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Enjoying the sunshine, natural beauty and hospitality in Brazil

By Andree Toonk | February 18, 2010

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This week I returned from a short, 10-day, vacation in Brazil. It was an amazingly relaxing week with lots of fun things. The trip to Natal (the city of Gleyse’s family) takes about 26hours, that was quite a journey but we made it!

The first two days we stayed at Gleyse’s parents. It was great to spend some time with them. The kept on feeding us with fruits I never even heard of and I don’t think I ever ate as much vitamin C in one day as those days. They live in a nice neighborhood 10minutes walk from the beach, Ponta Negra. This is one of the most popular beaches in the region, but also full of locals and tourists.

After a few days we went to a city called Pipa, a nice and small touristic village with a number of beautiful beaches.  We stayed in a beautiful place called mirante de Pipa, which translates to ‘view over Pipa’. It was located in a forest on a small hill just outside of ‘downtown’ pipa.  There we had rented two cabins in a small Forrest, one for us and one for Gleyse’s parents.  Once we arrived at our gorgeous Cabin, which more like a tree house, we were welcomed by a number of small monkeys. The Cabin was truly beautiful and I felt a little bit like Tarzan. Lots of wood, and a huge balcony with some more seats, tables and of course a hammock. From this hammock you could see the beach and the ocean! Truly amazing and I would definitely recommend this to all of you.

We did a number of hikes along the beautiful beaches where you feel like you’re the only one. It’s like not many people have discovered these beaches yet. One of the beaches was called ‘Bay of the Dolphins’. It’s the home of a group of resident Dolphins. They life and feed there and when you wake up early (6am), it’s pretty much guaranteed to see the dolphins. Gleyse told me that see was swimming here a few years ago and two dolphins surrounded all of sudden!

The last few days we spend in Natal again. We visited some of the touristic attractions such as the fort. The fort was build by the Portuguese, later invaded by the Dutch and a few years later captured back by the Portuguese with the help of the local Indians.  It was interesting to learn a bit more about Dutch history while on the other side of the world.

We also went to a beach called ‘genipabu beach’.  This beach is surrounded by a number a huge dunes.  Here we rented a buggy + driver and raced through the dunes. An action packed experience, with great views over the region.

The last weekend most of the shops were closed because of Carnival. Most of the city actually shuts down. We saw a number of Carnival calibrations, which seemed like a lot of fun and lots of dancing.

By now it was time to leave again. Together with Gleyse I went back to the airport. Gleyse is still there celebrating Carnival in the best Carnival city’s in Brazil, Olinda, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. I did a little city hopping my self, but not to party just to get home. From Natal to Sao Paulo to Washington DC to Chicago and eventually Vancouver, finally home!

The good times are not over yet!  As Roel and Bas will arrive in Vancouver tomorrow to join me for a week of Olympic celebrations and events! Life’s good!

Some photos can be found here

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