14 July Salvador

Trip Start Jun 22, 2013
Trip End Aug 27, 2013

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Flag of Brazil  , Estado de Bahía,
Saturday, July 13, 2013

14 July Salvador

I was the first one awake this morning, so it was a shower before anyone else woke up, I got to the shower without falling over the bags that are strewn over the floor

I went to breakfast but didn't hold out much hope, they don't serve breakfast until 8 AM, and here it was 7; 15, but still may as well give it a try

They had some fruit laid out and a flask of coffee, so it was a start, the owner made a big performance, he had something special for us, eggs and sausages, sounded great until it arrived, it was scrambled egg and a split hot dog sausage in tomato sauce, and the other special was cheesecake, I had never had either for breakfast before, so I just got stuck in (I don’t think they have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day) it just seemed to be fruit, a few rolls and a kind of sponge cake, a very strange mixture for breakfast

I had laundry to sort out (along with everyone else) so we took a walk through the town square and found a bloke who was offering us a special deal , I am glad we got the special’ deal, I would hate to find out the normal price, but with clothes that really needed a wash, there was no other choice, there are no washing clothes facilities in the hostel (there isn’t a lot of room for anything come to that (1 shower/toilet for our room of 10, it’s a good thing we all get on okay)

The square was filling up as we came back, there are 4 churches surrounding this square, so if you get bored by the sermon from one, you can give the other a try, maybe

They seem to be pretty much the same, apart from the names and date built, but all seem a couple of hundred years old, with paintings on the walls, ceilings, and all on timber planks and well preserved, if a little dark and faded

There are streamers/flags stretched everywhere, when the wind blows it sounds like rain and as you can imagine when it does flutter and make a noise, our eyes go skyward

This afternoon we have our city tour, but it looks doubtful, but we are all hoping, so it’s a case of just wandering the square, killing time, a few go for ice cream, a few for fruit juice, I go for coffee

We met up at the hostel, our guide for this trip was Brazilian, but with very good English, he was going to tell us all about Salvador and how it came into being and why, so it looked to be interesting, so we all trooped out, there was a few drops of rain in the air, but it never seemed much so we went to the first church, it was a Franciscan church and had a Saint in a glass bottle and paintings on the walls and ceilings, they were just too dark to photograph, old but pretty much what you would expect to find in any church over Brazil, we came out and it was pouring, so it was a quick scoot over to the next church, we had a wander about, the weather didn’t look like it would be improving, some people had left, Mario and I called it quits as well, along with nearly everyone else (I can walk in the rain anytime) so it’s been promised to do it tomorrow if the weather is okay, (mmm, no promises)

We were going to some Jazz thing later tonight, I wasn’t sure what this was going to be, but as most others were going, I may as well, so it was just more walking around the square killing time

There are these big black women in very colourful dresses, I have no idea what or who they are supposed to be, but they keep on wanting their picture taken with anyone, then charge them for the privilege, they do seem to fill out these dresses and all seem to have big bums

There is the usual silver statue (a bloke all painted up,  that makes small kids jump when he moves, the non-contact Brazilian martial art is being  done all over the place by various groups, looks more like an acrobatic dance to me, I have never heard of a non contact martial art, what is the point?, there ice cream sellers pushing small mobile fridges around, flogging ice cream and ice lollies, beer sales are from various crates, just piled up

There seems to be another level to this place, the 'bad’ area is below and near the sea, it does look very run down, there are police and police cars on every corner so it seems, but they do seem rather ineffective, they all seem to be on the phone or have ear plugs in, they all have a pistol in a thigh holster, not ideal if you are trying to run after anyone, they all have a myriad of things hanging off their belts though, I can only assume that are static and don’t do much running

Still there are streets leading from the square we have been told not to venture down at any time of the day (crack is a real problem here and the addicts will take anything from you to sell, even the very clothes you wear) so it’s a no go area, a very bad situation when that happens in a city like Salvador,
I think the police should have a real clean up, at least it would improve the place and give tourists a better impression (even kids as young as 10 are addicted and they all seem to have a 'mad’ look in their eyes, we had 2 that were flaked out across from our hostel, they were there most of the day, then they just sort of crawled away)

It’s now time for our evening of Jazz, so we got a taxi, which just happens to go to the area we have been told not to venture, its where this jazz thing is happening, it costs us a couple of quid to get in, and we even get searched, the place is heaving, the band has started already, there are stools which most people to be keeping for friends who are arriving later, so we just kick our heels and look for any spare stools/seats, the band is playing, it doesn’t sound like any Jazz I have ever heard, it seems more ‘blues’ type to me, but still I don’t think it matters as not many people are listening to them and I don’t think anyone noticed when they stopped and changed bands, but the music never seemed to change

They would never get in the 100 club in London

After a couple of hours of this (it wasn’t, it just seemed like it) I decided it was time for a bit of dinner, so it was another taxi through the badlands and towards our hostel, there a couple of decent restaurants there, and I fancied this fish stew again (Peggy has promised to send me the recipe at some point) Mario and I got a taxi out of there and went uphill

I had my fish stew, so this is the end of another entry, sorry it’s not very exciting, but it just wasn’t an exciting day, just another wet one


Going back several hours now, when we went to the Samba show (our first day here)

One of the girls (Gemma) didn’t quite fancy it, so decided she was going back to the hostel and as I wasn’t really interest in it either, I said I would walk back with her, , just seemed the right thing to do, and as there was plenty of police around, it seemed pretty safe

As we were coming down the slope, I felt a shove in my back, I turned, but I was falling, I grabbed at this bloke who had grabbed at my neck, I had hold of him as we fell, I hit him a few times, but all he wanted to do was get away, his mate was pulling him, but I had hold of him, then I got a kick in the face, glasses went one way and I couldn’t see a thing, he got away,

I had my gold chain snatched, which really pissed me off as so many had tried and failed in the past,

I had come second this time, so it was a trip to the police station to get it reported, the police man looked worn out, I guess he had seen this so many times now, anyway he asked where, when, how many, what was taken, and wrote it all down, (even the police station was a depressing place, yellow walls, falling plaster and dim bulbs)

This morning I found out (Sunday) that both Naomi and Gemma had their bags and cameras snatch at some point on the way back from the jazz thingy, but are okay, just very pissed off, the stuff had no value to the snatchers, the cards were cancelled in less than a few moments, but Naomi had lost all her photos of her holiday, which is a real shame, Gemma just lost her bag with a few notes in it (I think)

It does seem to have been a muggers night out last night, I have heard of 7 people that had stuff snatched up to this point

I think people are looking forward to leaving Salvador now, after the things that have happened now, it has put a bit of a damper on things and there is a bit of depression setting in now, Naomi was talking about cutting things short and going home, but she is meeting her Mum at the end of the trip, so maybe she won’t leave, but there is a never ending queue at the police station now,

There is a lot of talk from the girls about not feeling safe in this place, they are just in the dorm or  going round in groups, and not taking anything with them (I havent taken my big camera out here, I'd like to keep it)

I think it will be an early night for most and not visiting the bars tonight

I think that things might come to a head at some point here, they can’t have a cop on every corner (or can they?) but if things don’t change, it will disappear off the tourist radar (It has gone from my list of places to revisit)

Oh, well it’s a bush camp or campsite when we leave here, and these seem a lot safer than the towns, at least we know what to expect and get in them

I went to the truck today and dried out my tent, never had chance before, but I am glad it never had any mould on it and didnt smell, and it only takes an hour or so for it to dry

While I was doing this, Collin dropped by, he had a report the truck was open, but he was releived it was just me

I swept out the truck while I was there, seemed a good idea, but drew the line at washing oit out, threw out some mouldy fruit that someone had left on there (WHY ?)

That's it now, so if the rain holds off we might get our city tour in today
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You cannot take a trick. Salvador is definitely on my list of places to avoid.South America in general has always had that air of mystery and appeal but it is rapidly losing it after your tales of woe. I would only run tours to the tourist high spots if zi were to venture into that continent my passengers safety and well being is more important but thats just me I am old and old fashioned extremely conservative and safe dont need the hassles. The weather would drive me nuts and wet clothes, tents and washing ...no thanks. Your crew are doing a marvellous job under the circumstances but exploratory trips...no not a good idea.

greekcypriot on

I would not have carried along any gold chains or anything precious on this trip Derrick. A place to avoid for sure.
Gemma should consider herself lucky that you accompanied her back to the hostel even if she lost her bag. Things could have got much worse than losing her bag. But losing the camera and the photos is the worst of all I guess.
I only lost my camera's cover on my last trip with cards with my name on and I was expecting that the person who finds it to call and return it to me....but no luck! This was enough to spoil the rest of the days.

anne on

giad to say that you are ok
I will be glad when you are out of there i see there has been alot of talk
about that place you are staying
the pictures are nice and you did enjoy you fish

rossport on

Struth Del you were lucky it was only the gold chain could of been worse, the trip so far has been good and i bet that fish sup was tops.

I always back up my photo's for the day so that if i lost a card or camera the only thing i would have lost was the days shots so not so bad.

Hope the next part of the trip is going to be drier and was that the tent you bought in OZ.

derrick241 on

I am really annoyed at losing the chain, it was a 40th birthday present and even more annoyed at my self for letting it happen, I am normally aware of what is happening around me, but as they say, a mugger only has to be lucky once, I have to be lucky all the time

I guesss seeing the police all about I dropped my guard down, wont happen again though

The tent is lighter and smaller than my one I got in Australia, but its still holding up well

IanC on

Sounds a bit grim Derrick and sorry to hear the trouble.

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