Saturday, March 26, 2011

The little Island

Itaparica is a little island of 240 square km. We are anchored on the north western side of the island, the older part. The eastern side of the island is filled with beautiful resorts, like Club Med, and are much more touristy. The streets are filled with ice cream colored tiled little buildings, and every here and there a little shop, selling fruit or beer or bread.
We met Natalie, Robyn’s daughter who fell in love with her Brazilian friend, Daniel, and together they run a guest house and she is a chocolatier. We stepped into her world, where they live in Daniel’s grandfather’s house. This house belongs to almost one hundred owners. Every brother and sister with their children and their children owns a piece. This complicates buying in Brazil. If you can get hold of all the owners to sign off the property, you hand over the money, the property is yours! They don’t use any attorneys. You go then directly to the registrar for transfering the property in your name.

Anyway, we met Natalie at this house on this huge piece of land with a forest for a garden and two fresh water wells, and tortoises swimming in it, and marmosets monkeys sitting high up in the trees looking down at us. She gave us a guided tour, showing us how she makes her chocolate truffles. The cocoa fruit are growing from the stem of the tree, and when it turns yellow, they take it down and smashed it open to reveal pips covered with litchi like flesh, and it also taste a bit like litchi. They clean the pips and soak it in water for some time, until they start to smell horrible. Then she de-shell them and dry them in the sun and then she roast them in a round little thingy until they are dark brown. These roasted nuts smell delicious! She puts it through a little mill and mixes it with milk, water and sugar in a big mixer, until she is happy with her soft chocolate. Natalie molds her final product, and fill the truffles with pecan nuts or passion fruit etc.

Joe and Marco are constantly visiting Daniel, and together they play shooting games on their computers! Funny how technology brings together people, from the age of 10 to the age of 26!

We found a good stall for fresh fruit and veggies, and a super Mercado, with the name: For poor Bastardsand we decided this is the place for us. It is about a kilometer walk, which is ok, and only gets tough when you have to carry all the shopping and coconuts and watermelons back to the dinghy.

Marco couldn’t wait for a coconut, and not succeeding in climbing a tree yet, we talked him into buying one! What a mission, to try and open those things, and then poor Marco was so disappointed because they are not sweet!

Ps. I found post cards and mailed a couple. Cost me about R10 each. So watch your mailbox!

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