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NEAR RECIFE : PORTO DE GALINHAS
Near to Recife is Porto de Galinhas, a resort-town.
Porto de Galinhas means Port of Chickens in Portuguese. Why chickens? Well, back in the 1880s, after slavery was banned, the bad bad plantation owners of this region still imported Africans from West Africa. But of course, they could not go out right and call them 'slaves' now. They used a codeword - 'chickens' to pass the message on that a shipment of slaves had arrived. This place was the port where the 'chickens' were imported.
Now, everywhere around the touristy little town are statues of chickens carved out of tree trunks. This is the typical Brazilian kitsch so fancied by the Brazilian Tourism Board. For example, the roundish, blue Telemar telephone booths found all over the country are sometimes transformed into certain symbols typical of the region. In Salvador, there are coconut and berimbau telephone booths. In Pantanal, there are macaw and cayman telephone booths. In Olinda, there are umbrella telephone booths (one of their traditional dances involved umbrellas). And here in Porto de Galinhas, there are chicken telephone booths.
The beach resort town is also famous for the natural swimming pools formed by corals and rocks near the beach which at low-tide, one could head out there for little swims or to feed the fishes in the various swimming pools.
You could go to the pools in a 'jangada'. This is a flat boat (almost looking like a raft) with a sail with some benches set on them. Tourists pay about R8 for the 'jangada' guy to navigate them out to the swimming pools.
Or you could walk out there when it is low-tide.
The natural swimming pools are really lovely, you can sit way out there on these rocks and watch the pools of fishes (if the water is clear). Be care of the sea urchins.
PRAIA PORTO DE GALINHA, some...
PRAIA PORTO DE GALINHA, some 80km from the city centre;
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