Africa in Exile
Trip Start Jun 16, 2007
41Trip End Nov 13, 2007
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The flight from Rio to Salvador only took 2 hours, but we straight away noticed the differences, white sand beaches, blue sea, palm trees and an african ambience. We stayed in the Barra district, a residential area, amongst restaraunts and bars and only a few minutes from the beach.
On our first day we headed to the historic center which is centered around the Pelorihno (whipping post). Apparently over 5 million African slaves were once shipped to Salvador to work in the sugar cane plantations and the old mercado building where slaves were auctioned still stands. We walked the old cobbled streets and visited various landmarks. It is impossible to walk through Salvador whithout witnessing shows of Capoeira - a martial art of Angolan decent which was practiced by slaves to fight their captors. This intimidated slave owners and was banned but the practice continued underground and is still practised today - we were even offered some lessons. Unfortunately we were strongly advised by our hostel owner not to take a camera into the city as it would be stolen. This later appeared to be overly cautious as the area was heavily policed and we missed lots of great photo opportunities....
After spending time in the centre and a day on the beach where we got lots of hassle from sellers (chairs, beers, foot washing, massages, necklaces etc etc) we decided to head to the island of Tinchare, 2 hours from Salvador by catarmaran, and were undeterred by rumours of very rough seas.......