Natal - Sandunes at Ponta Negra beach
This was the famous landmark sandune in Ponta Negra, behind it and all over the area were hundreds of sandunes.
Day 31 - Day 46
Natal, the capital of Rio Grande de Norte, is a modern and clean city in the north of Brazil, famous for its sand-dunes, with the main attraction being beaches rather than museums! It is a 22 hour bus ride north of Salvador, and the people and culture differ greatly.
We stayed in Ponta Negra, the tourist area of Natal where most people stay when they visit, 10 km from the centre of Natal. Natal translates as Christmas, and the city is characterised by statues of the three wise men on every corner. They have good shopping malls and nice restaurants here.
One night, after being widely informed by many people including the locals, we went for our first Charcusserie (All you can eat meat place)! We prepped ourselves for the occasion, starving ourselves for the day, however nothing could have prepared us for the amount of meat that we face. It was fantastic, a man's heaven, 22 varieties of high quality meat. The ways it works it simple and so good, you take a seat, and waiters come round every few minutes or as fast as you can eat,
with huge pieces of steak on a skewer straight from the grill and they slice of as much as you like. A few hours or so later, we rolled away from the restaurant, soo full we wouldn´t have to eat for a week! It was extremely good meat at extremely good value. I think we paid 16 realis each which is about 4 quid! This could only happen in south america!
Open water scuba diving course
Whilst enjoying our time in Natal, we met Paul a local diving instructor, and decided this was a good time as ever to do something meaningful with ourselves, so we began an intensive 4 day diving course! Swimming pool training and after school studying wore us out for 4 days, but was well worth it and we are so excited to now be able to explore the underwater world. We did our training in a nearby lake, that was more interesting on the surface than under the water with only 1 meter of visibility but nonetheless fun. The whole experience was fantastic, our trainer Paul and his wife Michelle looked after us well, showing us the local bars and introducing us to
"Quentinha" a cheap brasilian lunch!
Praia de Pipa
Two hours south of Natal is the quaint and adorable little village of Pipa. Pipa is one of the north east of Brazil´s hippiest beach town and the one thats most developed yet its still rather sleepy and backward in its ways! It boasts pristine beaches backed by tall cliffs and dolphined filled waters. As the photos show, it was just lovely and we had the most relaxing time on the beach and dolphin watching! One day whilst taking a dip, there was a splash about a meter away from us, much to our surprise it was a dolphin playing in the waves! The beaches here were very rewarding as you had to trek across cliffy rock to get to them!
Note: Sorry everybody for the delay in updating you with our whereabouts. We were in Natal more than a month ago now, but have been busy exploring and haven´t had time or will to sit at the computer and upload this lot to you!!
At the moment 12/03/07 we have just arrived in Peru, but we will hopefully get you our Rio
and Carnaval blog online soonish!!
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