Natal had two modest museums are worth popping into. The Museu Café Filho (Rua da Conceição, Ribeira, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat., R$1) makes a big deal about the fact that its former inhabitant, João Fernandes Campos Café Filho, was once president of Brazil. In truth, the inept Natalense only lasted a year in power. He stepped in after Getúlio Vargas shot himself in 1954, and quickly stepped down again in early 1956, citing poor health. It is worth taking a quick spin through his elegant mansion.
The Museu Câmara Cascudo (Av. Hermes da Fonseca 1398, Tirol, tel. 84/3212-2795, 8–11 a.m. and 2–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8–10 a.m. Sat., R$3) provides an informative hands-on overview of Rio Grande do Norte’s social and natural history. Fun gimmicks include stepping into a typical fisherman’s shack and investigating a re-created salt mine.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition