21 June 2013

Porto de Galinhas

I always have a smile when I catch a plane from Lisboa to Brasil. Don't get me wrong; I'm proud of my nationality and I like being European (whatever that may be). However, it's obvious to all of us... Europeans... that we are getting old.
The old Europe needs a breathe of fresh air. We are deep in  a crisis, that's a fact. But how much of it is a crisis of values instead of mere debt numbers? It seems that, presently, we are (almost) all drifting to the first conclusion.
Part of it, of the swamp we are living in, has a direct relation with our own (continental) age. Our tortuous History, with several ups and downs over the centuries, is not helping also. We, naturally, tend to fear the future, when looking at the (poor) examples of the past.
Eventually, we all will overcome this handicap. Europe always was and always will be a beacon to the world. And there is a common heritage that bonds all the nations and all the people in this continent.
To do so, we need to overcome this militant pessimist that invaded all our souls, from the common citizen to the government bureaus.
That capacity for adventure is in our blood, in our common DNA. We just need to vanquish fear. In a way, learn to smile again.
And that capacity for smiling, for "sucking the marrow of life" is something that we always find in the new nations of the world. At least I see it in Brasil. But I guess we can also experience that in the great plains of the Australian outback, in the vast "savanas" of Africa or amidst the great plains of the American Midwest. The sheer continental size of these geographic areas is more than enough to make us forget any symptoms of European depression we may have and turn it, instead, into a positive entrepreneurial force in our lives. In these countries there is no past. Only future. And we Europeans have a big problem: we delve to much into the past.
So, why is Porto de Galinhas a good therapy for this depressing behaviour? Well, I think I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Using the medication is up to you:
Miles of endless sands and an ocean front protected by a offshore coral reef are guaranties of perfect morning walks and relaxed baths. Must be difficult to see the red flag hoisted in Porto de Galinhas. On the background, along the dune cord, a forest of coconut trees. This beach is quite often considered the most beautiful in Brasil. I'm not surprised.
The typical rafts of Porto de Galinhas, once used for fishing and now mostly used for touristic activities, decorate a short strip of sand in front of the town. Believe it or not, this picture was made at 0630 in the morning. With the sun well above the horizon at 0600, don't be a lazy photographer and stay at your hotel room. Pick up the camera and go stretch your legs for a walk on the sand. You'll have plenty of light to shot and only the fishermen on the beach. It's the best time of the day in Porto de Galinhas. Spend a couple of hours photographing around and only afterwards return to your hotel for the breakfast.
The beach right in front of the town's promenade. Early evening. A colorful art show exhibit every day.
Just do yourself a favour.
Avoid Porto de Galinhas on the peak of the Southern Hemisphere Summer. I was there during June of 2010 (the "Winter" and rainy season) and it was simply perfect. Just enough tourists on the street to make it cozy but not overcrowded. You'll have, certainly, better service from the professionals of restaurants and hotels. And you have the sea water at a "chilling" 24 or 25 degrees Celsius... Ah! Ah! Ah!... and the whole beach mostly for you. And if it starts raining... well... just dive in. The sea water is warmer.
Enjoy it!
Pictures taken with Nikon D40X and cheap Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens. Post-processing in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, ver. 4.01.