Already half-a-year has (nearly) elapsed since the magrelinha and I landed on the hot tarmac of Natal airport’s runway. I haven’t yet written anything about my experiences there so, with the guilty conscience of a debtor being 6-months in arrears, I am going to make weekly repayments through this series of blog posts – Brasil, belatedly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed watching the video of Natal’s most popular beach, Ponta Negra. The glassy look of the sand is due to the retiring tide. When the tide is high, that vast expanse of sand becomes the domain of the Atlantic ocean. Because of this, it is best to consult a tidal calendar before setting off to the beach. And yes, the sand stretches as far as the eye can see, simply kilometre after kilometre of it.
The sandy slope towards the end of the video is known as Morro do Careca, probably the most photographed nature spot of the city. What captures the photographers’ clicks is the striking nakedness of a sand slope cutting through the Atlantic forest and sliding down to the beach. The literal translation of Morro do Careca is “sand dune of baldness” – rather appropriate, wouldn’t you say? That day we didn’t go there to swim but simply to sit down, soak in the atmosphere, sip fresh coconut juice straight out of its fibrous packaging and recover from the 36 hours it took to bridge the ocean separating Xemxija Bay from Natal. At only 75 cents per coconut (3 Reais in Brazilian currency), that’s very good value for money bearing in mind the location where the content of that juicy nut is being imbibed. Incidentally, this was also the first beach we came to the first time I visited Natal.
The “Brasil, belatedly” series. Click for more:
- Part 2 – Revisiting Baia Formosa
- Part 3 – A musical full stop
- Part 4 – Meia Maratona do Sol
- Part 5 – Measuring the country
- Part 6 – Contrasts cobbled together
- Part 7 – (Un)Splendid isolation – Monte das Gameleiras