Marro De Sao Pàulo

Trip Start Sep 18, 2004
Trip End Apr 27, 2005

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Well, we have finally managed to escape the clutches of the creatively named Beach Two (would you believe the other beaches were ingeniusly named beach one, three and....wait for it.... four?!). Almost every day for the last 2 weeks we would awaken from the flat and stagger for a couple of minutes down to the beach for a day of soaking up the rays. Jonny would judge every who strolled by with more than a little help from the girls whilst I would impress all the locals with my mastery of sea capariera (a northern brazilian acrobatic martial arts style, normally practised on dry land). The were only 2 real breaks from this routine - one day we crazily went to Beach One instead to ride the banana boat (Josie was punished for our disloyalty by having her left breast broken when we were thrown from the banana) and the other when we went on a boat tour of the surrounding islands and the main land. This was a great day out but for reasons beyond my control we had to go on a saturday when Chelsea were playing, live on Brazilian TV. Could they overcome Portsmouth without me cheering them on from a remote island off the coast of Brazil ? After serious consideration I decided to take the risk and go on the trip with everyone. The boat was something straight out of a Puff Daddy video, and easily outpowered the others heading in the same direction. The first stop was a floating bar with about 10 other boats docked by it. As the lads downed a couple of beers I went snorkling with the girls through the coral. There were a few bright fish about but after being spoilt by Thailand and the Great Barrier Reef I wasn´t too overawed and headed back to the floating bar (did I mention that it was just floating in the Atlantic) for a light spot of chilling and sweet FA. The next stop was another idyllic beach where lobster was being served as a entree before our main course on the next beach. By this point I was beginning to feel the 35 degree heat so I retreated to a shaded recliner and focused my energy on willing on Chelsea (the game had kicked off by this point). A couple more stops - another floating bar / oyster farm where we all got aphrodisiaced-up and (possibly my favourite floating place) a floating petrol station - and then it was back to the island to check on our sunburns and the Chelsea score (3-0! come on the blues! Still 10 points clear at the top! Getting very excited about the possibility of winning the title now, touching wood as I write that of course!)

One other moment of excitement was when we caught a beach robber in the act. Jonny had just got back from the burger stall and was lying on his towel. We had ours all lined up together and a young local lad had lain down just infront of them. He was there for a while before grabbing Jonnys money box and pushing it next to him and his towel. I was at the edge of the beach at the time but somehow noticed him do it so decided to come back over to confront him. However Jonny had also heard him do it and told me not to do anything as it only had a few coins and he wanted to see what he would do next. We both stood next to him and he pushed the box under his towel. At this point I reached down took it off him and gave it to Jonny. Caught in the act, he looked quite flustered. He tried to say a few words to us but when we were unresponsive his next move was to pull a joint out of his pocket and offer it to us. When we were still unresponsive and deadpan about this he nervously indicated that he was going for a swim and asked us to keep an eye on a wad of notes he pulled out from his back pockets. There was about 40 reaiis and I strongly suspect it was ill gotten gains so I was all for taking this off him but he thought better of leaving it and just took off!

After all this excitement, Jonny and I decided that we had to escape and booked a couple of tickets on a boat back to the mainland. It was only a small boat and it was quite a choppy day on the Atlantic. It only took a couple of minutes after setting off for Jonny got very worried by the colour of the old woman seated next to him - she looked like she could go projectile at any moment! In fact lots of people were faring badly and we reckoned that it would only take one of them to puke to set them all off. A great comedy moment was when a big strapping man crawled past everyone on his hands and knees and then sat gripping the rails infront of his seat for dear life. The trip estimated duration was 2 hours. This was of course not taking into account the obligatory (in Brazil at least) breaking down time. One hour into the trip the power in the motor suddenly went. In the distance I could see the skyscrapers Salvadore but unless the tide was going in we were not going to be experiencing them anytime soon. I was actually beginning to think that they would have to radio for someone to come out to get us when they managed to get into first gear and at a speed of no more than 5mph we crawled into port. But at least we made it in one piece (the big man started clapping ironically when we docked), and a short taxi ride later we were at our carnival flat, wallowing in its relative luxury compared to the beach hovel we had been in (look, the power shower works! and so does the toilet! hey, theres no sand in the bed! and natural lighting - ingenius!)

So now are thoughts turn to Carnival, only a few days away. Will Salvador be as good as everyone says.................?
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