I am not from a place where you can see your feet when standing in ocean water. Maragogi, on the other hand, was impeccably clear.
So much so that I was inspired and successfully convinced to try snorkeling one more time after a failed attempt in Hawaii. With a little extra coaching, I did not feel like I was being strangled by the mask and, instead, was able to watch the fish underwater instead of just cooing from above.
Of all the spots we visited, Hibiscus was my favorite. At the resort, we paid an entrance fee, which got us a little cabana with a hammock, table, and bench to lay down on.
Here, we briefly tried stand-up paddleboarding but gave up after an incident with sunglasses falling off in the only non-crystal clear water from the entire trip. On our way out, I spied my first saguí, which is a small type of monkey. Apparently, they’re very common, so I got some payback for making fun of everyone who freaks out about squirrels in the US.
The last beach we went to was Dunas de Marapé. The original place we’d planned to go to was canceled the night before and I, honestly, wanted to pass in favor of sleeping in. (I’m glad Gustavo convinced me otherwise, since this was one of my favorites, as you can tell by the sheer number of pictures I took.)
To unique part of Dunas is that it’s a beach, yes, but it’s also a delta where the river runs into the ocean. That also means there’s a ton of animal life unlike anywhere else we’d been. We saw so many little crabs and fish. On my way out, I passed an iguana just chilling next to two people on a bench.
Also, there was a lovely woman who was the chef at the local restaurant. All while running the kitchen and buffet, she kindly made a separate vegetarian meal for me. To have someone take the time to make something special for me, to make my trip more pleasant, was really welcoming and understanding.
When we first arrived in Maceió, a friend said she wanted to see my reaction because, if Brazilians think the Northeast is so gorgeous, a foreigner would likely find it out of this world. And, indeed, the scenery was remarkable. I also had some fun getting used to the accent. (Mid-way to the hotel in a cab, I quietly texted Gustavo to announce, “I just realized why I don’t understand anything this man is saying.”)
But by the end of the trip, I really, really missed Rio. The mountains. The humidity. The accent I’ve already grown used to and, frankly, have adopted. The conveniences of being in a big city. So many more options!
I would love to explore all of Brazil over time. This was my first time visiting a part of the country that I was totally unfamiliar with and completely surprised by. There’s so much more to see, but this was a great start.