Pikey Paradise Island

Trip Start Aug 16, 2005
Trip End Apr 14, 2006

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Flag of Brazil  , Bahia,
Friday, August 26, 2005

Arrived in Morro de Sau Paulo, a tourist village on the island of Tinhare, after a 6-hour overnight bus, 3 hour wait at the port and 2 hour choppy queasy boat trip. Very gruelling. But worth it all when we arrived. It´s all so quaint it doesn´t seem real. If disney (or Butlins!?) were going to do a tropical beach resort themed world it would be based on this village. There are no motorised vehicles on the island (apart from the odd tractor which doubles as the local bus) and the main form of transport is the humble wheel barrow. They have ´Taxi´ painted across the side and we got one to our guesthouse, unfortunately they only take your luggage. They are pushed up and down the steep sandy streets by muscley young men (much to angie´s delight) and they seem to take pride in who can pile the most huge suitcases and rucksacks into their ´barrow.

The village has a string of 4 perfect-looking white sand beaches (unfortunatley as you wade out most of them were covered with razor sharp rocks which made bathing less appealing that it first seemed) lined with palm trees, guest houses and bars. It´s all very lovely, but very very touristy. It slips over into ´pikey paradise isle´, according to Darren, who took great delight in pointing out all the pikeyness that he spotted (there are a surprisingly number of pregnant young ladies, tattoos and babies with pierced ears!). As our tans are coming on nicely we thought we´d try and blend in a little more and got a tattoo each. They really hurt... our wallets! Don´t worry Mum - they´re only henna. Photo of both our designs coming soon.

At night from our guesthouse room balcony overlooking the third beach, we can see a glow on the horizon which is Salvador. Brings it all home how little of the distance to Rio we have travelled and how far we have to go. We´re not finding bus travel as easy as we thought!

The town came alive at night with live music in the main square, market stalls, pretty twinkly lights all around, illuminated trees and alcoholic cocktails for sale from numerous tiny stalls all bedecked with a dazzling array of exotic fruit. You can choose your fruit and watch your nutritious cocktail being blended infront of you.

On Friday night I (Darren) went off in search of a club on top of the hill above town. After a 45 mins walk I found the venue which was a beautiful open air theatre with terrace seating but I was the only English person there, the doorman told me there had been an English girl there last week!. The DJ (Jane) was so bad at mixing that she would have made me look like a competent DJ! But she did a good job in getting the crowd dancing and the music was a blend of house and Brazilian style dance tunes with live percussion. I gave her a few Positive stickers and then stuck a load on the people dancing, fortunatley they didn´t seem to mind and I´d had a few beers by this point so felt quite bold.

There was also a Zip-Line descending from the lighthouse onto the first beach and we both decided that we would give it a go. It was at least 80 meters high and about 300 metres long. Darren made Angie go first, being the gentleman that he is (and also to ensure she didn´t chicken out), and she jumped off at full scream and splashed down into the sea a minute later. It had great views over the island and we can´t wait to try another one soon.

On our last evening we decided to walk across the island to find a waterfall and watch the sunset over the mangroves. This took us well off the beaten path and we saw a more real side to the island. There are meant to be birds of paradise on the island but we didn´t see any. However we did see large birds of prey, lots of lizards scuttling around, and a couple of huge (thankfully expired) millipedes. From the centre of the island there were views over miles of forest stretching to the horizon in ever fading colours. As we finally neared a juntion of many paths near the waterfall, we checked our woefully inadequate ´tourist map´ which didn´t help at all, and spent half an hour investigating promising-looking paths to try and find the waterfall. All the while the sun was going down and down and we could hear the sound of rushing water, somewhere... in the end we had to give up - our second aborted waterfall mission!

We walked to a point high on a rock overlooking the bay and caught the beautiful sunset while eating our sandwiches - just as the mosquitos were coming out for breakfast! Didn´t hang around too long, and started off again to find a shorter way back to the village. Thankfully, we chose what seemed the best path out of there and were soon seeing signs of life. Lots of little lives infact, as we were suddenly surrounded by a big gang of friendly smiley shouting running children. We made friends (perhaps a bit too desperately) with Marcos and asked him the way home. The kids here on the whole have better English than the adults as English is now being taught as part of the national curriculum. As we walked with Marcos we passed through an area of local´s homes which was totally different to the picturesque tourist area where we were staying. We doubt if many tourists had ever seen this side of the island.

We were quite sad to leave the island after 3 nights, but on our last morning it was drizzly and grey so it wasn´t so hard. Continuing our journey south - next stop Ilheus.

Photos soon...
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