Salvador Dali, well Salvador Bahai actually

Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
Trip End Nov 20, 2007

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 28.   14 November 2007 (Salvador, Brazil)
We start our day thinking we've made a mistake booking an excursion (walking tour) when we could have easily done it on our own.  The excursion turns out to be really great and covers plenty of ground in a few hours.  No wasted time on this tour - only complaint is that we visit another 3 churches (totally churched out!!). 
When the tour is over, we feel like we've seen enough and take plenty of photos, so we can relax and hunt out some local food.  We first go to a large Mercado by the waterfront.  At the entrance there are Capoiero?? dancers.  We look around the market for a while, then find a restaurant at the top level that looks out to the marina.  A lovely girl serves us and we all struggle through the order - no problem ordering Skol beer though.  We find ourselves sitting next to some Aussies from Melbourne who are also on the ship.  Pete has seen him before several times but we haven't met them before.  We chat through lunch.  Our meals turn up and looks like a great feast.  We were lucky, their meals ended up being a plate of fries and a mound of something that looked and tasted like breadcrumbs??
After lunch we wander through the market again, make some purchases then head out to take the Lercada up to the old town.  The Lercada is an amazing elevator/lift that has four lift cars taking people between the lower and upper levels of Salvador and costs the amazing sum of 5 reas.  Couldn't find any lithium batteries so bought some Duracels for my camera and hope Al's will last for the two days of Rio.
Wander back on to the ship just after 4 and sail before 5 as tide is on way out and ship is in peril of being left sitting on the bottom of the port of Salvador and us with it if we don't leave quickly.  Captain advises us as we depart that we will be averaging over 24 knots to reach Rio by 2am on Friday morning.  Not sure about the time thing but we were in Lisbon very early as well.  Suppose it's to do with getting us all off and the lucky newbies on.  Once we're clear of the harbour Captain K is true to his word and the Rotterdam is soon going very fast.  I love it, the ship feels alive when it is going fast.  It's been asleep for over three weeks!
Al has a dinner tray dropped beside him that results in the garlicy and oily juices from tonight's escargot spraying all over his back.  It happened just as Ketut our area supervisor was telling us about filling in the guest comment cards and if we'd had good service to make mention of it.  The look on his face was priceless.  Sue also got some on her clothes.  K offered to get the jacket dry cleaned but it was formal night and we were in our rented tuxes so they can clean it themselves. 
Al isn't feeling too great so goes to bed but I head first to a forgettable cast show and then to the Crows Nest to have a dance with Irene and Sue.  Was joined by two of the activities staff girls.  Bit of fun, the activities girls commented that they hadn't seen me up there but it was hardly a fun place to go when there was only ever activities staff and maybe half a dozen passengers.  Lose an hour tonight as we move our watches to Rio time.  Gunna feel that in the morning!
Great day, Salvador is our new favourite place. 
Day 29.   15 November 2007 (At Sea)
I woke up feeling a bit worse for wear but Al was fine.  Go to the disembarkation lecture where we're told what I heard the day before Lisbon.  Big difference between HAL and Celebrity is we can wait in our rooms until our code is called instead of sitting in a lounge like we did on Celebrity. 
Got most of the packing done before we headed to lunch in the Pinnacle Grill.  Really wasn't that special.  Maybe we should have gone one night as well as our Sommelier Dinner, as most of the comments we've heard have been that it was very good.  At least my steak was medium rare (at last).  Al very underwhelmed to say the least! 
Finished the pack, completed our guest comment forms - both of us made a point to say that 'marriage' isn't the only relationship people can be in and spouse the only person you can be travelling with other than friend or business partner!  This would apply to far more straight unmarried couples on board than the few gay couples we've seen.

This isn't the only occasion that this lack of recognition/understanding of same sex relationships has reared its ugly head and sadly Susan and the activities staff were the worst offenders.  Even the Captain was more enlightened, agreeing to dance with Tom at the Black and White Ball (?? Whatever the night was, you could ask an officer to dance with you).
Tried to win the snowball bingo but was three numbers short when they reached 50 balls.  We'll have another go at 10.30 tonight when it must go off and will be over $3000.  Would cover our bar bill at least (just kidding mum)!
I'll get this uploaded now.  Next and final update when we get home and then we'll get the pictures and videos uploaded.  Hope you're all enjoying our holiday.  We sure have been having a fantastic time.
Ciao Ciao

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margotcu on

Can't wait to see you both!
Hi Al and Pete,

I've thoroughly enjoyed your travel blog detailing all your adventures. I hope you enjoy the rest of your fantastic holiday and I can't wait to see you both again!

Good luck getting through customs with all your 'treasures' and I sincerely hope that none are confiscated, because you are returning from the two areas specifically mentioned on the OZ incoming passenger card, ie. Africa and South America.

Lots of love,

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