Finally got to the coast

Trip Start Aug 09, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Friday, October 13, 2006

Arrived in Salvador at night, so grabbed a cab to Pellorinho. Pellorinho is the district where just about every single tourist stays. Also a historic area - Largo do Pellorinho is where slaves were publicly torutured. So the hostel here is a complete dump but I really just wanted to go to bed, so I didnīt bother looking around - just went to one I knew was cheap. Roommate was real laid back Japanese dude. Already overstayed his visa and didnīt look like he was leaving anytime soon. First day just walked around the area, taking in the history and culture. I havenīt been to a city like this yet. Very old - stuff older than anything back home (unless of course, youīre talkin Native American). 1500s. The culture stuff is everywhere - capoeira, music, dancing, art, you couldnīt avoid it even if you wanted to. The art is really pretty. When guys are doing the fast style capoeira it looks like a Jackie Chan film. The slow Angola style stuff looks very artistic as well. I am assuming everybody at least knows what capoeira is. I hadnīt seen the weird shaped instrument they use before. Played with a rock. Went to a couple museums with a lot of info on the Afro-Brasilian connection and history. Thats another thing - there are a lot of types of music here Iīve never even heard of before. Olodun...and I knew of Axé but didnīt really know it yet. Next day I went to the beach down at Barra. Pretty, even though packed with people. Beach is not very deep. But its a nice spot. Took the city bus down - destinations are written on the windshield. Forgot, the day before went to Itapuã, an ok beach but it was not really beach weather. It was nice actually, having a roommate like Dai who was learning Portuguese. All we talked was Portuguese. But sometimes the conversations were very funny or frustrating depending on your standpoint. Every Tuesday there is a huge party in Pellorinho. All the praįas have live music, capoeira everywhere, later folks parade around, bla bla, all around a crazy loud rowdy time. And it happens every single Tuesday and weekend. The entire stay here in Salvador was very loud. Music everywhere all the time. Couple of Dutch dudes showed up early the next morning were bummed they missed everything, but we had fun hanging out the next couple nights. I took a capoeira lesson. Cool, but something I canīt really continue as my knee can only bend about 80% - was painful during some of the stuff. And went to a folklórico. Various dances of the relgion Candomblé. Pretty cool fire dance the guy did. This is probably a good time to mention the other side of Salvador. Before even coming to Brazil, you hear how awesome it is here. And it is. But at the same time, the poverty and the amount of hassaling that you endure is unreal. I know a lot of people who cut their stay here short because of it. And it is harder here NOT to snort cocaine that it would be to get some if you wanted. By the end, I was really ready to leave town. Didnīt really want to come here in the first place (wanted to hit a small town and the beach), but it was most convenient to come here. Now after the big city, noise, parties, and hassaling (including may first death threat), I am REALLY ready for that beach. Gotta take care of extending the visa here first.
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