Destination Maceió, capital of the state of Alagoas.
The urban beach of Ponta Verde, Maceió.
We arrived on the campus of the Federal University of Alagoas at dawn. We unpacked our stuffs, and laid our mattresses, and took some rest. But we had no intention whatsoever to stay the entire day on the campus, but to travel directly to the famous beaches of Maceio. The campus is located at some distance from the city of Maceio, and from the nearest beaches. We took the regularly scheduled bus to the beach of Ponta Verde; this bus is heading to the center of Maceió first. The bus ride to Ponta Verde required at least half an hour, when there is little traffic on the road. We arrived at the stop Ponta Verde, at about 11 am. The coastal road is flanked by dozens of beach clubs, where already had gathered many beachgoers to have cold beer or fresh, ice-cooled coconuts. These green coconuts are very popular at the beach. The fresh coconut water is an excellent and highly nutritious thirst quencher. On request, the nuts are hacked open, and with a severed piece of coconut bark, the white coconut meat is consumed.
The name says it all: Ponta Verde is a green spot in Maceio. The beach is flanked by groups of palm trees, which form an exotic contrast to the blue-green ocean and the white beach. For an urban beach, Ponta Verde is a heavenly place. Sufficient lodging facilities, good accessibility, and close to the city of Maceio. During the fifties and sixties of the past century, this location was a favorite meeting place for lovers who enjoyed intimate nights at full moon. With time, Ponta Verde was further discovered and exploited for tourism. The beach, apart from the coconut palms, looks a bit like Copacabana, with a long promenade, flanked by high-rise apartments and luxury hotels. When we arrived on the boulevard, we were confronted with some sound trucks of various city council candidates. Because nationwide municipal elections were held in October of that year (2008). The candidates performed a personal campaign different from all our elections in the Netherlands, where votes go to the party, and to a lesser extent, to the candidates themselves.
Our first introduction to the beaches of Alagoas was extremely pleasant. We enjoyed the view, the green palms, the white sand, and the aquamarine waters. We enjoyed the warm ocean water; it was a real relief to feel the soft, salty water on your skin. At the campus an opening party would be held at night. A social gathering of students from Amazonas to Alagoas, from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul. A brotherhood of students: they will become each other’s colleagues in the future. During my stay I got to know more students from various states. I also traveled with them to various beaches; I did not restrict myself to my fellow travelers from Minas. I started interesting friendships with the majority of these students. One of the goals of these meetings is that students quickly may create friendships which later may lead to fruitful collaborations.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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