When you visit a new place, do you ever wonder why it’s called that?! Porto de Galinhas literally means Chicken’s Port. But why?
Back in the 17th century countries all over the world started abolishing slavery. Sadly, Brazil was the last country forbidding it completely with the implementation of the Aurea Law in May 1888. However this only gave them reasons to do it clandestinely, selling slaves for higher prices. The slaves were then hidden under the chicken cages in the ships traveling from Africa and arriving here. This area was not very well known at this time which made this practice easy to get away with. The password “there are new chickens at the port” would indicate slaves arrived for sale. This was what gave the name to this town: Porto de Galinhas.
But the reason that brought me here goes beyond history. It is the beach with the warm blue waters and pools within the sea full of little fish that I have been looking forward to visit.
Porto de Galinhas is 1 hour drive from Recife. As soon as we parked the car, a man was already persuading us to follow him to his cousin’s hut and rent his chairs at the beach… we followed him. The beach itself is full of vendors and little huts that serve you food in the comfort of your rented chair while you soak in the sun and observe the sea. While we waited for the perfect tide to visit the pools with little fish, we ordered some food and coconut water!
When the right time came, one of the guys from the food hut walked us to another of his cousin’s business’ and for as little as R$20 (3.80£) per person, his cousin then drove us in his jangada, a wood raft, to the main sea pool – one that has the shape of the map of Brazil.
The jangada guy gave us a handful of fish food and snorkeling masks and the next 30 minutes were spent swimming and taking thousands of fish selfies!
These small creatures are full of energy. Whenever I dropped food in the water I was their best friend and they would stick around me for a while. I didn’t think they were really painfully biting, but often they would think I was food too and occasionally they would get sort of stuck in my long hair, which resulted in a few hair pulls. More over, the whole experience was magic!
Porto de Galinhas is a place I would easily go back over and over again. The water is so warm that I would stay in until my fingers, toes, nose (if that is even possible) started pruning, but I left with my heart bursting with joy.