Santuário Ecológico

February 11, 2010

Yesterday Scott and I wanted to go to the Santuário Ecológico here in Pipa. We knew it was pretty close to town, and we asked at the front desk what the best way was to get there. They said that there was a shuttle that could take us, or that it was about four kilometers, which isn’t that much, and he made it sound like it was linked to the beach. Walking along the beach for 45 minutes to get there sounded ideal, so we set out. We walked to town and cut down through Pipa’s cobbled streets to the main beach. We started along the sand and all was going well. There was a rocky part, where we pretty easily climbed over.

It was no big deal, and the biggest hazard was keeping Scott’s camera dry while the surf crashed around us. We kept going, around the cliffs and along the beach. After a while we stopped seeing other people and just took in the most amazing, empty beach, with dramatic red walls rising to the right. We kept watch for a way up to the Santuario Ecologica, but we didn’t see any break in the stone.

We continued, marveling at how amazing it was to be there on that empty beach, and how incredibly lucky we were. Eventually we got to a trickier section of rocks, where we had to hop from one to another. We couldn’t decide if it was better to wear our increasingly slippery flip flops (Scott almost lost one of his in the surf where that first picture was taken, but the ocean mercifully gave it back, he wiped out trying to get it though) or go barefoot. The stones were rough, and kind of sharp, and definitely not pleasant to walk on, but going back didn’t seem to be an option. After about a half an hour of scaling these treacherous rocks, where I don’t think we were supposed to go, we got to the Praia do Golfinos, or the dolphin beach. There were umbrellas and a restaurant where we would later come back to eat. We jumped in the water, relieved and exhilirated and then climbed up a vast number of stairs that led back up to the road. We thought we couldn’t be far from the Santuario Ecologico, so we started in what we thought was the right direction. After walking for about ten minutes on what was essentially a highway, a taxi driver took pity on us and drove us the little bit farther we had to go to get there. The trails cut through and were pleasant and sandy.

At one lookout, we got to see from up above where we had walked.

Those rocks at the bottom of the cliff were the beginning of what we started climbing over. The trails through the park eventually led back to a long staircase that descended to the beach that we wound up on at the end of our rock-climbing expedition. We were tired and hungry and very happy to sit at the restaurant and have lunch. It was ideal.

Tomorrow we leave Pipa and head to Fortaleza for Carnival. Stay tuned…


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