Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000Back Home Next
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 12:51 PM
Subject: Mar. 28-29, 2000: Porto de Galinhas, Brazil
Current Date/Location: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 in Fortaleza.
Current Itinerary: Jericoacoara then Canoa Quebrada...then who knows...hmmm...Recife sounds nice this time of year...
March 28, 2000 (Tue):
I woke at the albergue in Recife...went to use the internet for a couple of hours...then checked out of my Albergue and headed to Porto de Galinhas (Port of Chickens).
I had heard that Porto de Galinhas was a lovely beach town...so I figured I would giveLuciana a couple of days to focus on work...and I headed out of Recife. I have to keep the pretense of being a tourist, eh? I wouldn't
want her to think I've fallen for her and want to spend ALL of my time with her, eh? So, I'm maintaining my quiet, calm, cool, reserved, slightly aloof exterior that I always have...yeah, right! Anyway, Luciana had told me that
it was called Port of Chickens because it was an alternate port that had been used for importation of slaves into Brazil (after slavery was made illegal)...and since they couldn´t be called slaves on the ship´s manifest, they were referred to as chickens...an ignoble start to a lovely village.
I was going to take the bus from Recife to Porto de Galinhas...but the next one would go in about 2 hours...one of the locals suggested that I take one of the private vans that goes in that direction...I hopped in the next one going. It was not direct...infact, I would end up taking 4 different vans...but they all knew what they were doing, and they ended up passing me along from van to van like a baton in a relay-race. I ended up making very good time and saving 70 centavos off the regular bus fare...cool, eh???
Arrived into Porto de Galinhas and walked around town (it didn't take long)...it is indeed a small town that is nevertheless geared towards tourists. Stopped at the tourist office...got a map (of the small town that doesn't need a map). The area is famous for natural pools of water that are exposed when the tide is out (water is ow)...unfortunately, the tides for the next few days were not going to be very low...cést la vie. I was
looking forward to reading, and enjoying the area...a simple visit.
I read for a long time...then, that night I watched the first qualifying game for the 2002 World Cup...Brazil vs. Columbia (in Columbia)...needless to say, it was a huge game and all of Brazil stopped to watch it (it was at
2245 at night...so much of Brazil was stopped anyway...)...it ended as a tie 0-0...cést la vie...
Read some more of my book...and went to sleep.
March 29, 2000 (Wed):
Woke...about 10am...walked around the town...and then decided to flop on the beach. I continued reading Gore Vidal´s Creation while roasting like a lobster on the beach...then moved from the sand to a beach chair and
umbrella...and surf-side service...needless to say, I drank 4 coconuts...ahhhh...good day at the beach.
I was really enjoying the solitude...I read the National Geographic I had bought...it had a great article on Ancient Greece...and the rule of lexander the Great. I love it, the books I have been reading (Sophie´s World (well, the half I read before I lost it) and Creation) both talk of philosophy and Ancient Greece...cool how these books and articles are interrelated...eh?
That night, I went out and walked along the beach. I sat down to read, a dog came up and I petted it (strange how an simple act of kindness can affect me...but a dog coming up to be petted makes me smile greatly...)...Got somewhat philosophic and wrote down some questions in my pocket Travel Journal that I hoped to learn the answers to...since then, I have looked in Hawkings/Brief History of Time and in Sagan's/Cosmos and have some of the answers now...others, even with the answers infront of me...the comprehension of the concept eludes me...if you can help...please do so...I figure if I had these questions...maybe others do as well:
DOUG QUESTION: Velocity exists independent of whenther something travels in the light or dard...so why can't objects exceed the speed of light? I agree...seeing things at the speed of light might be funny...but the speed
of light doesn't matter in the dark, does it??? And why would the velocity of a PHYSICAL object have any relationship to the speed of light??? PARTIAL ANSWER: The official answer is that mass increases as you get closer to the speed of light...something would become infinitely massive as it approaches the speed of light, thus making it impossible to exceed the speed of light...but I still don't understand this explanation...any of my smart rocket-scientist friends out there want to explain this one to me in terms I can understand??? (Hmmm...Kurt, you come to mind...didn't you once say, "I know everything...I took Physics!!!" As you know, so did I...and I don't
really know the answer to this.) ...info from everyone would be welcome.
DOUG QUESTION: Is the speed of light constant at 186000 Miles/Sec...does the speed increase if it is reflected/emitted off a moving object? OFFICIAL ANSWER: Speed of light is constant...reflected/emitted or not...it does not exceed 186,000 miles/second...I think I understand this one now...I think...
DOUG QUESTION: Hmmmm...I still have never gotten my arms around the concept of the Universe. I have always thought it was everything...absolutely everything that exists. However, scientists say that the universe is
expanding since the big bang...but the question remains...how could everything (the Universe) expand into more??? Into What??? Hmmmm...isn't it better to say that the Known Universe seems to be expanding into the
Unknown parts of the Universe??? Hmmmm...maybe the space/universe around us only seems to be expanding...but it is maybe moving from one side to another...to use a basic analogy, maybe we are looking at the Universe when
it is rising towards high tide...and we have never seen it in low tide...maybe it is not expanding...just shifting in a way that we can not observe...
I pose these questions in the same manner that I like the quote from Sophie's World about Darwin:
"Darwin was a caution man. He posed questions long before he ventured to answer them. In that sense he used the same method as all true philosophers: it is important to ask but there is no haste to provide the answer." I like this philosophy! ...info from my friends would be welcome. The only way we learn is to acknowledge that we don't know something...then seek that knowledge.
After my somewhat philosophic interlude sitting on the beach looking at the surf and stars, I got up and watched some locals practice capoeira on the beach...it was very cool. In Brazil, capoeira started as a way slaves could
exercise and practice martial arts...but since practicing fighting was prohibited by slave-owners...capoeira disguises it's fighting techniques in a form of dance...you can't have capoeira without music...it is very cool, and lots of people (mainly men) like to learn and practice it.
I returned to the the hotel, continued to read Creation for quite awhile...here are some of my favorite quotes:
"I am digressing. This is a habit of old men." ..."On the other hand, I never expected to live long enough to be old."
"I have made it a policy never to show distress when insulted by barbarians."
"The descent into Hades is the same no matter where or when you start."
"...the most agreeable and useful eunuchs are Babylonian. Each year five hundred Babylonian youths joyously undergo castration in order to serve in the harems of the Great King and his nobles. By and large, these boys are
uncommonly intelligent; they are also uncommonly ambitious."
DOUG NOTE - It is truly a sad anology I think to today's business world...many able,
ambitious people undergo self-castration (in a metaphoric sense ofcourse) in their jobs and at work. This seems to help them advance for awhile...but I think one needs to remember...A eunuch is suited to wield some power...but
will never be allowed to be King. In retrospect, I am sure that at times I was one of these workers...but, like everyone, we can not change the past...but can be onguard and aware of how we proceed into the future.
"I soon realized that the secret of power - or in this case magic - resides not in its exercise but in its aura." ..."Although she would ascribe this to witchcraft, I suspect that she is simply more intelligent than most people -
the ultimate magic."
"Physically, human variety is quite as startling as is the sameness of human character."
"...it is the essence of statecraft to know when to do nothing at all."
That's enough for now. It had been a nice peaceful time in Porto de Galinhas...goodnight.