O Pais Tropical

Trip Start Feb 24, 2010
Trip End Dec 12, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Brazil  , State of Bahia,
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time flies here in Salvador. We are so used to living here with the ICBIE population and "working" with them that we find it incredible to think we have already spent a month here. In between our jobs (which consist in faking graphic designer skills, putting up a website and drawing a few flayers..) we also got to go around the city and to the wonderful beaches around Salvador.
We went to São Joaquim market, which basically is a village of stalls selling anything, from food to candombleī statues, herbs, voodoo dolls and so on. To get lost in there is quite an experience and even if it didnīt have the unbeatable Bolivian Llamaīs fetuses on display, your stomach can still get cramps with the mixed smell of fish and raw meat. A must see.
We also went to the more touristic Mercado Modelo, where we realised we now are completely fed up with shopping and haggling with sellers, and after a couple of hours we were absolutely wrecked.
But now that the shopping is done we can enjoy the best part of Salvador... the beaches.
The most famous of these are the ones on the north coast, where Atlantic waves crash onto endless stretches of white sand, scattered with super-tall coconut trees and you feel like being in that tropical paradise you have always imagined. One of these is called Arembepe and it is also famous for its Aldeia Hippie. Itīs like a village on the beach, between the sea and a fresh water river, that exists since the late 60s, and people like Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger used to live there. Now itīs a little more touristic, with a pousada/restaurant beside all the hippieīs arts&crafts stalls. But you still see them going home riding their horses...
Less popular and for that even more fascinating is the beach in Diogo. You need to walk in the sand for about 1Km before to reach the sea, but once there itīs all yours, especially during the week. We had a lovely day there with Pietro and Marco, drinking ice-cold coconut water, eating shrimp moqueca and trying to take pictures of the little monkeys who surrounded us after lunch.
On the way back home we stopped at the extra-posh Praia do Forte. Very little is left of what it used to be (one of the nicest beaches and best water for swimming), now it is all about "boutiques" and expensive shops, holiday resorts and tuk tuk, sorry, riscioī...that bring you from the parking space to the square (5 minutes walking). NO comment.
Final stop of our "day off" was Arembepe to buy fish, which, at 4pm, was already gone... so we sat for our last drink in front of the ocean before to go home.
Salvador also has a very active artistic scene. Lots of exhibitions and concerts are hosted around the city. We went to an exhibition in the German Institute of Salvador where a few graffiti artists we know were showing their work.
One of the best museum in the city is the MAM (Museu de Arte Moderna), the building used to be a sugar cane factory, itīs really big and it has been totally restored keeping the old factory features and, surprise surprise, the sculptures and installation were comprehensible enough, if anything they made us laugh a bit.
So, this is our life in Salvador, a bit of work, a bit of local life, bit of beach, bit of culture... and lots of dinners and parties in the hostel! Saude! :)
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Jamie on

Looks and sounds so idyllic! Haha glad to hear you're keeping busy with some work! Many ideas yet...?
Emailing you now...

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