Our final day on the island we decided to be a bit more active and hauled ourselves out of our sun loungers to go riding. It turned out to be the best riding we’ve done; not only did we see more of the island that morning than the whole rest of the time we were there but the horses were the fastest (ok, and probably craziest) we’ve ever ridden and galloping down the beaches on them was priceless
. From Salvador though we had to bid the last of our visitors goodybe as Anna and Poppy headed home and back to something called jobs and real life. (Poppy & Anna – thanks for coming and samba-ing with us, it was so brilliant to see you both & the best birthday present!)
And so for the first time in a while we found ourselves just the two of us again and back to our 'normal’ travelling routines. It felt a little lonely after so long with others. We were heading to Venezuela and had decided to have one more stop in Brazil on our way north in Fortaleza because it didn’t cost anything and we’d read that it was home to the biggest water slide park in Latin America so being the cultured souls that we are we simply had to go. On further reading it turned out Fortaleza has more to offer than just a water slide park and we spent a day visiting the stunning multi-coloured Morro Branco cliffs behind a huge white beach (with the scale it reminded us a lot of WA) and visiting the town fish market for dinner where you visited one stall to buy fish or seafood, then took it to the cafe next door where a table would be squeezed onto the beach amongst the hundreds of other diners and your fish taken off and cooked for you.
On so to our final day in Brazil...and the Beach Park
. Not only is it the biggest water slide park in Latin America but it is also home to the highest vertical drop water slide in the world. Yes, we said the world. It was called ‘Insano’, with a 41m vertical drop (that’s the height of a 15 storey building as we were told repeatedly by the guidebook, the bus driver on the way there, the entrance staff at the park and 3 or 4 times by the cheesy announcer blaring out of the speakers on the long walk up). It was also more fun watching other people go down the Insano and (a) screaming and flailing when they literally became airborne for about 3 seconds on the way down and (b) trying to subtly unpick the inevitable massive wedgy at the bottom and/or put their bikini top back on before too many people in the crowd could take photos of them. It may not have been our most sophisticated moment but wow was it a fun day and we thought a fitting end to a seriously fun time in Brazil.
After a tearful farewell at the airport (mostly from the boys obviously) Clairee & Ricardo were homeward bound, whilst we continued our slow trip north with a stop with the others in Salvador to visit the Morro de Sao Paulo island. The beaches weren't quite Lopez Mendes but it was beautiful there and, even better, for half the price of a room in Rio we had rooms next to the beach, complete with hammocks and a pool. And most momentously it was here that Gordon was finally beaten at backgammon by someone other than Sarah after a tense match with Poppy that went to 4-4 before she victoriously whipped him in the final game. At last!!!!!!!!!!!!!