Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil) – 2/2004

Natal, Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil) – 2/2004
The autumn is a good time to go to South America. While it is getting steadily colder in Western Norway, spring has just kicked in just south of the Equator. Average 24 hour temperatures of 26 degrees celcius can be mean for someone who live in a cold, but combined with a steady sea breeze it is remarkably bearable. So I packed my suitcase, waved September good bye and left for the airport.
It is approximately 10 000 km between Sogn og Fjordane in Norway and Natal in North Eastern Brazil. For this reason it takes somewhere between 14 and 24 hours to arrive there – a little dependant on if you have to travel through Rio de Janeiro or S�o Paulo – which tends to prolong the trip by quite a few hours.
Bearing the above in mind, it is reasonable to believe that a tourist – such as myself – would try to do as many of the attractions as plainly possible when in Natal for the first time. Not so. Towering the list of cultural attractions in the city you find the Forte dos Reis Magos at the northeastern tip of Natal – just at the mouth of the Rio Potengi – much resembling a Norwegian fjord, omitting the steep mountains of course. After two visits to Natal I still hadn’t been there. Third time pays for all.
I didn’t stay in a regular tourist hotel this time, rather an apartment hotel in which a lot of locals, students and their like lived more or less permanently. It was not located in the prime tourist area Ponta Negra, but in Petropolis, just above the Praia dos Artistas, a beach where Norwegians were not to be found in plenty. Which is good.
The location was ideal for morning strolls to the Forte dos Reis Magos, 3-4 km northwards along the beach. Also swimming was just a matter of poping down the hill and throwing myself out into the rather big waves receiving some rather strong blows to the head before in calmer waters. Coconut vendors pace up and down the beach front promenade all the time offering the possibility to keep thirst at a pleasant distance.
Returning to the same destination several times have made me overcome my obsession with having to do something all the time. This is good – because I actually get some relaxation from my holidays in stead of being completely crushed and having to spend weeks getting back into normal shape..
[ (Stein) Runar Bergheim, 1 . 1.Thu, ]