Destination Maceió, second travel to the capital of the state of Alagoas.
A day at one of the most popular Brazilian beaches, not far from Porto de Galinhas Beach.
I had missed three opportunities to visit the much acclaimed Maragogi Beach. Opportunity number four brought me to Maragogi. A luxury coach drove us (I, Richard, tourist guide Vítor, and more 40 tourists from Belo Horizonte) to Pontal do Maragogi. When we arrived there, it was still early in the morning. It was low tide, a perfect opportunity to visit the offshore coral reefs by a flatboat. Most fellow travelers hurried to the pay counters for their tickets. The return trip by a flatboat was 50 reais, about 20 euros. Richard and I didn’t participate. We spend our day with long beach walks. I hope to visit Maragogi during summer, outside the raining season, and when the ocean is azure blue. I also hope to be able to visit the reefs and to snorkel between colorful exotic fish.
Richard and I stayed at Pontal do Maragogi, a little village that is located at few kilometers from the village of Maragogi. Pontal do Maragogi is the location from where flatboats depart to the coral reefs. But there is more to do and to see. There was a small swimming pool at a stone’s throw from the ocean. For many Europeans it must be strange to observe a swimming pool near the ocean. Why such a pool very close to the ocean? The answer is simple: not every Brazilian is able to swim (well) and would prefer the safety of a small swimming pool. In addition, it is easier to watch the little children. There were some tables and beach chairs around the pool. At a further distance, on the beach, were concrete tables with palm leaf parasols. There was a small beach mat under the parasol. Sun lovers would take it and spread it on the beach for some sun-frying hours. It is a good habit to fold the mat after use and put it back under the parasol.
Pontal do Maragogi had some beach facilities, but lacked other facilities. At few kilometers from Pontal, in Maragogi Village, one may encounter more facilities. We asked Vítor how to get there. He tried to convince us that it was not recommended to go there, because we would have to cross a little river that flows into the ocean. Because of the coming high tide, we wouldn’t be able to cross it again on our way back to Pontal. However, we ignored his well-meant warnings and walked to Maragogi Village. We waded through the river, the water reached until our lower legs. We quickly entered the Village and visited the local bakery and grocer. We bought some bread, a piece of cake and some soda. Now we were no longer dependent upon the high prices of the food offered at the local restaurant in Pontal.
I took the opportunity to obtain more information of touristic facilities in Maragogi. I was directed to a restaurant, where tourist might encounter arrangements for boat trips. Soon I was welcomed by the owner, who took his time to provide me a lot of useful information. Maragogi already counted a number of hotels and pousadas (hostels); thanks to the increased popularity in recent years, more hotels were being built. It was interesting to notice that a new airport was being constructed at a location between the popular beach locations of Maragogi and Porto de Galinhas (near Recife and Olinda). As a result, both beach resorts will be much easier reached, and not only via a two-lane highway. The airport would provide a touristic boost in this region. Developers already were waiting impatiently to have their new projects realized: more concrete giants that will host luxury apartments and hotels.
Back to Pontal
The man offered each of us a bottle of cold water and assured us that we didn’t have to hurry to cross the shallow river. Indeed, the water had risen a bit, but only came until our knees. The wide beach was loosing terrain to the rising ocean water. The beach that was dry on our way to the village, already was covered by a thin layer of salt water. It was delicious to walk barefoot in lukewarm water. When we arrived in Pontal, we sat down in plastic chairs and had our simple lunch bread, cake, and soda.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
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