More beach time in Recife

My third and penultimate stop in Brazil was the coastal town of Recife, located north of Salvador and home of one of the longest stretches of people friendly beaches… if you’re good enough to avoid the shark attacks with over 21 deaths out of 56 shark attacks in the last 20 years. Signs warn swimmers around the beach of the possibility of shark attacks made significantly riskier when you swim beyond some of the protect reef areas, deeper waters and at times of dusk with a high tide.

The stretch of beach is truly magnificent reaching, I’m guessing, about 7km of beach, with something for everyone.

Beach hut operators line the beach in groups, some providing simple services such as catered water, beer and other drinks whilst other give a fuller service such as grilling fresh fish for lunch.

You have all the usual vendors on the beaches of Brazil selling everything from suncream, hats, sunglasses, ice cream, and drinks. I did notice a few differences for the vendors compared to those in Rio, with some selling more “sophisticated” seafood such as crab, mini lobsters and one vendor even selling the famous feijoada stew. The cheese grilling stations also seemed to be a bit of an upgrade with wheeled carts.

With great for lounging-on-the-beach weather for the three days, I was also a bit careful not to get sunburned putting on a large amount of sunscreen and trying to spend some of the afternoon time doing a bit of other sightseeing that meant I wasn’t simply on the beach. I took a bus downtown after being advised by the hotel staff as to where and which one to get and I ended up in a historical part of town, centred around Praça do Marco Zero where you can take a small ferry over to a small island dotted with statues created by Francisco Brennand although note the park is unmanned and could do some work.

There wasn’t really much to do on this island other than some older buildings. I stumbled across a place showing a large screen for the Confederation Cup and noticed that the old buildings has some pretty interesting street art. Still before dusk, I was a little hesitant to walk around by myself as most of the streets seemed deserted and I wasn’t sure how safe I would be by myself, still I took my chances and managed to get some pictures of some nice street art.

When dark approached, I figured it would be simpler catching a taxi back to the hotel. Unfortunately the main strip back seemed to be occupied by protestors (fortunately no incidents happened when I was there). They simply blocked off one of the main traffic streets leading back to Boa Viagem (the area I was staying in) so I decided to brave the smallish crowd since I figured they weren’t going anywhere for a while. I did sit in taxi for another five minutes to see how quickly we progressed (we didn’t). I paid him a little extra, hopped out and simply crossed through the crowd.

Although there was a police presence there, they seemed to play a much more passive role standing to the side rather than trying to create traffic flow again. Fortunately it was pretty easy to get through the crowd who seemed pleased that I was taking photos of the event, and then I jumped in an taxi that was sitting in a taxi rank a couple of streets away.