Carnival!!!

Trip Start Feb 04, 2007
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2
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Trip End May 26, 2007


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Flag of Brazil  ,
Saturday, February 17, 2007

FYI, I know the pin in the map says Brasilia (the capital of Brazil), but we are in Salvador.

My first official entry on the road!!!  Currently I'm writing from Salvador do Bahia, Brazil.  Shan, Joe and my sister Samantha are here, arriving safely and in high spirits.  Carnival is in full effect here.  It's like no party I've ever seen in my entire life, rivals include the full moon party in Thailand and the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, but really in a league of it's own. 

It is estimated that there are two million people in the streets at any given moment.  I would say that's a gross underestimate.  We are staying at a condo on the main beach, Farrol da Barra (pronounced baha), looking straight down on the main drag.  Mom, you would be proud, waves are beautiful and in between the 'blocos' rolling by, you can actually hear them

The way carnival works is a loose system of organized chaos.  Around 7 pm, the 'blocos electricos' line up just behind the building we are in.  Each bloco is a huge stage set upon an 18 wheeler.  They slowly creep down the main drags for about 3-4 kms.  The blocos are surrounded by security guards, holding arms and a rope that totally encompasses the people inside that particular bloco.  The rope is about 50 feet wide and about 4 football fields long!  Inside, there are tens of thousands of dancing fans!  Unlike Rio, carnival here is a participatory event, not a spectator sport.

Before Salvador, also referred to as Bahia, Joe and I were in Fortaleza, a Miami-esque city with one claim to fame.  "The best Monday night on the planet," though self proclaimed, I can't disagree.  Like Salvador, Fortaleza is a coastal city, with african-americans making up about 80% of the general population.  Tourists in cities like this tend to attract more Brazilian toursits than white westerners.  So far, being in Brazil for about 2 weeks, I've met 4 americans, all from California. 

While in Fortaleza, we took advantage of the white sand beaches, specifically, Praia (beach) do Futuro.  I thought coming to the coast after the Amazon, I may get sick of going from beach to beach, another shitty day in paradise, not possible, not possible. 

Pre-Fortaleza, I was in the Amazon.  2-meter-wide water lillys, baby alligators, snakes, tarantulas the size of a small bear and countless beautiful tours of the Rio Negro.  A beautiful jet black arm of the Amazon.  We stayed two nights in a floating hotel, one night sleeping on a white sand beach (on a river, wierd) and one night deep, deep in the bush. 

Brazil in general has seriously exceeded my expectations which were already sky high.  The food is good, the fruit is better, the people are super passionate about everything and very sexy.  With passion running high on all fronts, I experienced it first hand when I bumped into a guy my age holding various beers, causing him to drop them.  He picked the unopened cans of Skol beer up and got right in my face, clearly an eager invitation to fight.  Not being the fighting type, I walked away with Shan (6'5" 250lbs), ignoring the guy.  About 4 seconds later, out of nowhere, his fearless buddy, with a running start punched me square in the side of the face.  Mom, Dad, I'm fine, but I had to tell the story.   A little shiner for Carnival.

I love you all and miss you!  I wish you could all see what's going on.  Here are some photos!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, TODAY IS MICHAEL JORDAN'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!

MY MAIN MAN!

love
michael
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Comments

danlitvin
danlitvin on

Nice!
Dude I'm really happy for you. I've always admired your love of and exuberance for travel. Lust for life. I'm sorry to hear you got decked. That's how they roll in Brazil. Don't forget to visit la estacion de ferrrrocarrril!

By the way, that naked villager was hot. Did you cop a feel?

handdoc
handdoc on

THE DUDE ABIDES!
Sounds like a kick ass time so far. I'm definitely jealous but am very happy for you. Keep sending the travel pods, they are my way of living vicariously through your travels. Say hi to Joe for me.

arortho
arortho on

Brasil
Sounds like you're having a grand time. I can relate to it somewhat having been in Rio during Caranaval. BUT I was also there before CArnaval AND before I got married 3 times...I doubt that things have changed significantly...there was a reason I went back over and over....party on !}Love, Dad\

partymarty
partymarty on

Todo Bom!
Wassup Mike!! Allan and I both got punched by a drunk Brazillian too when we were there! Stay away from anyone who knows Juijitsui... I think Puerto Seguro carnival goes for 2 weeks if you haven't had enough yet.
Keep flying the flag buddy!

suzieroth
suzieroth on

carnivale!!
i love hearing about your adventures! keep the photos and posts coming -- we'll be living vicariously over here at SRD...
love, suzie

arortho
arortho on

FEIJOADA
Not that it's so good, but it is THE NATIONAL DISH DO BRASIL...you need to try it once....look for the pig's nostril in the stew and the hairs on it...don't be afraid of it, it won't bite you !!
Love, Dad

P.S. stay away from little kids carrying guns(they're real !!)

shantheman
shantheman on

I can't believe I'm back at work...
I'm ready to get back after it in Brazil!! An amazing trip with my great friends. Let's meet up in Chile!

s_daam
s_daam on

Hola, nene! Donde andas, hijo?
Where are you now, Phileas Fog? I heard you are having the time of your life! Me parece muy bien! Escribeme, golfo, que te vas por alli y te olvidas de los pobres!! Besitos
Sabrine

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