Church from olinda
We arrived in the evening at Recife
and since we had our share of up-scale beach areas we decided to go to the center of Recife instead of the Bom Viagem beach and more touristy area. Our guide said that there was not much to do there and they were correct. The center was what bad city centers look like: delapidated, dark, and kind of sketchy. So we found our requisite 100 year old delapidated hotel, with a nice view, a French style elevator (no button pressing, but a lever to start and stop) and we were off to find dinner. Only there was no dinner. Because this is not an area meant for tourists, there was really nothing besides street food. Since we are not snobs most of the time we thought about eating it but decided to pass since at the tourist office of the bus station we recieved a brochure that talked about the importance of eating in clean restaurants in Recife and how one should support clean eating places.
A Colonial street from Olinda
Thus we walked and walked through the smelliest city known to man (NY during summer had nothing on Recife) until we found that all the restaurants in our guide were closed. Maybe it was too smelly to be open. Alas we went to a mall and ate at a fast Habib´s, a fast food arabian place, quite good, but not in the fast food version. Filled up with Habib food (not the best way to feel satistified) we headed to our hotel and passed out after a long day.
The next day we woke up to the first hot (not cold or tepid) shower since... Loja... in Ecuador. Wow. Three countries and a good 3000 kilomters in between. Well, it was quite nice and we got off with our day on the right foot. We decided to leave Recife and its decayed garbage smell for the nicer, older city of Olinda
located a few kilometers north.
On arrival we found a great eat-by-the-pound restaurant, which had delicious, delicious deserts. After that we took a tour with Andre Luis, a 15 year old boy working with an orphanage. The city was beautiful, filled with colorful colonial buildings and churches. Much better than Recife, although it also looked much more touristy and upscale, but that´s fine exchange in our opinion. Thus we headed to the bus station feeling a lot better about our stop and looking forward to one of the featured stops of our trip, Bahia.