Minha Namorada and I had decided we were going to visit more places this trip to Brazil. Some people say, the difference between North America and Europe where people say “a long drive is 100 kilometres in Europe, a long time is a 100 years in North America”, but Brazil is the fifth largest country by size with a rich history – there are theories that the Amazon rainforest itself is not naturally occurring, but the results of 11,000 years of human cultivation. So we didn’t want to limit ourselves to just one small tip of the country. Thus, we set off on our trip to Praia da Pipa.
Transportation in Brazil, is lacking somewhat. The shape and population distribution throughout Brazil was not as conducive to railways as Canada, and so heavy trucks are the most common form of delivery for products. This creates significantly more road maintenance needs, and you need to keep your eyes out for that many more potholes. In addition, while you can download directions and maps on Google ahead of time (which is definitely recommended) the English voice on the GPS doesn’t handle the Brazilian road names well, it isn’t the easiest to follow, and unless you are travelling with a local, it is probably best to just book bus trips with the tourist organizations – professional drivers who drive the road daily are better off anyways. However, do not take the normal buses between cities. Much like in Canada, Bus stations tend to be more dangerous places.
Brazil is very strict against drivers having any alcohol in their system, they operate on a zero tolerance system, with seizure of the vehicle, significant fines and your licenses being revoked for 12 months for anything below 0.06 BAC, and criminal charges for amounts above that. However, this restriction is only against the driver themselves, oddly, it is perfectly legal for there to be open alcohol in the car, and passengers can drink while riding in the car. Multiple times we drove past police vehicles and stations, without anyone even giving me a second look.
Brazilian Countryside is very beautiful too – many people when thinking of Brazil only think of the areas immediately adjacent to the ocean. However, the rolling hills with fields of sugar cane and pineapples, with the occasional small forest dotting the landscape is not a view to be missed. Essentially, imagine the foothills of the rockies, but with different vegetation. Maybe its my own western Canadian Routes, but some of those views were just as breathtaking as any ocean vista.