Carolyn Broadwell - Travel Tidbits - Dec 2003 - Jun 2004

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Fortaleza rain and the beach

Well, this is supposed to be one of the drier areas of Brazil; they were complaining about a drought a couple of weeks ago. But it is not dry today, and my last update (before my "retraction" relating to it) also described copious rain.

I am leaving on an overnight bus tonight for Natal, so had to check out by noon. My hotel doesn't take credit cards, and I didn't have enough cash, so I needed to go to the bank and use the ATM. When I woke up early it was pouring, and it has just rained more and more since then. I did vacate my room before noon, and thanks to Miguel and Antonio, I had a place to wait (in their room) for the rain to let up. It didn't! By about 2:30 I decided to get a taxi (the bank that works best is only a ten minute walk away), and had the driver wait for me at the bank, then bring me to this internet, as it seemed like the best way to pass time. The streets are more like rivers than streets, and water is everywhere. The guys loaned me a t-shirt, as I knew I would get wet, and didn't want to start the bus trip in wet clothes - or any more or wetter clothes than necessary - I do have wet pants and shoes now. (My shirt that I was wearing is drying with the air conditioning fan in their room, as I had made a quick dash to the pharmacy earlier; it was drenched.)

Besides, I could always do an update...and since I only got two emails today (other than junk mail), it seemed like a good idea.

On Sunday we went to the beach. I'm not much of a beach person, but this part of Brazil is famous for its miles and miles of white sand beaches, so of course I wanted to see them. It was a short bus ride away, and there were obviously others headed the same way. Most were in their bathing suits, wearing what I guess were garments designed to disguise that fact, but they really didn't do that! The funniest one was a dress that was very large knotted net, with long fringe. Nothing was hidden! They weren't even protection from the sun! And they were selling those on the beach. (I didn't find out the price.) Then there were lots of sarongs, most of which were sheer. But once we arrived, the most noticeable thing on the beach was the amount of flesh that's exposed! Acres if it! And even some pretty good bodies! Very nice!

As to bodies, I have never seen so many tight clothes in my life as here in Brazil, and it is so hot that most people wear the minimum they can get away with. My guidebook says that Brazil is the sexiest nation of earth, and they may be right, but it is because of the climate, primarily. Well? It could be...

But I did also increase my liberal education; beside us (tables and chairs under a thatch shade for small groups were all up and down the beach) there were three Spaniards. Miguel immediately recognized their Galician accent and slang. Two of them were in the process of picking up a couple of women (VERY scantily dressed) most of the afternoon, and it was quite a scene. I had the best view of the action, which was rather obvious, but Antonio and Miguel could hear all the conversation (that was behind their backs), so later we had a great time putting all the observations together. A lot of beer was consummed by the women and the Spaniards over the course of the afternoon. We also drank our share of beer, as well as a couple of green coconuts, cashew nuts, and a big fish grilled, fried potatoes, and also what I think was deep fried breadfruit. I didn't go in the water: the guys did, but Miguel got pretty burned. I had a good day, all around.

Which reminds me that I didn't do much writing about my time in Trinidad. I'll not do that now, either, except to say that I have only used my bathing suit once on this trip, and that was at Chacachacare (Wow! I don't think I even came close on the spelling!), which is an island between Trinidad and Venezuela. That was a wonderful day! Thanks to Robyn...

I wonder if I will go swimming on Fernando do Noronha? I'll arrive there the 29th, and return to the continent on Feb. 1. Will let you know...

Best, Carolyn

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