Trip Start Apr 10, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

And then... it all happened!  Since the apartment I had been staying in had already been rented out for carnival, I arranged with my Bahian mama Celia to rent her apartment for 8 days - and then filled it with a random assortment - 13 in total!! - of travelers.  Accommodation is absurdly expensive during carnival and so I managed to get us a pretty good deal all things considered!  We paid RS300 each (about US$150) - and accommodation was first come first serve - lucky were those with the beds and not the 2 inch mattresses on the floor.... ;-) 

First to arrive was Mario (a friend that Clare had made in Colombia) - we had only spoken via email previously but we immediately got on fabulously - and within five minutes of meeting he informed me that he had just gotten engaged... to a gorgeous Argentinan girl he met two weeks previously!!!  I had known he was in love but never had I expected that!  South America makes you do crazy things!  He arrived with Marc and Yvanka, or the two Dutchies as they were known, and Clare arrived the day after - I was so excited to see that darling girl again!  Then came Nicole and Emma, two divine ozzie girls who had seen our accommodation ad in a hostel in BA, the 4 Israelis, Omer, Tomer, Ben and Uri - who are such honeys, Craig the American (aka Ken doll - an unfortunate choice but anyway we all survived) and lastly the glorious Syleste from London.    Katie had by this time gone back to Argentina but Eves and Megan were our honorary housemates - Omer even asked me at one point what room they were sleeping in because they were always with us but he never saw them sleeping!!

We somehow managed to cram ourselves and all our stuff and all the accoutrements of carnival (headdresses, feathery things, cachaca, cachaca, cachaca!!) into a two-bedroom apartment, one bathroom (with no separate loo) for 8 loony days and had absolutely the best time ever!  

Its practically impossible to explain carnival but I'll give it a bash...
So, everybody - EVERYBODY - and their grandmother goes into party mode - even the buildup in the week before is crazy!  Although carnival is officially from the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and for the 4 days thereafter ie Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday - it obviously starts earlier and finishes later! Salvador is hot, it's by the beach, everybody plays some kind of instrument and it's brazil!!  So everyone started arriving and we started partying - out and about all night, up around midday, and back out and about in the afternoons.  The streets are filled with processions and music and drumming and dancing and drinking and fighting and people and kissing and just incredible energy.     TBC

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