A walk along the ruins on Alcântara Peninsula (VI)
Destination São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão.
Alcântara, continuation of the walk along the ruins.
On a Sunday morning, a catamaran carried us to the other side of Baía de São Marcos, a distance of more than fifty km. On the peninsula is the historical city of Santo Antônio de Alcântara, a large open air museum.
Alcântara is a peninsula northwest of São Luís Island, separated by Baia de São Marcos.
After having visited the principal ruins of the open air museum village of Alcântara, and the space information center, we continued our walk, which already had lasted several hours, in the village. It was a peaceful Sunday, with almost no one in the streets. Here in the tropics, the sun scorched our bare skin. My travel companion complained about the sun, and I found a practical solution for her: I lent her my black umbrella. For outsiders, it must have been a comical view, but Brazilians know better: no better protection against the sun than an umbrella. Even a blakc umbrella is much better than no umbrella…
We walked along a small church that was constructed by slaves: Igreja da Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos. This church was finished in 1780, and inaugurated in 1803, when the church community received statues of São Benedito. Unfortunately, this church was closed for visitors.
We walked on a long path that was paved with cobble stones. The houses were small and constructed with branches that were arrayed in a framework. The framework was filled with clay. These houses had thatched roofs. In front of the houses were tiny gardens, as is common in many European countries. It was as if I was back in Europe, about one century ago.
However, most houses in the village are brick houses: the rough reddish brown bricks that are common throughout Brazil.
We had to be back at the cay at four pm, for our return boat trip to São Luís. We all were on time. Even our companion, who we had lost some hours before, appeared. He had to run to catch the boat. His reward as a real cloudburst before he could enter the boat. We didn’t return with the catamaran, but we took a ferry boat. It took a bit more than an hour until our arrival in São Luís. We only had less than an hour left for our return trip to Belo Horizonte, by bus…
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom