At Maragojipe Market
12° 47,017' S, 38° 54,370' W
Actually, after leaving the lush and beautiful Island of Frade, we didn't sail to Itaparica straight away but, instead, went first to Baia do Aratu which is a sheltered bay with two alternative havens (according to our cruising guide!). However, after passing an oil and gas terminal, an oil rig repair yard, a car export terminal, a naval base, and a bulk terminal, we made a drastic U-turn in the middle of the bay. For some reason, all that human influence was just too much for us.
So, we returned to Ilha de Itaparica and, in order to stop brooding over the Ilha-do-Frade incident, we then decided to set off for the town of Maragojipe on the River Paraguacu. Here is another extract from our cruising guide which we now know not to trust unreservedly:
“Farmers still ride their horses and drive their bullocks into town. They tie them to the rings set in the road for that purpose. The Saturday market has an excellent choice of fresh produce...”
Probably too good to be true, we thought as we read this but even if we didn't see any farmers with horses or bullocks, there would still be the Saturday market. And as we were running short of fruit and vegetables, it seemed like an ideal destination for us. Hence, on Friday morning, we weighed anchor and after only about two hours of sailing entered the River Paraguacu, with beautiful wooded hills on either side and such peace and tranquillity we had not yet experienced anywhere in Brazil.
And, guess what, some of the farmers still bring their produce to the Maragojipe market with their horses, mules and donkeys (though, no bullocks were to be seen)! All in all, it was a wonderful market with everything imaginable for sale. We spent hours and hours walking around the huge market area enjoying the exotic sounds and smells surrounding us.
In addition to a plump country chicken, chilli peppers, coriander, parsley, spring onions, flour, avocados, mangos, and papayas, we almost ended up buying a piglet, too. I thought he would have made such a lovely companion for Latte!