The Never-ending Beach

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , Bahia,
Monday, May 1, 2006

Wow, a month has gone by since my last post!
I didnīt realize how fast time could move along when I move about like a 3-toed-sloth. Well the last month has been like a never-ending beach tour and I can say I am now officially tired of being at the beach...tough life I know, but seriously they are starting to look the same. I will have to head to the interior to break up the scenery I guess. On the map to the right it looks like a short little trip since my last post in Canoa Quebrada but Iīve been through several beach towns and cities all several hours apart from each other.
After Canoa Quebrada my buddy, Guillermo from Spain, and I took off for Natal and the beach of Punta Negra. The most excitement we discovered here was when the Federal Police raided the beach area with all the bars and restaurants one night to crack down on prostitution, illegal businesses that donīt pay taxes(street vendors mostly), and maybe drugs as well. Who knows. The locals told us we were stuck in the middle of it since all streets were barricaded and we were supposed to have our passports for identification... which of course we didnīt. In the end, we just walked home, right past the police and their road block.
From here, we headed to Praia da Pipa...probably the coolest beach Iīve seen as far as just looking at it. From here, through Joao Pessoa to spend Easter with my buddy Boris and his family and then on through Maceio, Olinda/Recife and finally to Salvador where I write from today. In Olinda, a first world problem resulted in a third world situation when the computers at the bus company crashed. They could not sell us a ticket for the night bus to Salvador and we watched a half empty bus pull away without us. And our crap Portuguese failed to comprehend in time that the bus driver was going to pull over outside the bus terminal and wait for us to jump on illegally ... he just needed to get away from the boss and we could have paid him directly. But no, we found a comfy pad of concrete in the bus terminal and waited til 6 AM the next day for the first bus out.

SALVADOR... home to Brazilīs 2nd largest Carnaval next to Rio de Janeiro. Carnaval ended like 2 months ago but I donīt think they have really stopped celebrating from what I can tell. Every night there is live music in the street and a concert somewhere. Salvador is Brazilīs most African influenced city as there are millions of descendants from black slaves in this region. And the traditions and culture have been preserved here better than anywhere else in the world where African slaves were shipped and traded. The result is an entertaining mix of music, food and people. The place has a cool vibe, yet is still pretty dodgy due to the great numbers of poor people here and the crime rate. You have to be careful in the street and police are on almost every corner in the tourist district.

From here, I want to go inland. I am still traveling with Guillermo and a new guy we met from France, Jerome. The interior promises rivers, waterfalls, jungle and some good off-pavement adventure. Weīll see....
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