A short and slightly problematic visit to Natal

The bus trip to Natal was ok, it just took a few hours longer then it was supposed to, and I don’t know why really. Isac, (a Spanish guy I met in Jericoacoara and spend a few hours in the bus station in Fortaleza) told me it took him two hours extra too when he did that trip. I slept almost the whole trip, except for a few hours of talking to Victor and Eva (a Spanish couple who I met on the bus station in Fortaleza). They have been together for like 25 years or something, and have traveled a lot! They are so funny to hang out with! : )

A little spanish gathering at the bus station with Isac, Eva and Vitor, all from Spain!

A little spanish gathering at the bus station with Isac, Eva and Vitor, all from Spain!

We arrived in Natal and my host had written to me that I should take bus nr 30 from the Rodoviaria and jump of in a square where there is a church. Easy peasy. But no! So many problems!

I started by asking a taxidriver outside the rodoviara where bus nr 30 goes from. He didn’t know, so he talked to another taxi driver, who talked to another, and they asked me where I was going, and said that bus nr 30 doesn’t go there, so they called my host with my phone to ask for directions, and talked for over 7 minutes – passing by my phone to one and another and then back to the first one etc etc. They ended up all my credit on my phone (like 25 reales) and almost all my battery (9% left) – and still didn’t get to anything concrete! I was fucking mad at them, because it didn’t help anything at all. So I couldn’t call my host if something would happen, and I knew that he had to leave his home 20 minutes later and that I probably wouldn’t have time to get there in time.

Second thing is that I get on the bus (no problem, just across the street), and I ask the driver to let me off in a square where there is a church, I had no name or anything, but I had a map on my phone which I showed them. And about 20 minutes later they notify me that this is my stop. I get off… and I don’t know what to do. Wait until my host calls me? I was really hungry, so I found a restaurant, and thank god they had wifi and outlets so I could charge my phone. I talked to Rafa through whatsapp (thank god for Rafa) and he messaged my host Breno and said where I was. I had dinner and waited like 1,5 hours before getting an answer to Rafas phone. It was not the right place.. Apparently it was quite far away from his square and church… wtf.

Instead he said that I should go to another place at an avenue… I ask a few guys in a bar close by which bus I should take to this place and they show me the right bus stop (btw; the bus stops don’t have an marks with numbers on which buses that passes there or times or anything, just a “Bus stop” sign and you have to know which bus passes on which place in your head).

After a while the guy comes back to the bus stop and says that it’s a red day today and the busses only passes by like once in an hour, but that he can take me to that place on his motorbike. So, I jump on his motorbike, together with my big backpack on my back, and my two other bags under each arm. Haha!

I arrived well and met up with Breno who picked me up with his car. We got to his house and wow, I had no idea! They were like 10 people there! Haha. He lives in a “Republica”, which is like a student home. They are 6 people sharing a huge house. Really nice, with pool, living room, big kitchen, and everyone have their own room! They were all really sweat and nice people. I agreed on meeting up with some of them next day to go to Forte dos reis magos and Parque Das Dunas and then watch the sunset from there, but later at night I got a message that she had a doctor’s appointment with her son that she had forgotten about. Well well. Things worked out well anyways – I shared room with Iralice – and she invited me to go to Pipa with her tomorrow evening instead, she was leaving after her work.. perfect! :)

Brenos and the houses friends, so nice people! :)

Brenos and the houses friends, so nice people! :)

Iralice and I exchanged some tips, beads and creations. I got the hippie-hair thing with flowers!

Iralice and I exchanged some tips, beads and creations. I got the hippie-hair thing with flowers!

Iralce makes bijouteries and have classes in that. Very nice creations! I showed her some of my bracelets and she was really impressed my the macramé knots and had always wanted to learn how to do it, so I showed her the basics :) She gave me a flower head band (really beautiful!!) and some nice turquoise beads :)

Next day I woke up and spent a little time with my host Breno in the morning. Then I got a ride together with Griego (one of the guys living there) who was going to a library close to Ponte de Todos and he left me in that area so I could make some sight seeing in Natal :)

Natal, the capital of the state Rio Grande do NorteA lot of people get to Natal to use it as a base to explore the state, which is supposed to have some beautiful sites. Natal itself does not have a fascinating Historical Center or a vivid nightlife, but instead it’s significantly calmer then other larger cities.

I walked along the coast and past by a stand where they sell coconuts, and a guy starts talking to me.. I ignore and keep on walking, found a place to have some breakfast and order a tapioca and a coffee. Then the same guy comes into the place and asks to join me!! “No” I say “Are you married??” he answers. Haha. OMG so persistent!! He sat down at another table just in front of me looking at me. I was very uncomfortable. Then he gives the waiter a note to give me. Haha. He really tries to talk to me but I say I am not interested at all. Then he apologies and leaves me. But weird.. Well… the tapioca was good anyways!! Haha.

Coffee and another stunning tapioca - much thicker then I had before, and since I was hungry I was glad :) Nutella, leche condensada and banana :)

Coffee and another stunning tapioca – much thicker then I had before, and since I was hungry I was glad :) Nutella, leche condensada and banana :)

A guy, "Aleksandre", gave me this... haha

The note the guy wrote to me… haha. Starts with ”God afternoon! I got enchanted with your beauty and I would like to know you”…. :)

I visited a handricraft market, got saldo to my phone  and then walked along the beaches Praia do Meio and Praia dos Artistas to the famous bridge Ponte Newton Navarro and then back. I passed by two dark-skinned fat Brazilian girls who were dancing Funky (like Braziian regueton) in their tanga-bikinis on the sidewalk, with their chest towards the sea and their really big asses towards the cars.. Damn I wish I would have dared to ask if I could take a picture, it was so funny!

View over the beach from the other side

View over the beach from the other side

The new bridge, Ponte Newton Navarro

The new bridge, Ponte Newton Navarro

I like that they have like chess-boards between the benches!

I like that they have like chess-boards between the benches!

View over the beach in Natal

View over the beach in Natal

Closed hotel.... Spectacular!

Closed hotel…. Spectacular!

Went back home to pack my bag and ask how to get to Parnamirim, where Iralice works and where I was meeting her. Joggi drew me a nice map how to get to Parnamirim, but Breno just came home from work there and he drove me to the bus station where the buses goes to Parnamirim. Met up with Iralice there and got off to Pipa. She goes there every weekend to get out of Natal and has been doing it for like 5 years or so. :)

I feel bad that I didn’t spend more time with Breno, I think it’s the first host I had which I haven’t got to know really. But I sort of shared my little time together with like 4 flatmates and 4 friends so… haha.

By the way.. The traffic is horrible here! They really don’t know how to drive… or they don’t respect any rules The public transport doesn’t work, so everybody gets a car, and then there’s so much traffic jam.. it’s a city with a population like Stockholm, but no metros or trains, only buses but no special bus lanes on the highway or the roads, so the buses gets stuck in the traffic jam aswell, and no one respects any laws in the traffic AT ALL. Haha

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