Joao Pessoa – a little bit of beach and a little bit of weird

So then it got a bit weird. Staying in Joao Pessoa our pousada hostess was keen for us to go and enjoy the sunset over the mangrove trees on the Rio Paraíbain in the north of the city. Loving a good old sunset we dutifully Ubered off for a chilled out sun down. As the car turned the corner of our destination we saw it was not quite as we were expecting and were immediately accosted by touts galore trying to wedge restaurant menus through the window. We weaved our way through the craft stores and restaurants and set up camp at the viewpoint. Then the music began, from the empty stage…


Looking around we identified the source of what turned out to be a saxophonist, dressed all in white standing in a boat heading towards the middle of the river.


At the same time a number of tourist boats took off from the jetty with their own music blasting and also headed for the middle of the river to anchor up. Meanwhile our floating musical friend began navigating the boats somewhat precariously whilst maintaining a constant stream of the Bolero. With the last glimpses of the sun the music died and Brazilian Kenny G made his way back to land ready to do the same again the next night.

And the strange experiences did not stop there. The next day we headed off to the most Eastern point of the Americas, a three hour walk from the centre of Joao Pessoa. I must confess that thankfully we cheated a bit and got a taxi there and walked back. I say thankfully as if we had walked three hours to this ‘tourist critical’ destination I’d probably have wanted to jump off a cliff on arrival!  Having been to the ‘centre of the earth’ in Ecuador and the most western point in Europe in Portugal we had seen the razzmatazz that often comes with these geographical claims. From where the taxi dropped us off in JP it was about a 15 minute walk and it felt like we were in a zombie movie. There was not another human around and suddenly there was barbed wire one side of us, deserted buildings to another and road blocks…

When we reached the actual eastern point we found that it wasn’t zombies after all (easy mistake to make) but erosion. Half off the path had fallen off the cliff. This has understandably made this less of a tourist sensation although it hasn’t stopped some die hard souvenir sellers from remaining in situ, one blasting out Frank Sinatra records. There were a few other tourists around the point, on an organised coach trip (I can only hope they were going on to other things) but it didn’t take long to look at the lighthouse and sculpture and try and get a view of the sea or city through the overgrown hedgerow. Let’s just say that the getting there and back took considerably longer than the time we spent there!

I feel bad that I’ve been overly negative about Joao Pessoa, it wasn’t a bad place just random! It has a fantastically long beach that is one of the best city beaches we have seen. Although we had a bit of rain it was still pretty beautiful with the turquoise sea and white sand and it was a good place to sit and plot the next adventure!



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