Bangin' Bahia

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
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Trip End Jun 24, 2010


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Flag of Brazil  , Bahia,
Saturday, January 2, 2010

We weren't sure what to expect from Salvador as we had heard a lot of mixed reviews. We certainly were not prepared for how much we would fall in love with the place. We were excited to be back on the road after our uber-relaxation period in Pipa and were eager to get our first experience of a proper Brazillian city.

In Salvador it's less about seeing the sights and more of just soaking up the atmophere. The streets are full of colourful, crumbling colonial houses dotted along the craggy cobblestones. It's incredible how so many dilapidated buildings can retain so much of their grandeur. As we walked around we were instantly caught up in the vibe. Every other house seemed to be an art exhibition, women were dressed in full Bahian costume selling thier traditional food and men practised capoiera in the street . Everywhere we went, the smell of shrimp and the sound of drums seemed to follow.

Next door to our hostel was the most amazing junk shop with all kinds of memoribilia, we spent ages rooting through it all and forcing ourselves to not buy anything. We can't fit another thing in our packs! One other cool thing about Salvador is the Bon Fim church, it is supposed to be a place that makes miracles come true and people send all kinds of items as a thank you to the church. We didn't get to visit but people in the street give out Bon Fim ribbons, they symbolise the church  and the superstition is that you tie them around your wrist using three knots and make a wish. Then you wait until the ribbon falls off naturally and that is when your wish will be granted. You cannot buy a ribbon, you can only accept one as a gift. I have one that Tim gave me but it is around my ankle, which is not strictly correct. We will have to wait and see whether or not the wish comes true.

One afternoon we randomly wandered into a small church to find the inside decked out in exquisite gold from floor to ceiling. We took an earbashing for taking a photo so you should all feel privileged :) In the evening we ate in the street near our hostel, there was only chicken or meat on the menu and the food was superb, we are still not entirely sure what was in the dish but we opted for the chicken!

The next day we found our way to the market, tried some more weird food (a kind of sweet jelly made of flour). We checked out the Afro-Brazilian museum and learned a lot about the slave trade and the African culture in Brazil. In the evening there was the weekly tuesday night street party and we headed off with some others from our hostel. The place was crazy packed and the music was amazing with lots of different groups playing in the streets, we were mesmerised by one guy who kept throwing his huge drum above his head as he danced around.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Salvador as the clock was ticking and Rio was calling to us...
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