|When we came up to the north-east of Brazil we decided that we wanted to spend at least a few days on the beach and from the long list of candidates we decided upon Porto de Galinhas and Praia Maracaipe. We could not have found a better spot. It is famous in Brazil for its beauty and also because, even after slavery was officially abolished, slaves continued to be brought ashore here illegally using the code-word, and sometimes underneath, "Galinhas" or chickens. Being a slave on a ship across the Atlantic must have been bad enough without also being covered in chicken shit.
These days the beach is a bit of a surfing hotspot and our visit happened to coincide with the state surfing championships - an exciting local event but "not a sport". N has taken to describing surfers as "hotties" and is claiming that she is going to become a surf wear designer. She says it is to get back at me for my "research" in Rio. I have no idea what she is talking about.
3 March 2007 marked the six month point of our journey and so we are now on the homeward stretch. Half-way through out trip and yet we are only 7400 kms from London. Having now spent six months in Central and South America it will soon be time to leave Brazil. It is a country rightly famous for its beaches, football and music (amongst other things) but throughout our travels in Brazil, the one thing that has struck me everywhere from its cities to its rural villages, from its beaches to its interior, and the field in which I think Brazil really leads the world, is in its abundance of plastic furniture. It is absolutely everywhere and usually brightly coloured and advertising the country's various brands of beer. Porto de Galinhas is no exception.
Naomi chose to celebrate our trip's six month anniversary by going bikini shopping. She is now the proud owner of an itsy bitsy tinny winny [multi-coloured] polka-dot bikini (which, due its Brazilianess may look a little out of place on Thornham beach). I chose to celebrate by going with her!
Mother nature chose to celebrate by performing the most stunning total lunar eclipse which caused the moon to turn the most amazing red colour before slowly disappearing and then reappearing. It was, however, particularly difficult to photograph with my home-made "tripod" made out of a beach chair and table (both plastic) and my trusty welsh-rugby shirt!
We ended our stay by drinking and dancing the night away to the rhythm of the local forro band who were performing in what was basically the village hall. A forro band involves a bloke with an accordion, another with a big drum and a final one with a triangle - the music produced by this combination was great. You will not be surprised to hear that we did not win the dancing contest (Mark Ramprakash can sleep easy at night) but, as the only tourists in attendance, we did win the sympathy vote!