After one night at Marina Pernambuco, which consisted of a buoy in the river, a pontoon to tie our dinghy to with no locked gate, a cold shower in the loos of the restaurant (with the tap so high I needed Jenni with me to switch it on) and a 10 minute walk to get a ferry across to the old town, we decided to move up river and up market to Cabanga Iate Clube.

We certainly made the right decision! It’s the swankiest marina we’ve ever been in. It has 2 pools, a sauna, a gym and 24hr security guards on the gate. The only slight draw back is that we have to get a taxi to go anywhere, but at a fiver for four of us to get to town, it’s affordable.

The bar by the little pool.

The bar by the little pool.

The first 2 days we spent walking back and forth in the old town finding the right officials, in the right order to complete checking in…..it would have been longer if we hadn’t already checked in in Fernando de Noronha!

Arriving in a new country means a day of finding the right stores to buy phone cards and data chips for the iPad and phones, so we can get on the internet. The stores always seem to be miles away from where we are and needless to say, the chips don’t work properly and we have to go back the next day to get them properly activated.

Dan saw quite a lot of Recife by the time we had done all of this, but it was a shame he didn’t get to see some of the night life and music. After spending two months with us, we had to say goodbye to him…… unlike the rest of us, he has a job to get back to. The weather has not been ‘normal’ for any of us this year and the delay leaving the Canaries meant that the big adventure of crossing the Atlantic and the equator took longer than we thought to complete, so R&R in Brazil was cut to barely three days for him.

After a couple of lazy days

A lazy day in the hammocks on the foredeck

A lazy day in the hammocks on the foredeck

and evenings by the pool cafe, Jenni and I went out into town to watch groups rehearsing in the streets for Carnival, which takes place at the end of February.. It really is a huge festival here. It lasts four days, during which time all the shops are closed, so we will have to provision for a siege……..just like Christmas in England!!

Part of the fun of new places is trying all the new foods and fruits. On her last day here, Jenni took us to a very posh churrascoria.

The salad buffet.

The salad buffet.

We should certainly have these in Britain……its a bit like a Harvester, in that you go to a salad bar to select you accompaniment to the meat, but instead of some wilted lettuce and a limited choice of unimaginative salad stuff and croutons, there is a buffet of mixed dishes of prawns, squid, beans, mushrooms, rice dishes etc. etc. to choose from. At the table, waiters bring huge skewers of barbecued meat and carve slices, which you take with small tongs and put on a side plate. We suspect that the waiters were having a bet on how much we Gringos could stuff our faces with, as they were almost racing each other to serve us the next skewer of meat!

As far as safety goes, as I said before, we have to take taxis everywhere. We can’t walk anywhere at night ….locals warn us that it’s just not done. Jenni has been very good at passing on her street wise ways……carry nothing to invite attention. Don’t carry a bag, camera or phone….. we already stand out as Gringos, so such extras are an advert and an open invitation to a would be thief. Photos are therefore proving to be a bit of a problem……cash tucked into knickers or bra is OK, but a camera would be a little obvious!

Last Sunday we went to Olinda for the day. Olinda is one of the oldest towns in Brazil and is a World Heritage Site, so I decided to be brave and take the camera. Apart from going to look at the town, we went to see the Sunday afternoon carnival rehearsals. Everywhere we went there were groups drumming, marching and dancing. It will be amazing when everyone is in costume…..can’t wait to see the real thing.

Olinda WHS

Olinda WHS

Marcus with the effigies

Marcus with some effigies

One of the drumming groups

One of the drumming groups

All ages take part

All ages take part

A bit like Edenbridge Bonfire night!

A bit like Edenbridge Bonfire night!

When we were sat watching the drumming group, they got volunteers to have a go. Naturally Jenni was there like a shot!

Our Jenn on the beat.

Our Jenn on the beat.

On Tuesday we went into Recife’s old town for ‘Terca’ Negro (Black Tuesday). In one particular church square, there is a stage set up and various bands and groups play every Tuesday in February, to celebrate the culture brought by slaves from Africa to Brazil. There was everything from rap to traditional african song and dance and in the square in front of the stage there was some ‘capoeira’ and juggling going on. It is all very vibrant and we found people wanted to talk to us to find out where we come from and to welcome us to their city and Brazil. We came away with at least two new friends on facebook!

Jenni, with stage behind, sporting the anchor earring that one of the crowd gave her!

Jenni, with stage behind, sporting the anchor earring that one of the crowd gave her!

On Thursday we took Jeeni to the airport for her flight up to the Amazon.

Bye

Bye…….

Bye Jenni!!

Bye Jenni!!

It seems very strange to be on our own again and not to have our resident translator to help us with the lingo, but we’re confident we can cope!

Today we took our bikes along the coast road to the city’s beach in Boa Viagem. Every Sunday they close one of the lanes on the main road to cars and open it for cyclists only. There are crossing marshals who stop the traffic to let bikes cross and when we reached the start of the beach, we got onto the cycle lane that runs right along the front…… a bit like Brighton, but warmer, more sun shades and ‘thin’ sand!

Refreshment stop along the prom. Bikes in the bottom left corner.

Refreshment stop along the prom. Bikes in the bottom left corner.

We pedaled on until the crowds thinned and sat on the beach for a while. It’s amazing the trading that goes on!

This man was selling prawns.

This man was selling prawns.

Everything from snacks to hats and sunglasses, jewelry to footballs and ice creams to soup. One man was struggling a little in the breeze with his stock of inflated rubber rings, airbeds and paddling pools, all carried on a frame across his shoulder.

This couple were selling dresses.

This couple were selling dresses.

Another day of new experiences and we got back in plenty of time before curfew!!

The Yacht Club from the cycle lane. We're the tall mast just right of centre!

The Yacht Club from the cycle lane. We’re the tall mast just right of centre!

1 Comment

  1. Mum here lying on sofa reading your recent blog with Liney. Watched your videos and thought what a wonderful time you are having you all look really well and happy. What an achievement well done. It would be lovely to see you and we miss you being around but delighted that you are both so well and happy. Lots of love Mum xx

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