Ola from Salvador
Trip Start Feb 07, 2012
1Trip End May 26, 2012
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Greetings from Brazil! Our first few days here has been a bit of a mixed bag which began with me making a mad dash for the toilet following breakfast on our first morning and spending the next 24 hours in that same spot - not the best start but all part and parcel of traveling in third world countries. Plenty more of this to come I am sure but needless to say I havent been back to breakfast since. Poor old Troy appears to have developed a hamburger a day rule with 3 days on the go so far. It would seem that no matter what Troy tries to order he is more often than not served a hamburger. The only solace he is finding is in the bottle of Catchup that he gets with his hamburger (that's right...Ketchup).
We have had to familiarise ourselves with the Portugese language fairly quickly as little to no english is spoken in Salvador so far. This proved challenging on Day 2 when we attempted to catch a bus to the old town to buy our tickets to Carnival however we had no map, no idea where the bus station was nor which bus to catch and the locals just looked confused whenever we tried to ask them about it. We managed eventually after a few missed buses and backtracking to find our way and purchase our tickets to head to Recife for Carnival on Wednesday. Ordering dinner from a menu in Portugese on the other hand turned out to be a bit of a lucky dip which ended up not in our favour and with us hiding food that we literally could not eat...Only once so far has a local laughed at us when we have pulled our phrase book out to talk to them...
Soon after arriving we were exposed to the regular patrol of the military wlith their rather large rifles hanging off the back of their trucks. It did seem slightly out of place/scary but made much more sense when we learnt that the local police are on strike at the moment. Now seeing the military police (literally everywhere as things heat up for Carnival) does help us feel safer.
Yesterday afternoon we stumbled across the locals setting up many food and drink carts on the sides of an alley that we were walking down and we could feel a real party atmosphere building. Right we were when we returned later that evening to a bustling street party absolutely heaving with people, DJ's, entertainment, food and drink. Oh and of course the regular patrol of military police up and down the alley. It was amazing and we literally stood and watched in awe for sometime. Just a small taste of what Carnival has in store for us no doubt. We also had our first venture into bahian street food with 'Acaraje' which is mashed brown bean balls which are deep fried in palm oil and stuffed shrimps and cashews and other good stuff. Must go as Troy is insisting that there is more Skol to be drunk.
L & T x