Rio that, after 3 days (and 3 nights sleeping on a hammock!) arrived in Santarem and, from there I reached Alteo do Chao, where I’m now. But I will tell you about this in the next post!

Kissesss :-)

Olinda, Recife and Praia da Pipa

Oi companheiros! This time I tell you about Recife, Olinda and Praia da Pipa.

Recife is a big city with a beautiful beach overlooked by modern skyscrapers and a river that, flowing, creates several canals crossed by bridges and footbridges. The ancient area is a mixture of churches, monuments, colonial buildings with bright colors, ugly and decrepit modern buildings, and many colorful markets with vibrant music at high volume. Olinda, just a few km away, is a small colonial gem that from the sea climbs to a hill.
Let’s see the photos.


Olinda, and in the background Recife, with skyscrapers on the beach.


One of the many churches of Olinda.


A street.


People in the street.


The first evening in Olinda was fun because there was already a carnival atmosphere. I had met on the bus to Recife Antoni, French, and we went for drinks at a club called the Botega do Vejo where we met two girls from Recife, Jani (pictured with Antoni) and Camilla. And also other locals.


A tightrope walker.


And that’s me! Happy with Recife’s friends.


No photo, please.


Olinda by night.


Risky picture.


Recife getting ready for Carnival.


One of the many markets of the old town.


I am certainly not a great fan of the police, far from it, but I must admit that in places like Recife their sight was not at all unwelcome for me.
Just after I left the state of Bahia the police went on strike and total chaos broke out: robberies, murders (only in Salvador over 50), buses stopped on the streets and looted.
The same thing had already happened to me in Bahia 10 years ago. In that case I was there, first in Arraial and Porto Seguro, all people terrified, and after in Ilehus where the strike finally ended and the policemen could take off their balaclavas and put back their uniforms.


Mhm, I changed my mind, I don’t feel I want to swim today.


In Praia da Pipa, a bit south of Natal. A very nice place, with, needless to say, fabulous beaches.
My first swim here was on this beach, called “Baia dos Golfinhos” – the dolphins’ Bay. I thought it was just a name, but as I was swimming they appeared all around me! Then almost all the people from the beach came into the sea to see them closely and the dolphins stayed a long time to swim around, they are very social animals.


The beaches of Praia da Pipa are flanked by red overlooking rocks. Here we are on the Chapadao, a sort of wide open space on the rock with a breathtaking view on the beaches below and the endless sea.


The “Love Beach”, also called the “Drown beach” because unfortunately makes many victims with its strange currents.


My long shadow.


Sitting on the edge of a cliff, you can get lost staring at the sea that whitens and screams, until the sun sets behind.


And the Moon rises.


All right. Enough for now! :-) See you next time.