Last week we were celebrating São João! It is that holiday I also wrote about in my last post. A holiday that I am actually really getting into and already looking forward to the one next year!
It reminds me of a yearly party we used to have in my boarding school years called Høstfesten – which is directly translated into Harvest Fest – and the themes too are quite similar – the celebration of harvest and simple living.
This São João we went to Aracaju to spend it at the beach house, just the two of us. I don´t get to see Tainã a lot ever since he went off to the academy, so when we get to spend more time together, we always get excited to spend it somewhere we can truly get to connect and also wander about together.
And when in Aracaju, which is on the coast-side in the state of Sergipe, there is much to do and many places to walk, which is something I often don´t get to do a lot of in Feira de Santana.
We went to the city centre and started at the market, where you can find fresh foods, artisanal goods and every Saturday a group of senior friends get drunk and sing Cuban music which spreads all through the market. It is a beautiful experience – made me feel like I was in Havana or what I imagine Havana to sound like.
We walked along the seashore to head to Aracaju´s local museum, which we always enjoy checking out because of the fun and interactive exhibitions they have there. The staff is made out of students from the city´s University and the energy is always welcoming and inspiring. If you have issues with speaking Portuguese, most of the staff, being young university students, are often willing if able, to practice their English with you ;).
Okay, so by the time we finished all that walking by the seashore to the main beaches and shores in the city, where the parties often are and the food and the parks – we were hungry! Especially because we decided to intermit fast during the holiday since we have both enjoyed the benefits of letting the stomach rest a bit longer than the traditional breakfast. So we often wait for lunch around 12:00 ish to break our fast which isn´t as strict as it sounds, we are a bit flexible with the time and sometimes we would have a piece of fruit or even a few boiled peanuts. Anyway, after almost 2:30 hours of walking, legs tired, we were ready to have our lunch. So we made it to one of our favourite locally owned burger stops: Terra Tupi.
The spot is really nice and the people are very friendly and open to our requests. We often get the same things there since their vegan options still have some room to expand. So we often just choose their vegan burger which comes with some rustic potatoes and dips. We also order extra fries, a salad, I get a hibiscus ice tea and Tainã has been really getting into exploring artisanal dark beers, so he usually tries his luck with that.
After the juicy bean burger, we usually are ready for something cooling and not the usual cold coconut water but some ice-cream! We head to Friberg, on the same street, which serves vegan ice-creams and our favourite one has always been the coconut flavour. Once we had some friends visiting and they noticed that we always chose the same flavour and they urged us to step out of our comfort zone and try more flavours – but all that did was convince us that the coconut flavour is indeed the best one ;). Sometimes you just like what you like.
This time, unfortunately, we didn´t get to eat at all the places we usually like to check out while in Aracaju – other great eats happen at the Rio Mar Shopping mall believe it or not, where they had a restaurant called Mercado Orgânico that served a delicious organic and colourful buffet and fresh pressed juices. We also got to stay longer and enjoy the football game! Watching football with Brazilians feels like you are in the actual stadium – people came with their Brazil t-shirts, food and even drinks and beers, the Mall shut down and for one hour and 30 mins, our joy and celebration were electric as Brazil won over their component.
We also got to meet with some friends and of course, do some more eating, talking and drinking. We went to this chill restaurant right by the ocean and had Brazilian pastels without anything inside them and more fries – because as a vegan you get to make peace with the fact that fried potatoes or tricky and sometimes sad, salads are your only choices in some places. But we had plans to go eat somewhere vegan-friendly later on, so we didn´t mind the usual oily options.
Later that same evening, which was also our last evening in the city, we went to another part of the city, where we could dance and also where there were small market booths. I was hoping to get an extra batch of some natural products I had bought there some time ago, that I loved. The brand is called Nefertiti and is owned by two conscious black women who make everything from soaps to oils and creams and essential oils.
I bought some black soap from them some time ago and it has lasted a long time, I just wanted a safety restock. I was lucky I did that because they will soon be taking a break since one of the lovely ladies is soon moving and is about to have a baby. We got to reconnect and she even got me to purchase my first reusable pads which I am interested in trying out in a few days when my next moon-cycle comes around.
So that was our lovely 5 days in Aracaju, we ate, we bathed, we loved and laughed and then we headed back home on the bus. P.s am I the only one who enjoys long bus rides? I mean not alone but if I am with my partner or friend, I always feel so adventurous being on the road, eating packed snacks and meals -napping and talking and cuddling – all those good stuff haha! Oh well, the little mundane things I guess.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed your week too and that life is finding you blooming wherever you are!