Up North, up North, up North! That is what I have been up to lately.
I left Lençóis for Salvador, and from there took a bus to Natal, higher up on the coast. Upon arrival, I took a bus to Praia da Pipa, which had the reputation for being a chilled out discrete little resort almost 3 hours out of town. I was a little disappointed unfortunately. It had been overbuilt during the last decade, and now seemed geared to cater for mass tourism. Not really what I was looking for. Still, nice beaches, and I manage to swim quite cloe to a couple of dolphins on my second day (which is less glamorous than you'd imagine).
I then returned to Natal and took another long distance bus to Fortaleza, even higher up North. I wanted to spend a bit of time at what seemed to be another chilled out, out-of-the-way little beach town, Lagoinha. Again, disappointment. As you can see for the photos, the beach was beautiful, and I was alone for kilometers, which was lovely. But I saw quite a few construction sites for large hotels and resorts, ruining it for the kind of off the beaten
track travel I'm looking for. I walked along the beach for hours, watching fishermen go out at sea in their tiny little boats. And in the evening, whilst eating, I watched the children from the village rehearse on the main square the barn dance style show for the São João festival in June, one of the year's largest events in North East Brazil.
I am now in São Luis, Maranhão, pretty close to the equator and to Belém, the town at the estuary of the Amazon. I'll talk about that place next.
Two more things:
1 - reading-wise, I got through Jorge Amado's 'Mar Morto', a great novel about the life of the sailors of Bahia and their relationship to Iemanja, orixá of the sea, mother and wife of all men of the sea. Strongly recommend it.
2 - It would seem that Worcestershire sauce is quite popular in the Nordeste. Most of the times I've sat down for a meal from Natal onwards, I've been given some spices, salt, and worcestershire sauce. Quite bizarre.
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