The first part of the trip was to spend two days in Natal, which is a city on the Northern coast of Brasil. It is known for its beaches and sand dunes.
We stayed at a very nice resort, albeit a little run of the mill.
The kids loved the ice cream,
and I don't know who ate more of this for breakfast!
This is what they call tapioca here...it actually is mandioc flour that they make into a type of pancake. They fill it with different ingredients. We preferred it with bananas and a caramel-type topping called, in Portuguese, Doce de Leite. (in Spanish, dulce de leche)
This city has a beach town atmosphere, yet it is quite modern with beautiful glass buildings. I found it interesting how here the "favelas", or shanty towns, are more in disguise. They are below the tall high rises which have the views. Where as in my city, the favelas are all located on the sprawling hillsides with the best views. The only higher paying rents that have a view in my city, are those that are located right on the beach street or the upper floors of the higher buildings.
The city was very clean. The sun shining every day put a pretty glow on the sand dunes
that are in view in the distance. They had this huge sun dial on one of the main roads. I couldn't get a better picture because we were driving, but it was very interesting!
Our second day there we did what most tourists do...
we rented a dune buggy for the day, with a driver. They pick you up at your hotel and drive you to the sand dunes. The dune buggy drivers are licensed and the only ones allowed to drive on the dunes. The first dune had this huge dark lake at the bottom of it. Look how pretty the contrasting colors are!
Next came a little drive through a small town with this church and buggy traffic.
I also learned that there are yellow coconuts....I never did get to taste one, but they sure look good!
One of the funniest parts of getting to the dunes was this:
Yes, this is a personal "ferry" system of getting the buggies across a small river that does not have a bridge.
Personally, I think they keep it for the fun experience, not because they can't build bridges! The kids had so much fun and it was an amazing feat for these guys to push us across! Once the buggy pulls onto the big, flat wood with boards for breaks for the buggy's wheels, the guy pushes you across the river with big, long sticks.
They unfold the board breaks and drive off once you get to the other side.
On the way back, the water was at low-tide, so this SUV could drive to the patch of sand and then onto the "ferry".
This was an all day trip...and boy it's a good thing that it isn't just the dunes! It was really hot with all of this sand and sun! So they take you to these spots where there is a zip line into another lake,
a sand slide,
and of course, the ocean!
You can have lunch in the water too!
It was a great start to an enchanting trip. This is one of my favorite pictures...
my daughter on the porch of our hotel, coloring..
More to come about our next leg of the trip!