October 2002

ihana.com - big trip - diary - brasil - october 2002


Old part of Recife...

...thespians and...

...old buildings

Saturday 19 - Wednesday 23 October

Recife is the fourth largest city in Brasil and has the usual distinct areas, which appeal to different tastes. Bordering the city to the south is Boa Viagem, a purpose built tourist area full of high rise blocks, hotels and shops. The beach there is not particularly clean and the hotels are expensive and have no secure parking. We went north of the city to Olinda, which is the colonial arty type district and raved about in the guide book. It seemed a bit boring and out on a limb so we went back to the real city centre in search of a cheap hotel. Some wrong turns later we found ourselves back in Boa Viagem where we bumped into Chris and Erin from UltimateJourney.com. They've been biking around the world for the last three and a half years so we had plenty to talk about. After an interesting chat we arranged to meet the following night and headed back to town in search of a cheap place to stay.

Three and a half years travelling makes you smile

Boa Viagem, the new part of Recife

We got a good feeling about Recife, helped when we passed by the theatre and got waved at by some friendly morenas in the queue. Once the landy was esconsed in a hotel with off street parking we caught a cab to the old town, lots of colonial buildings, cafes, bars and the odd disco. The hot night was at the English pub, Downtown, where a local band were playing a night of pretty good U2 covers, but all the morenas seemed to be at the theatre.

Sunday we met again with UltimateJourney.com and passed a pleasant evening, check out their website for some good stories of their travels. They are going north back to the states so were glad of some tips from our experiences of Venezuela and Central America, as were we of their passage through Argentina and Chile.

Sugar cane harvest

Porto de Galinhas this way

Not many chickens on the beach

Monday was time to be going, so after taking some pics around the old town we were southbound again. Porto de Galinhas was recommended to us by a few different folks along the way, so we spent a night there at a campsite run by an Argentinian guy and his Brasilian wife. There's a great beach and a friendly atmosphere plus we got puncture No 8 fixed and felt a nice vibe about the place.

Linha Verde coast road

A quick ferry at Penedo

Roadside fires

Tuesday saw the landy humming down the coast to Salvador. After a full-on day of diesel powered kilometerage along the smoothly undulating coast road we stopped just after it got dark in Praia do Peba. The main street is actually on the beach, buses hacking along the hard sand with the houses and streetlights built just above the high tide line. An old Belgian lady invited us to camp for free in the wind sheltered courtyard of her pousada, her son enjoying talking about politics and his life in Brasil. B slung his hammock under a roof sheltering a couple of land yachts, an ideal sport for this beach. After a large cutprice breakfast we set off once more southwards, catching the ferry across the river at the picturesque town of Penedo. Early afternoon and we made it to the famous Salvador de Bahia.

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