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On the left side of the Barra of Rio Preguišas, almost in front of Cabure, can be seen the 1,300 people settlement of Mandacaru, their inhabitants mostly living from fishing, subsistence husbandry and wine-palm straw artisanship.
The lighthouse exists since 1909 but the old iron structure was replaced by a new masonry one built in 1940, whose luminous beam reaches out about 18 nautical miles to guide seafarers.
The surrounding topography is exuberant and the best way of seeing it is escalating up the 160 steps the Preguišas Lighthouse - equivalent to a 14 floors building - right in the middle of the settlement. Prepare your camera because from there you will have the best view of the region being able to see simultaneously the mangrove, the river entrance bar (Barra), Atins, the National Park, Cabure, the Rio Preguišas estuary, the sea and the whole settlement with its stucco whitewashed and mud roofed houses.
The settlement was established over more than hundred years ago by the "red mangrove wood" extractors, a tree that, as the name indicates is native to the mangrove and that did furnish the red ink to dye the "fabrics", as were called the cloths with which the boat sails were then made. But its name really derives from the fact that the 'mandacaru', that in other parts is also known as cacti, was quite often present in the native vegetation at those times.
Mandacaru is that place that many of us has ever dreamed about, a refuge to live the rest of life in peace far from the maddening stressful things of modern life. Just look at the faces of each local dweller. and that reminds me . don't miss the chance of chatting with ZÚ Lico. Born in Mandacaru and the lighthouse caretaker he loves small talk and has many tales to tell. Afterwards drink coconut water at the Netinha's barrack right in front of the lighthouse entrance.