We settled in Ponta Negra, one of the beaches close to Natal. And like everything in Brazil, it took some time to figure things out. Like how to climb the very steep streets gracefully without slipping on the wet pavement. Where to get drinks considering the supermarkets are miles away. Where to sit on the beach since every square centimeter was taken by either water, people or “beach food” vendors.
We came by the Avenida Engenheiro Roberto Freire, an endless avenue lined with restaurants, night clubs and other businesses. “Oh look, a supermarket!” I pointed to Feng as the taxi sped along the avenue. “And another one here too!”
But the driver kept on going. Bye bye supermarkets… these would never be within an easy walking distance. The avenue never seemed to end.
Eventually, it did though and we ended up a few meters from the beach and the Morro do Careca with the large dune, the iconic landmark of the city.
The beach in Boa Viagem was long with a very generous strip of sand and few people on it. I almost found it too quiet. Ah! “Silly mommy!” like Mark would say. There wasn’t much sand in Ponta Negra, maybe two of three meters from the rocks to the sea. It was packed with people sitting on plastic chairs, feet in the water, drinking and eating. Beach food vendors pushed their cart on the sand selling boiled corn, breaded shrimps, oysters, BBQ meat, crêpes and other complicated delicacies—what happened to ice cream on the beach?
It rained all day in paradise (I know! I want a refund on my paradise!) but it wasn’t cold so we just spent the day between the beach and the busy avenue.