First day in Fortaleza

Yesterday I embarked on my solo journey to Ceará, a state in the northeast of Brazil, known for its beautiful beaches (600km) and forro music.

My first stop was the capital, Fortaleza. I heard not so great things but I was determined to find out I my own. Overall, I found it an uglier version of Rio, without the mountain scenery. I opted for a boat ride that turned out a total tourist trap: a shady van picked me up from the hotel, dropped me off with a group of 50 other victims by the marina. “40 reais, cash!” (10 more than I was told by the hotel) we were told and then hauled on something looking like a canoe onto a fishermen boat.

“Alright, now we will have a real tour” I thought to myself when a guy with a “tour guide” badge arrived.

Alas, instead, he put on forro music and spent the rest of the 2 hours trying to sell us on excursions his company offers and CDs of his cheesy music. Towards the end of the journey, we stopped at something that looked like a fueling boats basin and were given the opportunity to bathe in the “clear and shiny water”. To my great surprise, there were some folks that took him up on it! They also bought some CDs afterwards.

My conclusion at the end was that either I was missing something or I was not the target audience for that lovely adventure. The word “Sacanagem” in Portuguese just took a full meaning for me(look it up!).

I returned pissed off to the hotel and as compensation treated myself to dinner at a fancy French restaurant called Piaf. A glass of great red wine, grilled Gouda cheese salad and a petit gateau lifted my spirits and my excitement for the rest of the journey.

Next stop: Jericoacoara!

City coast line

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The boat I did NOT take
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Swimming basin

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