Ok, we started off three days ago in Recife in the state of Pernambuco, which is pretty much in the most eastern point of Brasil. Now three days later we are in Aracaju in the state of Sergipe about 600km south of Recife. Here is map of our route so far:
Our route so far
So, what have we seen?
Well the north east of Brasil is the poorest and probably the most beautiful part of Brasil.
We have seen endless beautiful coconut palm framed golden sand beaches with warm, clean, green sea. Some are crowded with families enjoying a day at the beach, others are completely empty.
A crowded beach – with a festival like atmosphere!
We have seen miles and miles of waving sugar cane fields and also miles of perfectly lined up plantation palm trees – maybe for coconut farming? we couldn’t tell.
We have seen endless gently rolling hills with big white brahma cows wandering around or relaxing in mud holes.
We have seen an continuous stream of little towns, either right on the coast or strung out along the side of BR-101, the main highway along the coast.
Sugar plantation workers town
We have see lots and lots of potholes! Our poor little rental car has taken some big hits, but like an old boxer she is ploughing on – and Greg is driving a little slower and following the line the locals take weaving in between the potholes and the puddles and the washouts.
We have seen beautiful colonial churches and amazing colonial era shops and houses in varying states of repair (sometimes the unrenovated ones are the most stunning).
Another postcard worthy church
We have seen lots and lots of cars and trucks with stickers about Jesus on them, we have also seen loads of massive modern evangelical churches – proof that religion is alive and well up here!
We have seen some beautiful bayside cities – we stayed for two nights in Maceio which was just lovely, the city is strung out along a bay, there is a reef about 2km from the coast and loads of boats are parked up on the shore with snorkelling gear for anyone who wants to snorkel in the clear green waters.
Maceio was a great, it had a really comfortable, laid back atmosphere, lots of great restaurants, a running path along the shore and a never ending supply of ice cold coconuts for Cath to drink.
We also stopped at the infamous Porte de Galinhas, one of the most popular beach spots in the north east, but it was a real tourist trap complete with touts and hustlers on all the street corners, so we enjoyed a quick meal of freshly fried fish and hit the road again.
We have also seen the grim face of poverty, it seems much more prevalent than in Sao Paulo, not just the brick and tin favelas of Sao Paulo that we are now used too, but also the much more basic mud and palm frond shacks that dot the roadside.
We have eaten some great food, from an awesome traditional lamb stew to Peruvian ceviche, awesome parmigiana, breakfasted on ice cream at a shop that had 70 varieties and eaten freshly fried to order potato chips:
heart foundation approved!
But I think we reached a culinary peak today at a truck stop in the middle of sugar cane country, the place was massive and catered to the never-ending stream of truckers zooming up and down the coast. It was a rodizio, an all you can eat meat restaurant and it was great and only about £5 per person for all the beef, lamb, pork and chicken you could eat!
We eventually rolled ourselves out of there and got back on the road to our current location Aracaju in the state of Sergipe, tomorrow we will head to one the best Portuguese era towns nearby then make our way towards Salvador.
More news as it comes to hand!