Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rockley 'n' Roll. Well 3 weeks came and went very quickly and the Rockleys, we trust, are all safe and well back in the UK. What a talented bunch they are though, because if this blog hasn't benefitted tremendously from the insightful commenteering of Paul, we now have the creative inputs of Priya and Nathan to look forward to. First up is Nathan, who was asked to choose the best 10 photos from his camera that sum up his time here. He chose 14 - a measure, I hope, of how much fun he had. So, two a day for the next week... Nathan Rockley, "Maps and Legends" is in your hands.

Guest photoblogger: Nathan Rockley. Above, the first two in the series of 14 photos by Nathan. A view, I believe, looking out from the fort toward Redina beach and a nice one of a smiling Gloria pushing her "hippo".

Açai. One final anecdote here. Something the guidebooks and aficionados recommend is for visitors to Brazil to try an "açai". Açai is a purple fruit from the Amazon which, along with Guarana, has many great nutritional properties including providing energy. Basically, one açai = 7 bottles of Red Bull. But, to go for "açai" is not just to go out to eat the fruit somewhere - it's to go and have it served to you in a particularly special and unusual way. The açai is liquified and cooled (sort of like a slushy) and then extra pieces of fruit and, most importantly, granola (breakfast cereal grains) are added to it and served in large bowls. Anyway, this is what we all decided to do as we took the Rockleys to the airport - one last Brazilian festivity, and something to fill them up before being served airplane fare.

The number 1 place for Açai, so several of our friends said, was a shop which I was told was "next to the main BR petrol station". When we arrived, I was rather discouraged to find that the outlet consisted of one room with a box freezer which was literally IN the petrol station. Tables and stools were crammed together outside on the pavement and forecourt of a cycle shop. 8 lanes of traffic whizzed by within 100 yards (and this was at rush hour) and the smell of cars filling up with petrol and diseal would come wafting across to us as we sat huddled around our menus. What a nightmare, I thought, and no way to enjoy an açai or anything else! By this time Gloria and Nelson were bawling and I was grinding my teeth. Someone get me out of here! However, when my bowl of açai arrived... words cannot describe. A true Brazilian delicacy. I'm just sorry I discovered it so late.

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