Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sao Luis

Has been pretty great, as our last official town in Brasil before we head into the Amazon. The only difficulty with pre planned flights is, when you book in advance you cant really move on if you think you´ve had enough with a city for example, busing it through Brasil gave us that option. Not that Sao Luis is unbearable, we´ve been able to do loads to prepare for our Amazon trip plus its incredibly quaint and beautiful but 4 full days might have been a tad too much.

Saying that though we have had the luck to find ourselves in the big Festival of the patron Saint Sao Joao - at night there is loads of street music, lots of activity with 100´s of people, plus Carnaval style parades with girls wearing next to nothing and lots of feathers (videos and photos of this being uploaded as I write this) and great food and drink. During the day you can wander around the cobbled streets and the historical centre is now a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to the colonial architecture and intricate blue Portugese tiles that cover many of the buildings. It is incredibly hot here though, the temperature has changed immensely since Olinda and Recife, hot, humid and strong sun! Taste of whats to come I suppose!

The other interesting thing here is that there is alot of evidence of the Portugese slave trade (you really start to hate what their actions did to the millions of people they affected, but then the result is also oddly agreeable (visibly) - like the Afro Brasilian culture. From food to music to dress. Nearly 3 million Africans from Angola, Nigeria and west coast of Africa were brought here to the Northeast coast roughly 500 years ago, and they bred with the local Indians and their Portugese masters so the people now are so mixed they are both beautiful and yet rather tainted. Like they have the habits of what we believe the Portugese descended and then the culture of their tribal ancestors. Though my thoughts on this one will take too long to write down - will save for another time.

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