Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Riding the Brazilian Coast - Recife and Maceio

Continuing south along the Brazilian coast, it's a part of the world I'm finding to be unique.  It's comfortable in a touristy vacation beachy sort of way, yet it's not full with overseas tourists, only locals.

It's still super super hot and usually after a couple hours or so, we'd want to stop in a shady spot.  I was looking around at all the yellow things on the ground, when it hit me. CASHEWS!!!

I've eaten tons of cashew nuts in my time, far too many, but it was exciting to see the fruit that grows from the seed I eat just hanging about on the side of the road. Only in Brazil have I tried he actual fruit and the cashew (Caju) fruit juice. I've never seen this bottled or offered in my own country. I'm not sure why it's not made or marketed in other areas, because the Brazilians drink it quite often and it can be found in long life packaging on supermarket shelves here.

 Cashews! (Caju in Brazil)

For your Cashew learning pleasure from Wikipedia: Attached to the cashew is the cashew apple (in botanical terms an accessory fruit). The cashew apple is rich in nutrients and contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. It is eaten fresh, cooked in curries, or fermented into vinegar as well as an alcoholic drink. In parts of South America, natives regard the cashew apple as the delicacy, rather than the nut kernel popular elsewhere. Cashew apple is also used to make preserves, chutneys and jams in some countries such as India and Brazil. Cashew apples are not popular, in part because of highly astringent taste. This has been traced to the waxy layer on the skin that causes tongue and throat irritation after eating the cashew apple. In cultures that consume cashew apple, this astringent property of the cashew apple is typically removed by steaming the fruit for five minutes before washing it in cold water.

So.. there ya go! Probably more than you needed to know.. ;-)

We've come to a place called Praia de Pipa which was recommended by a couple people.. They have a beach here you can swim with the dolphins and I would love to do that!  I'm fortunate enough to swim with dolphins before, but I'll take any opportunity I can get.

By the time we unpacked the bikes and got to the beach, it was a bit late.  So I watched for the dolphins, saw a couple, but the high tide didn't look ideal for swimming. ;-(  James brought his big camera along though and took some really nice photos.

Praia de Pipa, Brazil

It was a lovely proper holiday-like place to stop, really nice.  Our next stop is only 250 km down the road, Recife.  Even through I've recently changed the front tire, now the rear tire is very bald.  James needs a new tire too and we understand that Recife will have the sizes we want.

We pull up to a beach view in Recife to get our bearings and to start the nightly hunt of where to sleep tonight, when a lady walks up to James and starts talking to him in Portuguese.. I get involved and try to work out what shes saying and why she wanted to talk to us so badly and so quickly - even before we had our helmets off!

We understand that her husband rides a motorcycle and she really wanted us to follow her home to meet him and stay at her house.  That sounds really nice, we could tell she was genuine, so we followed.

And sure enough, we met her wonderful husband.  He rides a Suzuki V-Strom and belongs to a MC club of which I now own a super cool shirt. Literally, it's like a mesh shirt that I've never had before and it's much cooler to ride in this hot weather.. I love it!

Anyway, they explain to us that the place that we stopped on the beach is SO dangerous, she knew if we pondered our map for long that we would be robbed most likely at gunpoint.. for real??  It looked like a nice enough beach stop!  But she was adamant about the danger and we needed to get out and that's why she stayed with us and invited us home. Once our bikes were parked in the fenced yard, there were 2 Pitbulls to guard them overnight.  Whew!

So the family settled us in, fed us and they were off to church leaving the one person at home that speaks a little English, their son Mayke (pronounced Mikey).

After a really nice sleep on some mattresses in their attached beauty shop, Mayke and his Dad guide us into Recife to find the tire shop via their little scooter.  Dad goes off to work and Mayke is supposed to go to school, but he has permission to stay with us as long as he wants, because at school he'd be taking his English class. However, he is getting a better English lesson by staying with us!  And I promise I didn't teach him any bad words! ;-)

Two rough looking bikes getting a little TLC today!

Me and Mayke

Our next stop down the road is in another gorgeous coastal town/city called Maceio.  This place was so beautiful and awesome, we stayed 2 days!  I never heard of it!  It must be off the radar a bit, or I wasn't paying attention to my Brazilian Must-See List..

James has his big camera out again today, so we're doing a lot of modeling with it. I've been missing my nice big camera since it was stolen in Bolivia and there's no replacing it as of yet. So I'm really grateful for the photos James is taking and sharing with me.  I did get a bit carried away... This is my Pamela Anderson in a Rukka Suit impersonation.. ha!

This drunk guy came up to us, drunk as could be, and took James helmet and starting modeling too!  He was hilarious..

And check out the fermenting alcoholic Cashew (Caju) bottle.. I want it!! ;-)

Loving life in Maceio, Brazil

The next morning we started off down the coast again, but not a morning goes by anymore where we need to pull over into a shop because James needs to drink Guarana. It's the equivalent to Coca Cola with a natural caffeine supposedly, but when I looked at the ingredients one day, there was no mention of the guarana content, or guarana even being an ingredient, which is a bit disappointing as he's got himself convinced now that he NEEDS it!

On the road today we come up to quite a bad accident.

The car involved looked as if it would only be a miracle if the driver survived. The person well and truly gone by ambulance, the locals are doing their part to clean up.  Free veggies for everyone!!

This guy was just worth taking a photo of..

The girl down the hill has her stash of veggies and she's guarding it!

Later on, we find a place to pull over for the night.  It's easy to be happy in Brazil...


  1. Beautiful pictures, I heard some areas are really dangerous, glad you guys found them.

    1. Little dangerous areas all over the world in every country. Just do the research and hope for the best!

  2. My brother goes to Brazil every year to see his wife. Yes, his wife was deported, beautiful woman with a big heart. My brother gets terrified when they travel via car because of so much violence. He does not want me to ride in Brazil, but I am not going to listen to him. I will follow in your footsteps. You and James are truly amazing. Love the photos and thank you for sharing with us. Glad nothing happened to you both. ;-)

    1. That's really sad Madeleine! I think every where you wander, just do your research, stay away from the places you are warned about and follow your intuition. One thing I know for sure is that there are plenty of good people in every country I've been to, and I hope your brother doesn't experience this any more!

  3. Hi Sherri,

    wow your trip sounds amazing!!

    what spots have you really liked between Recife and Maceio? I am planning a short road trip down that coast and could use some tips.

    Much appreciated