After my adventure leaving Jericoacoara, and subsequent arrival in Natal, you can imagine my surprise when the taxi pulls up to my hotel and it’s a fully functional castle, complete with moat, English tavern and a witchy theme throughout.
The Lua Cheia (Full Moon) hostel is one of the best serviced hostels that I stayed at while in Brazil. All the rooms have crazy names of famous witches or dastardly doers-of-evil. My room was the “Sanitorium of Dr Ravengar” which certainly confused the heck out of the airport transfer organiser on the telephone when they asked me for my room number!
It was kitsch, but fun and it made for a great hostel experience. Staff were super friendly, and always dressed in some witchy garb. The place has plenty of spacious areas to socialise with the other guests, or find your own quiet nook for a spot of spellbook reading.
If the hostel wasn’t bewitching enough, then the true magic potion of Natal, must lie in its beaches. I was located in the suburb of Ponta Negra, which offers up a fantastic stretch of beach, all serviced by various ‘barracas’ or kiosks and freelance vendors. Want for nothing, with everything at your fingertips. Just kick back, relax and enjoy the service under the sun.
Part of Natal is set among the giant sand dunes, which makes it quite unique for a large metropolitan city and it’s a pretty backdrop to the city skyline.
The city, which name means Christmas in portuguese, has a year round giant Christmas Tree, complete with 3 wise men made out of lights.Just like the Lua Cheia, the city is one for kitsch. You’ll see many figurines of famous faces – rock musicians, local sports legends, presidents – adorning the entrances of a number of bars and restaurants, and there are definitely plenty of interesting spots to keep the occasional tourist busy.
I must admit that I don’t feel like spent enough time in Natal, and would really like to go back there to see what else the city has to offer.