Just got back from two weeks in Brazil. I’ve never been to Brazil or, even, South America before. All in all, I had a great time. Fortaleza, in the state of Ceara, is a relatively small town, and is very much centred around the beach — I saw a lovely newspaper headline one day saying "Ceara looses 7m of beach a year". It’s not a place to go to for cultural highlights; I like this about conference holidays, though: the holidays you end up with are not ones you would have chosen, so it can be a surprise when you enjoy yourself. We had plenty of time for lying on the beach (although not for too long due to the sun and heat), went swimming and eat food. The beach in town (Praira do Meireles) is indifferent. It’s long, but a bit grotty. Still, it’s very shallow, so would be good for the kids. Outside of that, we got to Praira do Futoro which is long, golden, with lots of beach pools that are warm and swimmable for the kids, while the actual sea has quite a heavy swell. Great fun but only for good swimmers. We also went to the beach park for the conference do — the park itself looked chessy, but as they only let us onto the beach and feed us free food and beer, no one minded this.

Food in Brazil is reputed to be poor for the veggie; actually, I didn’t think that this was so. It was boring sometimes, but, in general, I eat okay. And even if the dinner was dull, it was often more than made up for by the fruit juices which were fabulous and in enourmous variety; only tempered by the odd Brazillian custom of watering them down (a little bit of water in some, like mango, makes sense, but just a little bit) and adding sugar. As well as all that, you can get "um coco por favour", for about 30p and sit in a barraca sipping coconut milk.

I really enjoyed it. I’d love to go back again, although the chances are that I never will.

Originally published on my old blog site.