From Mountain to the Beach.
Day 45 : Maceio, Brazil
After an amazing 12 days in Chapada Diamantina, I had to drag myself out of there to re-start my trip. If not, it would have just been Rieko’s 1 year journey in Chapada Diamantina, not South America.
So the trip continues and after a short stop in Salvador to pick up what I had left (a very important computer adaptor!) and catching up with my friend and trying out capoiela, I am here in Maceio.
Maceio is here, 11 hour bus ride from Salvador to the north. It is in the northern eastern part of Brazil famous for its beautiful beaches. I just want to re-emphasize that the bus ride here is surprisingly pleasant, the seats recline like crazy and is very cushiony. It’s not a bad idea to take the over night bus to save money on lodging because I was able to get a good night sleep comfortably and even with in-bus wifi!
So here I am. This was a decision based on a very strong recommendations from my buddies in Chapada. (Thanks Claudo, Paulo!) I’ve always loved traveling this way because I feel like I am making a connection from place to place and from people to people when I take recommendations from people, not just following a guidebook, though I actually don’t even own one. The trip is not just about seeing famous sights and checking off lists in the guidebook, but trying to make the connection of why people thought this was great and great for you to experience. I feel like it gives the journey more story and depth and even feel a bit of presence of that person while I am traveling.
So Maceio is a beach resort, a popular destination for beach holidays in Brazil and the must do here I was told is to go up a bit north to experience Maragogi, for the most beautiful waters for snorkelling and diving. There are multiple beaches to explore and take in the beauty.
Got to Maceio bus terminal at 5:30 in the morning on the overnight bus. By now, I am a bit more comfortable to taking a bit more risk because every little Real (Brazil currency) goes a long way here. The cost of a cab would be 15-20R vs. 3R for a bus and yeah, its only like 7$ but I should start budgeting where I can. After all I am a budget traveller – I am not calling myself a “backpacker” because I don’t have a back pack, I have a roller.
Anyway, as long as you show that you are trying in Portuguese and do the “I’d really love your help” innocent Japanese look (apparently I still got it!), there is likely one or two people that will try to help. You just have to try… and try some more. With the help of some good samaritans on the bus, I was able to get to the hostel and the hostel was…adept, cleanly kept, friendly staff and even with a small pool. Brazuka Hostel.
The town is literally a beach town. Beautiful beautiful waters and the restaurants and shops that cater to the tourists. I’d say it is a lot less grits and glam compared to Miami, but its right up there in terms of beach resorts.
The water is not as clear as Itacare, but warm and it feels great to the sun blazed skin. I am so dark now that I think I am almost even darker than some locals and my teeth are starting to look so incredibly white in comparison. It makes me look like i have a great white smile so that’s great.
There are multiple beaches to explore here both up north and south on a short bus ride away. But I’m pretty satisfied already with the beach here, I think I’ll just go and knock down some beers and soak up the sun.