Salvador and inland

Trip Start Jan 23, 2006
Trip End Jan 31, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Salvador is the 3rd biggest city in Brazil and definitely the most colourful. We ended up flying there after we worked out it was going to be a 44 hour bus ride to get there...which based on how frequently we seem to end up near the sloshing toilet on the buses really didn't seem like a good idea!

Salvador is an awesome city. It boasts African culture in terms of the people, music and food. Many African slaves were bought over from West Africa during the 16th century up until 1888 (when slavery was officially banned in Brazil), to work in the sugar and tobacco farms. When we walked around the locals were always asking us where we were from and would get really excitable when they found out we were from South Africa - some were even surprised that we were not black?!
We were 'fortunate' to meet another South African there, whose opening line was "Hey, Howzit, are you okes from the West?" Anyway he talked about the money he had at his disposal and how he wanted to invest, bulldoze and develop the Salvador coastline....We managed to eventually politely (or not so) excuse ourselves!

Food there is so good - it is completely different to the rest of Brazil. One of the main dishes known as Moqueca was recommended to us. The only problem is at the restaurant we went to there were 20 different types of this dish with not one having a word in the description which we understood or even recognised. We eventually asked them for their recommendation (which happened to be the most expensive) - called 'Polvo' and to my amusement
See also: horror
See also: revulsion
our food arrived with some enormous octopus tentacles. I managed to squeeze one down, but Mark polished off quite a few!

While in Salvador we spent quite a bit of time on the beaches, walking around the old town which has amazing architecture, and of course eating! Mark had a killer game of beach bats with some of the locals. They are well into beach bats, and take it very seriously. They have special fibreglass bats, emblazoned with what could be mistaken for a "coat of arms".

After Salvador we headed inland to a place called Lencois, a mountainous town with cobbled streets and many 19th century buildings. From here you are able to do hikes and all sorts of other activities. The town is an old diamond mining town, whose boom slowed down after it was discovered that South Africa was rich I diamonds - much to the De Beers delight and the chagrin of the Lencois locals!
We ended up doing a 3 day hike with 2 French girls and a Scottish guy with an English accent. It was relatively tough with a lot of walking over large rocks and very slippery terrain. I soon realised that there are people with worse balance that me! I watched the Frenchies slip and fall every couple of steps. The hike was beautiful and each night we slept in caves or overhangs along the river. The guide was great and probably cooked the best food I have ever eaten on a hike. Only problem was the gap between meals which was way to long for Mark and I - we ate like 2 rabid dogs around a small bowl of Epol.

Next stop is Itacare, and signals a return to the coast.

Laters skaters
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