Final stretch in Recife
Yesterday was a good day! João Pessoa is a nice chill place, but it was raining so no beach. Instead we went to the most eastern point on the south america’s continent (pictures follow). Near the point we stopped at this tiny beach restaurant and had yummy food… think livers. I really don’t like livers but we got lost in translation with the server. Then we walked back for about 7 kilometers to the hostel and had to promptly leave for the bus station to head to Recife. But you ask where is your bike? Aha! At the hostel there were 5 Germans who arrived a few weeks ago and will remain in Joao Pessoa for 1 year (exchange program at the uni). So I simply put the word out in the hostel, asking if somebody needs a bike and almost immediately I had a buyer. I sold for a bit less than 1/2 a price but given the quality of the bike I think its a great deal for both of us.
(alright the internet cafe staff is kicking me out….fechado!! will finish later i guess).
(Continuing Sept 8, 2009): I took a taxi with 2 isreali dudes and since Thomas was taking his bicycle back to Brasilia he left a bit earlier and cycled to the bus station (about 12km). It was probably a 2 hour bus ride from Jaoa Pessoa to Recife. The bus took us to some random stop on a highway but since the bus station is even further than this random location, we got off and luckily we quickly found a taxi driver who would take me, Thomas and a bicycle to the airport. We were in the airport at around 21:30ish and Thomas’ flight was the next morning so we settled in one of the lounges and spent the night in the airport. Why did we do this? for two reasons, to save money and for convenience. In the morning I took a taxi to the city and settled at the hostel called Piratas da Praia. Everybody was still sleeping cause it was around 7am so I quickly took a shower, droped my backpacks off and headed for a walk. My intention was to go find some Acai na Tigela, which is a mix of granola and frozen/mashed acai berry (only found in amazon and known for its antioxidant power), but i ended up walking a long way and there were still no places to buy acai so i continued the trek since I could already see downtown. There I hired a fisherman with small wooden boat to transfer me over the channel to the city and once in the city, there were plenty of historical buildings to check out. This was my last day in Recife so I treated myself with a couple of fresh fruit juice glasses and a “ruby” coffee. Yummy. Then from the tourist info center I found out that all diving shops are not going out today because of the waves (i was curious to see if perhaps i could go diving since recife has some pretty interesting wrecks). I also found out that there is no surfing in the area. Good news was that a small town of Olinda was just a 30 minute ride on the bus away from Recife, so that’s where I headed after a couple of hours exploring the old town and the markets of Recife. Olinda is a very cozy town that contains homes of many artists and craftsmen. It is set on a beautiful hilly area. I had a very enjoyable walk, complimented by another fresh fruit juice glass and then headed back to the hostel. Its been a long day and I was hungry so I went to get some dinner and came back to the hostel thinking that I will rest for an hour and then go to this bar for some local music…. instead i just kept dozing and my last evening in Brazil was very very quiet. I woke early the next day, at 5am (not my usual waking up time:) and headed to the beach for a swim. Surprisingly there were already so many people jogging, running on the beach, cycling… and you know mostly older people too, confirming the fact that the older you get the earlier you get up and start the day. I’d like the opposite to hold true… when you are young you should be able to get up early and have longer days, to enjoy more hours of each day being young and when you get older, you could sleep more. Unfortunately that’s not the case so we spend a big portion of our young life sleeping. So, quick swim, a short run on the beach and back to the hostel for a shower and at 6am took a cab to the airport. Flight at 7:55am from Recife to Sao Paulo, with a stopover in Salvador for half an hour.
Arrived in SP and locked my bags in the airport lockers so I wouldn’t have to lug them around. Took a bus to downtown and since it was mid-day on Friday the bus was in a traffic for about 1 hour, then another 30 minutes in subways, which by the way are ridiculously crowded, reminding me of this Japanese train. I met up with Priscila and we walked around Paulista Avenue, then headed to SESC where you can use free internet and I showed the photos of my trip to Priscila. We then had some original pão de queijo, which was really really good, especially when eaten with Guarana soda drink:)) Oh and dont forget Coxinha de Frango (photo later). It started to rain very heavily and according to Pri that was because Brazil didn’t want me to go home :))) At around 6pm we went to a very nice pizzeria and some great pizzas. They walk around with different pizzas and you pick what you want, kind of like the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao, its all you can eat. So for the first time I tried brigadeiro pizza (Brigadeiro is an original pastry in a shape of a ball and is made of something similar to a mix of chocolate and condensed milk). Sweet pizza? yes indeed. In fact it was pretty good. Served very well as a desert.
At around 7 I started making my way back to the airport. This included a ride on the subway…. amusing how crazy it is… people squeezing and you usually get only onto a 3 or fourth train because of the lines. The good thing is that trains go almost every 2 minutes. Then, it was airport, check-in, wait, wait…. a midnight dinner on the plane, arrive in Mexico city at what seemed like 5am and couple hours later a flight back to Chicago. This concluded my trip to Brazil and I must say that it was a very enjoyable one. Tchau!