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.
Our first few days away from Natal could only be spent in one place – Baia Formosa. It’s a very special place for the magrelinha and myself because this is where, in January of 2014, we put into words the thoughts that had been percolating through our minds. Standing on a belvedere, gazing at the melding line of the vastness of the Atlantic ocean and the immensity of a Brazilian sky, we acknowledged the desire to merge our separate single lives into a single married one.
Baia Formosa is a very unassuming place, merely a small fishing town perched on the cliffs about 30kms away from the BR 101 highway, the road we took to get here from Natal. Because of its secluded location, the mobile network we’re on – Oi – doesn’t reach here. Once again we’re staying at the Pousada Sonho Meu, a guest house with rooms surrounding a small, but verdant, central courtyard. With this being the low season, and a weekday to boot, the magrelinha was able to haggle an acceptable rate for the room of our choice. We are on a bed and breakfast basis but in spite of Baia’s smallness, eateries aren’t lacking. We end up becoming regulars at a restaurant serving home-cooked meals at a very reasonable price. For example, a meal for the both of us with fresh fish, meat, rice, beans and salad comes up to the grand total of €6! I repeat, that’s not per person but for two. As for breakfast at the pousada (guest house), that’s a wholesome affair with fresh juices and fruits (pineapple, guava, mango, … ) besides the usual stuff.
After Baia Formosa, we went for 2 days to Pipa, another smallish place. It’s much more popular though, with tourists drifting here for the beaches by day and the drinking spots by night. We live the alternative lifestyle, spending most of our time walking along trails in an eco-park and watching turtles in their watery world, surfacing and submerging. This latter activity must have influenced us subliminally because after having already spent a fortnight on Brazilian soil, we finally find the inclination to immerse ourselves in salty water.
Back in Natal – the city is named after Christmas since that was the day it was founded – decorations are already being put up in the shopping malls. It feels counterintuitive that though the calendar says Christmas is approaching, nature makes it clear that it is the summer which is, in fact, on the way.
The “Brasil, belatedly” series. Click for more:
- Part 1 – Sit, soak, sip
- 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