Destination Recife, capital of the state of Pernambuco.
1. Bus travel throught the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco. A 36 hours bus travel.
Brazilian students have two semesters per calendar year. The first semester starts after carnival and continues to mid July. The second semester starts early August and end mid December. That means that summer holidays last two months, between Christmas and Carnival. Many students return to their parents’ homes, were they spend their FREE time. Anything but studying. This attitude is changing gradually. In recent years, new students have to start their internships in their first semesters already. In this way, they are able to put into practice what they have studied. The long summer holidays is then suitable for their internships. These students don’t have time anymore to travel to regional or national student meetings, which are organized during holidays or at extended weekends. Nevertheless, about forty students were assembled to travel to Recife by bus, early 2009.
One day and a half
These students were studying library sciences, they eventually may become librarians.Students from the Federal University in Belo Horizonte had been invited to participate in a regional student meeting in Recife. Regional in this respect means the northeastern region of Brazil. This region is about 1.5 square km, and counts little more than fifty million inhabitants. Why were the students from far-away Minas Gerais invited? Not only because they are funny, or that they are crazy. Merely because Library Sciences in Belo Horizonte enjoyed a nationwide reputation. The students accepted the invitation warmheartedly. However… Recife is quite far from Belo Horizonte, more than two thousand km from each other, comparable with the distance Amsterdam-Naples. By bus, the travel is scheduled to last 36 hours, one day and a half, including a number of stops. Since we had holidays, two extra days were added to the journey, in order to spend them on the paradisaical beaches in the state of Pernambuco.
One means of potable water transport.
Twelve hours in Minas, twelve in Bahia
Minas Gerais, of which Belo Horizonte is the capital, is a giant Brazilian state. Larger than France and Switzerland combined. Therefore, it took twelve hours of travel to reach the border with neighboring state Bahia. The bus followed the meandering highway that follows the slopes of numerous mountains. These highways are quite dangerous, especially during heavy rain showers. Fortunately, we had our very experienced bus driver, who also drove us to Salvador, Florianópolis, São Luís, Fortaleza, and Maceió. This time, his ten-year-old son joined him. He had his seat next to me. But often he kept his father company, when he was driving. He was not the only bus driver, another colleague joined him. We left Belo Horizonte around midnight, and we only reached the border with Bahia. The state of Bahia is a bit smaller than Minas, and therefore, we reached its capital Salvador only around midnight, after a full day of bus travel.
From Salvador, it is a few hours’ drive before the border with miniature state Sergipe was reached. Sergipe and northern neighboring state Alagoas, are both as large as Flanders. We noticed nothing of Sergipe, when we passed there. We were all sound asleep. Maceió, capital of the state of Alagoas, was reached early in the morning. About six months earlier, we had stayed there for a national student meeting. We had a quick and simple breakfast in Maceió that morning. We enjoyed the view around us: green palm trees, which flanked white beaches, and azure blue ocean water. We still had to travel few more hours, before our first destination was reached: the paradisaical beaches of Porto de Galinhas. We still had to endure four more hours on the bus…
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom
- Travel in Brazil: Bus Travel Belo Horizonte – FORTALEZA (02). Beach Paradise Porto de Galinhas (PE) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: Bus Travel Belo Horizonte – FORTALEZA (01). From Belo Horizonte to Salvador (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- A Foreigner in Brazil (20): MAY 2006. Bairros in Belo Horizonte (MG) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: Belo Horizonte – MARANHÃO (01). Five Thousand Kilometers (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- COLORFUL BRAZIL: Igreja São José (St. Joseph Church), Ouro Preto (MG) (adrianoantoine.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: SALVADOR (15). The District of Barra, Salvador (BA) (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)
- Travel in Brazil: MARANHÃO (03). Barreirinhas, Gateway to Lençóis Maranhenses (insiderbrazil.wordpress.com)