Maceió was also a new port for Oceania and myself and the word means a temporary and cyclic lagoon caused by the high tides. Recife, Natal and Forteleza I have visited on previous cruises. Maceió is not well known by international visitors, but South Americans flock here to the beautiful white sand beaches and emerald green waters, protected by an off-shore reef. The city is located between a huge lagoon, Mundau, and the Atlantic Ocean. We took a leisurely cruise through the lagoon and out to a sand bar for swimming and a lovely lunch served right from our little boat with the best French fries ever!! We continued our sail past fishing villages built right up to the water and stopped at a small town that is known for its hand made lace.
Recife has a number of islands, rivers and waterways and over 50 bridges and is known as the “Venice of Brazil.” It also has beautiful beaches and to the south of the main city, the beaches are lined with high rise apartment buildings putting one in mind of Miami. Natal is also a major tourist destination and an exporting hub for crustaceans, carnuba wax and fruit, mostly melon, sugar apples, cashews & papaya. Fortaleza started out in the 1600s as a small village adjoining a Portuguese fort and today is Brazil’s fifth largest city. It has beautiful wide avenues giving it a modern appearance and a busy port with a recently built breakwater. It is also known for its beaches and as a jumping off spot to visit the Amazon. In these last three ports, I usually found a cab and went shopping for various things. By now, we are getting tired of the clothing we brought along with us and we are all looking for something new and I did find two lovely lace tops in Maceió. Also clothes are getting a little ‘snug’ after almost three months of wine and Oceania’s good food!!! From Fortaleza it was bye bye South America and hello Africa, as we now make our way across the Atlantic to West Africa.
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