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South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Norte » Pipa
July 28th 2009
Published: July 29th 2009
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After an 8 hour journey we arrived in a charming little seaside town that upon first inspection looked a lot more geared toward tourists than anywhere we had been so far. There is a main street that is the heart of Pipa and is approximately 2km long, we had read a good recommendation from our guide book that Pousada Xame (Pousadas are little hotel type places run by family´s) was a good place to stay. The pousada is a little off the beaten track, situated at the very top of the main street, and is therefore a bit cheaper. The place itself is very charming, it has a pool, breakfast area (all breakfasts are included), pool table, DVD area and hammocks in every free space available. Our room is very clean, has a gargantuous bed, air con, TV and a mini bar- not bad for 25 quid a night.

On our first night we headed back in to the centre of the strip which is full of small quirky bars, restaurants and cool surf shops. It had much more of a tourist vibe and we could finally read a menu without the aid of my trusty portugese-English dictionary. We fell on a lovely italian restaurant that was up on a terrace and had two unbelievable steaks! Brazillian steak is really to die for.

Our first full day in Pipa will probably be the most memorable of this already awe inspiring trip. It was about 30 degrees C and we started off with a gorgeous home cooked breakfast by our Posada owner which included scrambled eggs, cakes and fresh mango and pineapple. As we sat on the sundrenched terrace milking the free food we suddenly noticed at the corner of the terrace hung two cylinders with plastic flowers around the bottom and to our amazement there were humming birds hovering and feeding from the plastic flowers! They were amazingly graceful, electric green and blue in colour and ranged in size from 2-6 inches. I had only seen a humming bird for the first time 2 days prior in the bird aviary but to see them in the wild was something else.

After breakfast we headed to the beach. The whole coast is bordered by cliffs and so getting down to the sand is quite tricky as the ´steps´built by locals are somewhat dangerous if not taken care on. The beaches are highly affected by the tide as several sections disappear in high tide making the walk to the far end a maze of volcanic rock. The challenge was quite fun. The sand is golden and clean and the sea is a refreshing temperature, though not too cold. Pipa was found out to be a hot spot by surfers and that has not changed much as there were plenty of surfers about.

We ventured away from the surf beach to the quieter golfinhos bay (Dolphin bay), which is reknown for its inquisitive inhabitants. We thought we may spot a few dolphins in the distance if we were lucky, how wrong we were. After being there for maybe 20 minutes we were swimming close to the shore and to our shock and delight a dolphin appeared a mere 30m away! It swam around and popped a few more times before disappearing again. About half an hour later another was spotted close to the shore so we made for the water and tried to stay in the shallow parts so as to not disturb it, everyone else just ploughed in trying to get as close as possible much to our annoyment. We we rewarded though as one swam away up the shore along with its following, we stayed put and one popped up about 10 feet away and circled our area! It was unbelievable we could have almost touched it, it was actually quite small but the area is known for dolphins coming in to tend to their young.

Throughout the day they kept coming back to the shore chasing flying fish, later on we get a hell of a shock as from nowhere a fish jumped out the water about 3m from us followed swiftly by a dolphin leaping right out after it splashing us! We were only about 15m from the shore which made it all the more amazing. We thought at the beginning of the day we might have seen one or two out at the edge of the bay but we must have seen about 30 or 40 throughout the day (could well have been the same ones as we only ever saw 3 at a time) but it was so amazing to be swimming so close to a dolphin in the wild as it hunted for flying fish!

We got a tad burnt as we had been looking forward to being in the sun so much we couldn´t drag ourselves away. We built a corker of a sandcastle and Jo enjoyed one of the local coconuts freshly dropped and opened. We also did a bit of rock pooling on the way back but nothing too exciting to report just a few hermit crabs!

Tonight we are going out to grab a bite to eat and try one of the local creperies.

Miss u all xxx (photos now on Facebook of iguassu)

P.S emzy i have never been on safari! so i am jealous that u did, hope u all had a great time in spain and thank you for sorting ou the phone top up. x


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