,Backpacking Eight Months On the Road
By Bus Through South America
By David Rice
Fortaleza, Backpacking by Bus In South America
Eight Months On the Road
By David Rice
I love beaches.
Between Fortaleza and Rio there are many great beaches, several of which I had in my sights. I would pause were I could on my way south along the coast, planning a few extended stops at the more remarkable beaches.
It took some doing to get to Fortaleza but the beaches made the trip worthwhile. Warm Atlantic waters and sand beaches with hotels, bars, and palm beach huts along the shore make this a good beach town. Nightlife, especially on Monday and a European atmosphere made Fortaleza fun.
From Fortaleza my next major beach stop would be Recife, where I stayed for three days enjoying the great beaches and warm waters of the Atlantic.
Recife is a big crumbling old city with a wide river that barely moves and with that lack of movement comes a strong odor. Nevertheless tour ships dock in Recife and tourists visit this one time center of Brazilian culture, usually staying in nearby Olinda, a town billed as the prettiest town in Brazil.
Preserved colonial buildings and cobble streets, grand old churches and a nice hill with a view of the city made Olinda a pleasant but expensive visit. A few items in the laundry cost me $14.; an unexpected luxury scrubbing or was it a luxury drubbing.
In a nice park I picked up seeds, a hobby with me, an old Missouri farmer at heart. I like to work with them in my greenhouse back home or I will put the particularly attractive ones in a jar for a decoration in the kitchen. I check with a botanist friend first and make sure there is no harm in planting them. Most every plant from other climes that will grow in the US is already there he tells me. Cruise ships, cargo ships, and airplane freighters have spread the world's flora and fauna to all continents far more rapidly than I ever could.
I love a good beach as a place to rest. I get off the bus when I am tired and I like to rest at the beach where there is always music, ballgames, stick ball, frizbee, surfing, and of course great food. Brazil is a lively place with parties on the street and bands playing Samba and the Latin beats that I have heard in Mexico but they play them with far more subtlety.
The people on these beaches were black and dark skinned people, a mix of Portuguese and black African slaves with some indigenous native mixed in. Brown-skinned people for the most part, they were a fun-loving, music-loving group.
At my next stop I would find lots of African style dress hinting at the strong African influence and, in fact I would find the African soul of Brazil in Salvador, Bahia. There I would spend a week.
Zipolite Beach, Oaxaca