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Olá Pipa & Natal

Posted by on 08/05/2014

The #SambaCycle nearly ended in Pipa, not because of any problem, but because I could very happily have stayed in this little beach paradise for the next month!

Surf beach (I got to spend half an hour here, that's all)

Surf beach

After spending Sat night in Mamanguape before cruising 50km further up the BR-101 on Sunday, it was a 25km detour off the highway to get to Pipa along a road with some painfully steep rises, but on arrival I realised it was worth it. However, I only had two hours to look around before sunset and then had to leave the next morning – story of my journey across Brazil; seeing loads of places for a very short amount of time. I checked into the very cool Sugar Cane Hostel and met roommates Mike, a surfer from Canada, and Steph, a seasoned traveller from France, took a walk to and then along the beach, and later had a nice evening including a few beers with the fellow hostel guests – actually felt like a normal backpacker for a bit.

Another stroll the next morning was productive as I saw a beach, well sand, footy match and managed to buy a pump and adaptor to use for inflating my new Watford FC matchball, which I won from Mitre via Twitter and my parents brought over to give me in Recife!

Spoilt for choice with two options in Mamanguape!

Spoilt for choice with two pousada options in Mamanguape!

Natal & Fortaleza here I come

Natal & Fortaleza here I come

Surf beach

Praia do Amor, Pipa

Beautiful eh

Beautiful eh

Nearly sunset (1)

Nearly sunset (1)

Nearly sunset (2)

Nearly sunset (2)

Hostel set up for breakfast

Hostel set up for breakfast

WFC football pumped up!

WFC football pumped up!

Later on Monday I arrived in Natal and made my way to the family home of my Couchsurfing host Denis, which is in a lovely condominium built on some sand dunes!

Denis walking past his house

Denis walking past his house

Great view south from his parents' balcony

Great view south from the upper floor balcony

The next day he drove me to my parents’ hotel in Ponte Negra and kindly took us for a great little sightseeing tour:

Mum & Dad relaxing by the sea

Mum & Dad relaxing by the sea

The impressive Newton Navarro Bridge across the Potengi River

The impressive Newton Navarro Bridge across the Potengi River

At Forte dos Reis Magos where...

At Forte dos Reis Magos where…

...bizarrely we found the same Japanese TV crew that we saw in Recife!

…bizarrely we found the same Japanese TV crew that we saw in Recife!

Bridge / fort / TV crew

Bridge / fort / TV crew

With the World Cup mascot

With the World Cup mascot

Score prediction t-shirts on sale - I may have switched the numbers over, will I get deported now?!

Score prediction t-shirts on sale – I may have switched the numbers over, will I get deported now?!

That evening super-host Denis took us out for dinner to his brother’s fantastic Japanese restaurant Takami Sushi House and then to the Arena das Dunas to watch local team America win 3-0 versus Nautico (from Recife) in the Copa do Brasil! More about the stadium to follow in my next post…

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