Salvador, a mix of South America and Africa

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Bahia,
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Salvador feels different. The African influence is all-around present. Music, delicious foods and fruits, colorfully dressed women, and hot hot, humid and hot.I was hosted by 2 different people, first with a young family and their cute 1-year old baby boy, and then by Renato. Also I ran into Emily again, a girl that was also at my host in Recife. I explored the interesting city center, attended a cool jazz-night in the garden of a museum, and did 2 sidetrips highly worth of mentioning...

The first was to Praya de Forte. I met 2 german girls on the bus where I ended up spending the day with. This touristy beachtown not only has a beautiful tropical beach, but also a rescue center for sea turtles. It was an educational center showing us the different kinds of turtles and how we can protect them. This project is called Projecto Tamar. We could watch a lot of real turtles, and 2 baby ones, amazing with their giant front flippers, they look cute and so vulnerable. Glad these projects exist to counteract men's hugely destroying capabilities.

Another sidetrip was to Arembepe, another beach. It's common here to have natural pools, reefs sticking out close to shore. And with low tide, you can go on them. So in Arembepe beach I walked on the reefs, containing hundreds of little 'pools', just like aquariums, full with fish, crabs, zee-egels (? the poky black balls), and so much more. The waves kept clashing into the reef resulting in beautiful water-fireworks, spraying up waves, amazingly huge and beautifully random shaped.
After this we all (about 15 people) went eating Moqueca, a typical local seafood-dish. My host and I were planning to leave that evening because I needed to catch my plane to Belo Horizonte the next day (the plane sadly being cheaper than bus, and 2 hours in stead of 28, sorry about my ecological footprint...). But it felt so great that we decided to stay and leave early the next morning.We spent the night camping in the most amazing campground I've been. Sand and tropical plants. The group (existing out of around 15 couchsurfers and people from a capoeira-group) played life samba-music around the fire. I lay down enjoying the fire, music, and stars. Something very logical to do I would say. There's a bonfire = relax-time! But not here. Everyone was standing up and chatting for the whole night, asking me every now and then if everything was ok and I trying to assure them that yes it is, that I am just enjoying it and they should sit with me, which they didn't :) Another curious cultural difference!
Time to hop on the plane and head back south!
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