Bahiana Gringa in fantasy


About our day in Alcântara, there are some funny events to tell.

We had no intention of stopping in the old town, but Paulo had in improvised conviction, as he drove us to the harbour at dawn, that we simply had to pay a visit. We took a catamaran across the sea, back on mangrove mainland. As soon as I saw the landscape surrounding me, I told Jan: “THIS is a place to be sick in!” It was a relief to leave the city. Although Alcantara’s architecture is quite similar to the historical centre of Sao Luis, in has no ugly modern buildings and an authentic provincial vibe reigns here. The villagers are friendly, helpful and curious, the food is cheap and amazing. I think it is probably the pretties and oldest town I have visited in South America so far. In the hill above the magnificent view of the sea and its deserted green islands, stand ancient ruins that seem to come from a fantasy-roman age. Sitting in the middle of a vast white square, the façade of a red church emerges almost disguising the white trunk of a big spectral tree.

After leaving our stuff at the honest and cute Pousanda Tijupa, we went walking around looking for a place to eat. I had my long skirt rapped around my head as sun protection when we passed in front of an old Rastafari who muttered: “Bahiana Gringa!”. He thought I was a dressed as a foreign version of the afro-brasilian Bahianas. We loved the remark, Jan decided to adopt it as my nickname.

After an a huge and delicious lunch with a view Restaurante Cantaria, we walked to the rocks where the mangroves chill to doze in their shade. The sand flies soon found us and started torturing our skin, so I went to the edge of the marshy waters and collapsed in the deep sea, since there was no beach. I shouted to Jan that to come to the water, the rocks reminded me of Liguria. I got out and smeared clay on my body, did some hand stands… I couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes until I headed towards the water again, this time accompanied by Jan immediately behind me. When I got to the edge of the water, I took a convinced jump in the air, landing on my ankles in 10 centimetres of water with great pain and laughter. Once again, the tide tricked me.


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