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Published: September 28th 2008
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It has now been 10 days since we left. A short summary of our experience since our last article.
End of Salvador, Bahia:
We attended the religious candomble ceremony which is a local mix of Christian and African traditions (from Angola and Nigeria). This ceremony is held in honor of divinities called Orushas. The attendees walk, dance and sing in circle for 2 hours trying to reach the "trance" state. The music is performed with percussions only and its rythm increases throughout the ceremony.
Of course, we had to go through an unforgettable (and unexpectable indeed) experience: suddenly one of the participants reached the trance state, his body started shaking till he fell down straight on our feet! He stopped moving and his body was rigid. After few minutes on our feet (we try to control ourselves for not laughing as the ceremony was quite serious altough we thought about kicking him away from us), the man was
carried away wrapped in a white sheet. The ceremony was over for him: too much candomble music can hurt! We do not recommend its practice as it seems to be dangerous for one's health...
Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte:
We then left Salvador for Pipa. It was a long trip: 20 hours by bus! This small village (3000 people) is located on the North east cost, 80 km south of Natal. It is famous for surfing (obviously not the reason why we went there) and its beautiful beaches. Each time you meet someone in the street or on the beach, one word always comes back "Tranquilo". This word could summarize their life. So we have been trying hard to adapt and we can now say that we somehow succeeded. So we just took it "Tranquilo"(take it easy), anyway no other choices! We spent one night with "Barata", a brazilian guy who well symbolises this spirit. As we quite enjoyed our time with him, we decided to make an appointment on the beach (or in the street, we were not sure about the exact translation) the next day between 10 and 11am (time is also tranquilo here...) to
go to another beach. So we wandered around the next day... in vain. We had lost Barata and found him only 2 days later. Still tranquilo Barata !
Despite this kind of misunderstandings, our portuguese improves every day as we meet many local people and avoid English as much as possible. Another good lesson we learnt is that five caipirhinas are enough to make you feel good at night, and make your head sore the day after! Practising is the best way to learn...
A few comments about Pipa: water was too warm (28 degrees all year long), the sun too strong (sun burnt a little bit despite Lancome UV protection... probably not enough!) and the sand too white. In fact, the biggest problem about standing in the sand is that when a wave comes, you start losing your balance as your feet get buried into it.
The pictures will be more talkative than any blabla! Hopefully you will read that at work so you will be fully focused...
Jericoacoara, Ceara. Aka "Jeri" by cool people:
We arrived there yesterday. This village is in the middle of sand dunes and far from everything. Streets are made
of sand! Its lifestyle is almost the same as Pipa. But there is one difference: nightlife.
It starts at 6pm when the sun goes down. 1 or 2 caipirinha for the apero, then dinner and sleeping time. But this is just a nap as people wake up at 2am to go out and party on the beach on the beats of reggae tone and foro (local music to be discovered and commented later). Once again, we can say we adapted very easily. We went out around 3am after a quick nap (4hours)... we finished up the night on a sand dune around 9am after a really fun night with brazilians where we could dress up as local Indians and Matrix characters. You can imagine the pictures. We will try our best to get them as we did not bring our cameras last night.
More to come in the next article...
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