After two years it was finally time to go back to Brazil. This experience was to be completely different to the first one; the city of Recife was my first stop at 2,500km from Rio and São Paulo. The house I was renting was in a “favela” or city slump, where I’d feel constantly aware of how white I was every time I left the house. I quickly learned not to leave home with any valuables, or even a wallet, with about R$20 (€8) stuffed into my pocket I’d be covered for all food and taxis out and back home. Recife has a reputation for being a very dangerous city. Despite that, nothing happened to me or anyone I knew the entire time I was there.
Soon the Couchsurfers started to arrive! I hosted about 60 or 70 people in the month I was there, most of them during the Carnival. It was great to have them around since having such a big house all to myself when working can get quite
The Carnival itself was spectacular. See the video a couple of entries before for my experience. Olinda (Recife’s adjacent city) has one of the world’s craziest Carnivals and I’m so glad I got to experience it!
After a month it was time to set off to travel around the north-east. I started at Natal, a city simply named “Christmas” in Portuguese, where there are Christmas trees and wise men everywhere – even in March! A very clean and modern city; it gets a lot of European tourists. While I was feeling touristy I went to Pipa for a few days; its a beach town mostly populated by travelling surfers and those who want some good parties. Continuing south, I went past Recife onto Maceió and then down to Salvador for a while.
Salvador was Brazil’s first capital and has a long and interesting history; it’s an amazing city with so much culture and with so many friendly people. I took a few Capoeira lessons and went out to explore the city as much as I could. Since it was almost time to go home I decided to chill out for my last few days on Morro de São Paulo; an island close to Salvador. I found a “pousada” (cheap hotel) with breakfast, air conditioner, queen sized bed, my own terrace, en-suite bathroom and 10m from the beach and was able to haggle the price down to R$25 (€10) a night!
But all good things must come to an end; I got the 14 hour bus ride back to Recife to fly home. It’s not the last Brazil has seen of me though!! I hope the above video best summarises how it was!