|If we visit another colonial town I think Naomi might kill me. If I take another photograph of a church or pretty coloured building, Naomi will definately kill me. Still as Olinda was our last stop before returning to Sao Paulo and leaving South America I thought it was worth the risk.
Despite its colonial past, today, Olinda is really a suburb of the gritty city of Receife. Almost everything that "goes on" around here "goes on" in Receife. This has left Olinda to become a sleepy old town where minutes quickly turn into hours and hours into days. Unusually for Brazil, there is very little traffic and you can happily pass the time by wandering the narrow (and sometimes steep) streets of the town looking at art galleries, museums and the odd church. Olinda only coms alive for Carnival - an 11 day frenzy of street parties and dancing. Carnival in Olinda is famous for the "bonecos gigantes", huge papier mache sculptures which are paraded through the streets followed by thousands of revellers. Being a slowpaced kind of town, nobody had quite got around to taking the decorations down after Carnival and the place was full of bunting and the main square was still decorated with bonecos. Olinda is also the home of a traditional form of Brazilian puppetry that to me seemed more like the Punch & Judy variety rather than the Sooty & Sweep kind. Naomi rather unkindly thought that there was some similarity between me and the puppet devil!
Our evenings were spent sipping Caipirinha and Skol and eating seafood and grilled cheese in the cathedral square above the town and looking down on the Atlantic. After one last glimpse of the Atlantic (our last before we are back in Blighty) it was time to beat our retreat back to Sao Paulo to catch up with our friends, Natasha, Emil and Orson.