Published: June 20th 2012June 20th 2012
Well our first full day in Olinda was not a great one and we have decided to call it quits on this vacation. The day started off nicely with a leisurely morning of sleeping in and of course, wait for it . . . it was rainy and overcast. We lounged around a bit and then got the low down from the hotel manager, the only person here who speaks English, on what there is to do. We tried for a few hours to schedule some excursions with absolutely no luck. The only thing available for the rest of the week was a trip to different beaches. But since the weather sucked at our beach, the last thing we wanted to do was spend time and money to go to another beach where it was raining, too. They do have a spa at the hotel so we decided to partake in a massage. We have had massages all over the world and usually with good luck, save for Turkey. Well we were not impressed. For Kirsten it was the second worst massage she has ever had. Basically it was a 30 min session of applying lotion. He must have missed the
day when they talked about pressure. They were supposed to be 60 min massages, but as he left the room after 30, Kirsten assumed he was done and got dressed and left. But apparently he was not done, but she was. Chester got the full hour, but was not impressed either with her back rub.
By this point with the crappy weather, nothing to do and a worthless message, we made the executive decision to cut our losses and go home early. Kirsten frantically called the airlines and travel agents to get everything rearranged before the close of business. With everything confirmed to leave on Wed, we decided to head into the quaint town of Olinda. We had to do something while we were here. Of course the second we started driving in the taxi it starts to pour again.
We arrived in Olinda and found a local guide to show us the town. He was great. William told us all the about history, culture and architecture of the town. There are a number of gorgeous churches, cobblestone and rock streets and colonial houses in every color you can imagine, but similar to a European style crossed with
Giant puppets worn at Carnival
They wer these for over 8 hours.
the Caribbean and Key West. The town is filled with artists, most of which show their work in their houses. We went to a number of them and Chester bought a piece. The art work is very bright and vivid and really fun. We managed to hit one church that is only open 30 minutes a day; 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening for the nuns to have mass. Two of the other churches were having mass as well so we figure that was some kind of sign. We are just not sure what the sing was. Our guide explained a lot about Carnival in the town and the different societies and how they all celebrate with banners, puppets and dancing. Around 3 million people come to town for Carnival each year. Olinda’s carnival is very special and different from that in Rio or Sao Paolo. The locals all participate and dance in the streets for hours. The decorations and the celebrations are very specific to this Brazilian state. William was careful to point out the areas that had different “activities” during carnival. AKA sex acts, straight, gay etc.
Our guide then took us
to a local market area that we had what he called the best Caiprinha (a local drink) in town. It is a bit like a margarita, but really strong. Then we had some Tapioca, which is a thick crepe like food. One was filled with chocolate and one with cheese and coconut. Both were delicious. After this our plans of having a nice dinner changed a bit and the guide took us to a local restaurant that was delicious. We had a great fish dish that we shared the local beer. During most of the city tour it rained, and this was not easy with slippery flip flops on cobble stone. Add to this hills like San Francisco and a strong drink and we were sure we would fall, but we managed to stay standing. No way would this have happened if Judy was still here. We did get screwed by our last taxi driver how took the long way home and fare was about 40% more than the way out. But this is the first time we think we have been screwed since we got here. Not bad.
We were bummed that we were leaving early, but after
Beautiful colored houses
A bit of rain got in the picture.
a nice tour of the city we do feel like we have done what there is to do here for this time of year. With the crappy weather we decided that we are ready to head home tomorrow.
There are more photos below