Destination Maceió, second travel to the capital of the state of Alagoas.
Photographs made during the bus trip from Maceió to paradisaical Maragogi Beach.
Maragogi was our next travel destination. A destination that I already had missed three times. The first time was during my first stay in Maceió, last year. Our bus driver then suggested to drive us to this beach paradise. Unfortunately, there were too few to join this interesting bus travel. The second time was only a few days later, when I tried to go there with three friends. At the very final moment, the departure time from Maceió was changed; therefore, it was impossible for us to return from Maragogi on time. The third time was earlier this year (2009), when we stayed in Recife. The same bus driver suggested to drive us to Maragogi. Unfortunately, the majority was not animated enough for this bus travel, they were too drunk. Now I didn’t hesitate for a second: we were on our way to Maragogi!
Our tour guide had a number of organized day trips for us. One of the trips was to Maragogi. Almost everyone enlisted for this interesting trip. We had to get up very early, because the bus travel would last about three hours. We departed at seven in the morning, the bus headed northward, to the border with the state of Pernambuco. This highway does not deserve the title ‘highway’: the road consisted of two lanes only. There are various plans to construct extra lanes, but too many people, who live near the highway, should then be forced to move. This road has also quite a bad reputation regarding road safety. Especially at weekends and during Carnival, when drunk drivers might lose control of their vehicles.
Our tour guide kept himself quiet in the first hour, but his earlier performances had provided him enough inspiration for one of our fellow travelers. She managed to create an impressive and amusing parody of our tour guide. Especially his remarks about the departure times (he repeated them dozes of times) and about money were accentuated. Her performance caused many bursts of laughs. Also poor Vítor the tour guide managed to create a faint smile, as if he were a beaten dog. Richard wasn’t able to understand everything, so he was quiet. Fortunately, I was able to understand everything: it was very amusing!
When this amusing parody was ended, Vítor took control and continued with his endless speech. He told us about the sugar cane fields, at both sides of the road. We noticed a number of small, humble huts, which normally are used for shelter, or for having some lunch or rest. Unfortunately, some of these huts were used permanently by those who where homeless. Together with neighboring state Sergipe, Alagoas is one of Brazil’s poorest states. Fortunately, there are significant improvements, but economic progress in these small states is still very slow. Now the hunger problem seems to be solved, more people gain access to sanitation, electricity and running water, and children are obliged to attend school. As some kind of compensation for school-going children, their parents receive basic food ingredients, such as rice, beans, flour, and sugar.
When we got up, the sky was dark gray. We were about to have another rainy day. Indeed, near Maceió, it had rained quite a lot that day. But when we neared Maragogi, we noticed that the heavy clouds gave way to smaller clouds. Therefore, the already green landscape appeared with more intense green hues. Thanks to the raining season that was about to end, everything grew seemingly limitlessly. The endless speech by Vítor and the breathtaking landscape views killed the travel time. We arrived there ahead of schedule at Maragogi Beach. The majority rushed to the pay desks, in order to obtain tickets for the boats that would transport them to the coral reefs. That day was low tide, an ideal situation for visiting these reefs. I didn’t join them, since the face was quite high: 50 reais, about 20 euros. While the others were visiting the reefs, Richard and I stayed on the beach and made long beach walks.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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