Sorry to keep you all waiting. We have just returned from our first overland tour and I did not have time or the opportunity to update our travels before we left the ship in Rio.


Recife - Brazil

Brazil  has 10 borders to other countries and is the fifth largest country in the world. It has a 8,5 million square Kilometers and a population of 205 million.

Our first stop in Brazil – Recife: Recife is known as „Brazil's Venice“. Peter and I arrived here with no expectations. I had not been able to get much information online so we only had the information picked up on the ship to go by.

Nearby Recife is the small town suburb of Olinda which is renowned for its beautiful views over the city of Recife and its colourful colonial buildings and Baroque architecture. It is also the oldest part of the city.

We docked a little bit later than expected so we did not get off the ship at 8 am but it was nearly 8.45 am. The city seemed to be waiting for our arrival and on descending the steps we were approached by a local television team who asked if anyone spoke English. They seemed to be looking at me without even knowing that I am English. After replying with a yes, I was asked to be interviewed for the local news and  TV. The interview only lasted a couple of minutes but everyone was tremendously friendly.

This friendly atmosphere followed us all day during our visit which made us feel very welcome.  Some local dancers and musicians were awaiting us in the arrival hall.

Outside the taxi and tour drivers were waiting to get a good deal. We got an extremely good deal. After comparing prices we decided on a tour with Carlos. He had a very modern mini bus with air conditioning, spoke very good English and made us an offer of $13 per person for a 4 hour guided drive tour. This was really cheap as in comparison other were requesting 25 - 35 dollars in a small taxi. Carlos needed 10 passengers. This was no problem. There were already 5 in our group, one lady on her own who joined us and then I saw a group of 4 with whom we had had some nice conversations. Everyone was extremely pleased at the offer of only $13 for such a tour and the tour was brilliant!!  Carlos drove us firstly to Olinda and gave us information about the city of Recife on the way

In Olinda, which is a very picturesque village or small town we had time to adventure out on our own and meet back at the van to continue tour. The view from the top of Olinda looking down over Recife is very beautiful.

We discovered and old „Beatle“ VW Käfer, which reminded Peter of his first car and in which he took a great interest. He made sure to get the telephone number oft he sales guy, just in case!

Carlos showed us the old slave market where in the years when the Portuguese brought in slaves from Africa, they were sold and also runaway slaves were punished. Slaves were sold according to how fit they were, how many teeth they had, how well built they were and how strong they were.  The buildings were extremely colourful and very inviting to my camera. Unfortunately there were a lot of cars parked in the streets which made it difficult to take photos of the complete houses.

I also had to take quit a lot of photo out of the car while travelling along.  Graffiti which is not welcomed in Europe is definitely welcomed in Brazil and looks fantastic when done well. The negative scribbling on the walls is not welcomed in Brazil.  We also learned that there are 4 main carnivals in Brazil, RIO DE JANEIRO, San Salvador, Recife and Olinda. During the 5 days of carnival in Olinda cars are not allowed in the town and locals move out to stay with friends and family and rent out their homes to earn very good money. Carlos pointed out one of the smaller procession vehicles which was big in comparison to what we have in Europe.  

After leaving Olinda we returned to Recife where we visited the main square situated between the main important parliament buildings. Carlos gave us fruit which had dropped off one of the trees which we tasted and enjoyed. Sorry I don't remember the name of this fruit but it looked like a fig and was very refreshing.

He also pointed out a tree which looked like an overgrown flower bulb and is 380 years old. 

After leaving Olinda we returned to Recife where we visited the main square situated between the main important parliament buildings. Carlos gave us fruit which had dropped off one of the trees which we tasted and enjoyed. Sorry I don't remember the name of this fruit but it looked like a fig and was very refreshing.

Our next stop a prison building known as Casa da Cultura which had been turned into a Shopping Centre for tourists. Each cell was a small shop. The shops were full of souvenirs, artistic goods, jewelry, books and clothes. No cheap rubbish and very well done. Every shop was of course the same site - the size of a prison cell. Unique and very interesting. This was to be our last stop but we asked Carlos to take us to a well known beach. On Arrival we saw a coconut stand and all enjoyed a cool coconut drink.


Now on the beach the water was very inviting. I was very dubious about swimming as I had read that this area was endangered by sharks. I asked Carlos who confirmed now worries about swimming here and he told me there were signs along the beach advising people about the shark attacks.

Peter, having a mind of his own, decided he wanted to swim. He told me he would not go far out and keep to shallow waters. I was however still very worried. I only went into the beautiful warm waters up to my knees. Watching Peter enjoying himself 4 other members of our party decided to join him. Carlos was an excellent guide and kept an eye on everyone's bags and towels. 

Time to head back to the ship. Five of us decided to get out in the city Centre as we still had another 4 hours before the ship was due to leave. Two headed off to find an Internet cafe and Christopher, a very nice young man from Berlin stayed with us. Again we had been warned about pick pockets and thieves. Chris was warned twice by locals to put his camera in his bag because his small system camera was exactly what thieves would be looking for. We were extremely careful carrying our pack packs in front of us and only getting our cameras out to take certain photos. Peter, Chris and myself walked around the city and over several market areas. We stopped at a local cafe and had some local cake which was very good before returning to the ship.

We had spent three hours walking and Chris informed us, to our surprise that we had walked 13 kilometers that day. He has a pace measurer in his I-phone.  After having a shower we spent a most enjoyable evening with other members of our group eating dinner out on the open deck whilst watching the evening lights of Recife as we sailed away in the direction of Rio. My photos of the sail away were all taken with a high ISO as it was pointless putting up a tripod because of the high vibrations on the ship's deck. A super end to a wonderful day - our first day in Brazil on this trip.   

Peter – Jetzt bin ich wieder dran!

Wir erreichten Recife, unseren ersten Stopp in Brasilien etwas verspätet. Leider wurde uns die verlorene Zeit nicht gut geschrieben.

Kaum hatten Linda und ich die Gangway verlassen wurde Linda von einem brasilianischen TV Team, die auf der Suche nach einen englisch sprechenden Gast waren interviewt, es wurde am Abend im Fernsehen gezeigt.

In der Empfangshalle spielte eine Samba Musik- und Tanzgruppe zur Begrüßung.

Als wir dann endlich auf die Stadt losgelassen wurden warteten wie gewöhnlich bereits die privaten Tour-Anbieter. Unsere kleine Gruppe war 5 Personen groß, wir hatten vor uns mit einem Taxi nach Olinda, einem älteren Stadtteil von Recife fahren zu lassen. Wir verglichen schnell die Preise der Taxi- und Tour Anbieter.

Inzwischen war unsere Gruppe auf 10 Personen angewachsen und so entschieden wir uns für Carlos, einen sehr gut englisch sprechenden Herrn. Seine Tour sollte 4 Stunden dauern und hatte die Stationen mit drin die auch wir auf dem Zettel hatten.

Zuerst chauffierte er uns in seinem relative neuen klimatisierten 14-Sitzer Bus nach Olinda. Olinda, der älteste Stadtteil zeigte sich mit seinen vielen alten, gut erhaltenen und farbenfrohen Häusern von seiner schönsten Seite, mehrere Kirchen stellten sich uns zur Schau, fliegende Händler sowie Künstler (Maler und Holzschnitzer die aus den Ästen der Bäume aus der Umgebung kleine Miniatur-Schnitzereien anboten.

In einem größeren Geschäft erweckte ein VW Käfer Baujahr 1970 mein Interesse. Vorsichtshalber ließ ich mir die Tel.Nr. des Besitzers geben.

Wir wurden dann zu einem kleinen U-förmigen Platz gefahren wo zu Zeiten der Sklavenhandel, die aus Afrika ihre Freiheit beraubten Menschen, untersucht und verkauft wurden. Auch soll dort ein Pfahl gestanden haben wo Sklaven die einen Fluchtversuch gewagt hatten, aber nicht weit kamen, zur Abschreckung für die Neulinge ausgepeitscht wurden. In den kleinen ehemaligen Untersuchung- und Zellentrakt sind heute kleine  Souvenir-Geschäfte untergebracht.

Weiter ging es zu Fuß am Gouverneursgebäude und vielen kleinen bunten Häusern vorbei bis zur Kathedrale.

Unser nächster Stopp führte uns zum Casa da Cultura ein ehemaliges Gefängnis, heute sind in den ehemaligen Zellen kleine Geschäfte die hochwertige einheimische Souvenir-artikel angesiedelt.

Auf Bitten einiger Mitfahrer die an den Strand wollten verlängerte Carlos noch die Tour gegen einen kleinen freiwilligen Aufpreis. Das war für alle sowieso kein Problem den die 13 Dollar pro Person war schon im Vorfeld ein Superpreis. Das Taxi sollte schon 25 Dollar pro Person ohne Tour kosten. Ich war, glaube ich als erster im 29° warmen Ozean und hatte schon meinen Spaß als sich 4 weitere Mitfahrer entschlossen ins Wasser zu gehen. Linda hat auf mich aufgepasst wie die Henne auf ihre Küken, sie ermahnte mich des öfteren nicht zu weit raus zu schwimmen den es bestand HAI Warnung. Es ist aber noch alles dran.  Ha Ha

Linda, Christopher und ich verließen kurz vor Ende der Tour in der Stadtmitte den Bus und gingen noch 6km+ auf eigene Erkundungstour durch Recife. Christopher hatte sich die Sehenswürdigkeit, die aus Kirchen, Historischen Gebäuden und Plätzen bestand auf sein I-Phone geladen. Sehr viele der Gebäude und Hochhäuser sind in einem erbärmlichen Zustand und zum großen Teil nicht mehr bewohnt. Den Regierung- und Schulgebäuden ergeht es offensichtlich nicht besser.

Auf den Plätzen und Straßen herrschte ein reges Treiben. Uns hatte man eingebläut ja keinen Schmuck zu tragen und Wertgegenstände nicht zu zeigen. Linda packte ihre Kamera immer wieder weg, Christopher wurde 2 mal von Passanten aufmerksam gemacht seine, deutlich kleinere Kamera weg zu packen. Da an jeder Ecke mindestens 2 Polizisten ihren Dienst sehr aufmerksam taten fühlten wir uns relative sicher.

Wir drei waren 45 Minuten vor der ALLE AN BORD ZEIT am Schiff zurück, machten uns frisch und gingen an Deck um das Auslauf – Prozedur nicht zu versäumen. Der Tag endete für uns während und nach unseren Abendessen auf dem Achterdeck mit sehr netten Menschen mit denen wir auch bereits den Tag verbracht hatten. Eigentlich wollte ich in unserer Kabine die zweite Halbzeit  Leipzig – Porto anschauen, daraus wurde aber nichts.

Information to Recife - Info über Recife:

Recife is the fourth-largest urban agglomeration in Brazil with 3,995,949 inhabitants, the largest urban agglomeration of the North/Northeast Regions, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco in the northeast corner of South America. The population of the city proper was 1,625,583 in 2016.

The former capital of the 17th century colony of New Holland of Dutch Brazil, established by the Dutch West India Company.  Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of Pernambuco,  known for its large scale production of sugar cane. 


Shark attacks.  We definitely will not be going swimming here as this area is well known for its shark attacks! That is what I had said in advance, but Peter has a mind of his own. There have been some 50 attacks since 1992 in which 18 people have been killed and 32 very badly injured. The incidents have happened in the beach areas in the early morning hours which are the preferred hunting hours for the shark.

Recife ist die Hauptstadt des Bundesstaates Pernambuco im Nordosten Brasiliens. Sie ist eine Hafenstadt am Atlantischen Ozean mit über 1,5 Millionen Einwohnern. Der Name „Recife“ ist eine Anspielung auf die Felsenriffe, die die Strände der Stadt schützen.

Die Gegend von Recife wurde 1537 von den Portugiesen besiedelt.


Hai Angriffe - 

Hier werden wir NICHT schwimmen! - Hat Linda gesagt!!!!

In Recife fanden seit 1992 ca. 50 Hai Angriffe statt.18 Personen wurden getötet, 32 schwer verletzt. Die Todesfälle ereigneten sich vor allem an den Stränden Boa Viagem, Pina und Piedade, hauptsächlich in den frühen Morgenstunden, der bevorzugten Jagdzeit von Haien. Die Angreifer waren hauptsächlich Bullenhaie, welche in den Küstengewässern vor Recife eine größere Population bilden, im geringeren Maße auch Tigerhaie und Hammerhaie. 


Menschen gehören nicht zur natürlichen Beute dieser Haiarten. Dass besonders um Recife viele fatale Begegnungen zwischen Hai und Mensch erfolgen, ist mit dem Ausbaggern des Hafens, der Veränderung der Strömungsverhältnisse und Wanderung der Futterfische in die Strandregion sowie dem Entsorgen von Müll im Meer zu erklären.