Salvador for the last time...

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hostel Galeria 13 Salvador
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Brazil  , State of Bahia,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I was back in Salvador and wanted to keep a positive outlook on the place despite being robbed the week before and having a crappy New Years Eve.  I strolled back through the commercial district, back up the elevator, through Pelo, over the sleeping bum and back into Galeria 13 where Paulo (the owner, who actually worked at the Beachcomber in St. Kilda for a few years btw) greeted me and showed me to my new top bunk, grrrr.  I dumped everything and practically sprinted up to Zulu for a much needed feed.  I filled my belly and went back for a siesta.  Then ate again at Munich for some more awesome German food.

Every Tuesday night the people of Salvador pour out onto the streets to play drums, dance, drink and watch capoera shows.  I met an English guy who knew of a few key spots to check out, so I tagged a long. 

Things felt a lot safer out at night with so many people around so I decided against taking the pepper spray.  We were heading deep into the labyrinth of Pelo, wherer you wouldn't normally walk around at night, but the hoards of people around kept things under control.  We got to where we were headed, a makeshift bar looking place with a live act blaring Aftro/Brazilian beats.  We attempted to squeeze through the crowd which was near impossible.  We were making very little progress and I kept my guard up, remaining conscious of any sus activity around my pockets where my wallet was, but it was at that point where I felt my pocket to check everything was secure that I realised it was gone.  I then realised that I forgot to take all my money out, so I figure I'd just lost close to R$100.  I told the guy I was with what had happened and he checked his pockets, also now empty, though he had a stash of cash somewhere more intimate still.  We decided to get the hell outta there, though, what else could they go for?  As we turned back and started making our way out, someone grabbed my watch and tried to break it off my wrist.  It was like we were pieces of steak floating in a pool of piranhas just getting devoured.  When we finally reached the outskirts of the crowd the guy I was told me he got his watch stolen.  He saw the guy do it, and in Portuguese said, 'It is worth $R2 you moron.' But it got taken anyway.

My tolerance was wearing thin, in fact I was pissed off and just couldn't enjoy myself anymore.  I decided to head back to the hostel and call it a night, but I was convinced to just go up to Zulu for a few beers and just relax, so thats what we did.  It was impossible to go anywhere with any cash as it would just get commandeered.  It is such a shame as the City is actually really beautiful, the climate is just perfect, with a constant breeze all day and all night off the ocean.  But it is completely ruined by the crime.  You just can't go out, let your hair down and enjoy yourself.  You can't even go out to a local bar and grab a few beers. 

The following day I was glad to be leaving and I could only hope that Rio would live up to what people had told me.  My flight was out of Salvador at about 6pm so I still had a day to kill and I was determined not to be miserable.  The breakfast at the hostel helped, I smashed a few coffees and gorged on the food then headed out to check out the markets in the commercial district.  It was exactly what I needed, just a day by myself to wander at my own pace and just be a tourist, in a touristy place.  The market is actually pretty awesome with some unique and original stuff.  I ended up buying this small bottle of cachaca with a red sea crab in it...this will have to be mailed home.  The cachaca tastes like arse but it will look cool on display.

Later on I went for a wander through the old town which I hadn't had a chance to do properly so after making it back to the hostel in time before they took the coffee away and picking up my camera I set out, and spent the rest of the day taking some beautiful pictures of a city over run by petty thieves.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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