Recife urban sprawl
|Boa Viagem - Recife|
What's so special about Recife you might ask. Nothing really, to be honest. It's just a combination of many factors that made my life there always pleasant, despite some obvious drawbacks.
Recife is a big city (somewhere above 3 million inhabitants) and center of an even bigger urban area. Not surprisingly, the biggest frustration for locals and foreigners alike is the ubiquitous traffic. Public transport is badly organized, unreliable and the lack of separate bus lanes means that a journey of 20 minutes can take easily 2 hours during rush hour.
|Historic center of Olinda|
Oh, and not to forget: I went diving. When I asked my first host Elinaldo about the best diving spots along my trip, he answered without hesitating "Recife". It turned out he did his diving licence with a local diving school and I happily went to their office the next day. Thanks to the offshore reefs (hence the city name), there are numerous shipwrecks just off the coast. The four dives I did there were simply awesome. The visibility was good, the instructors helpful but in a very relaxed manner. The water had a perfect surface temperature of 27-28 degrees Celsius and still more than 24 degrees at a depth of 25 meters. We saw numerous tropical fishes, a couple of smaller sharks, a turtle and the shipwrecks themselves were quite spectacular. The only little trouble was my stomach reacting to the rough open Atlantic. But luckily, there are pills for that.
|View from Olinda towards central Recife and Boa Viagem|
All in all, my stay in Recife was great and I'll always be thankful to all the people that contributed to it, especially my hosts Elinaldo and Rayana. I could well imagine living in this city for a while in the future. Smaller brasilian cities (200'000 to 1 million) are fun and easier to get around, but it's the big metropolitan areas that really attract me, with all their opportunities and diversity.
|Shark warning on Boa Viagem beach|