I'd read on the web that Recife had some wreck diving. One of them even sank after it was rammed by another boat because the captain was having an affair with the other captain's wife. So I found a company called Aquatico and they agreed to take me out Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The only accommodation I could find in central Recife was the Plaza Hotel at R$200 a night, which is twice as much as I've paid everywhere else. Still, I thought I could live it up for a bit.
So what did I get for my money. Well, it was 17 floors. Only one of the elevators was working. The other was being renovated although I never saw any signs of anyone working on it. Breakfast was on the 13th. Still it helped burn of the calories as the breakfast was pretty good. There was a very small swimming pool on the roof which was a welcome respite from the heat and I did have cable in my room. The view from the rooftop was nice:
It also had a lovely 1970s look decor:
But the best bit is this. Here's a picture of outside:
See the floors at the back? It looks like they're renovating them? They're not. They obviously never finished building them. There were 2-3 floors that had never been built.
Still it was a 10 minute walk from the dive shop and the diving was good. I did 4 wrecks, all sunk deliberately, sadly not rammed. Viz was 20+m, with lots of fish, sting rays, morays and nurse sharks.
Central Recife doesn't have a lot going for it. I didn't find anywhere you could sit outside and have a drink that wasn't a bit skanky.
The dive shop cancelled Monday's diving without a lot of notice. I presume they didn't get many takers. After the diving was over, I moved to Boa Viagem which is on the beach. It's a bit better than central Recife, but it's not exactly somewhere I'd choose to stay again.
There's a long beach, several miles long. Then there's a 3 lane road with everyone vastly exceeding the speed limit and then there are loads of apartment blocks. The trouble with it is that there appears to have been no planning. So there's no central area, nowhere with a few bars around a square, just bars and restaurants dotted around the place in random isolation. So there's no real atmosphere anywhere. If you need a farmacy, it's the place to go. They're everywhere. I have no idea why there are so many. It's also expensive. R$37 for a take away medium pizza is an outrageous price.
There's one place called the UK Pub. I had a look, obviously. It didn't look like any sort of pub I've ever been to. They also wanted R$12 entry, so I didn't go in as I only wanted a couple of beers. I just contented myself with looking at the frankly slightly weird outside.
On the last day there, I caught the bus to Olinda, another town which is now really a suburb of Recife. It has lots of colonial buildings which they've maintained and is a good day out. It's quite hilly though and it was stinking hot on the day I was there.