Trip Start Jan 15, 2006
Trip End Apr 28, 2006

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, February 5, 2006

I've been here for almost a week and only explored a very small portion of what this country has to offer. I spent the first two days in Salvador, two days in Lencois, and today I'm back in Salvador-until we head back out to sea tonight. A huge group of people went to Rio de Janeiro, another went to the Amazon, and yet another to Irgassu Falls. I didn't make it to any of these places unfortunately, but it's like trying to travel the entire U.S. in five days-there's no way.
Upon our arrival, a welcome reception was held for us. It was a lot of fun-lots of Brazillian students, lots of music, and tons of dancing. They performed a couple different dances for us-Capoiera (a combination of martial arts and break dancing) and a youth drum group (not sure of the name). The Capoiera was cool, but the drumming/dancing was AMAZING. They must have played for 45 minutes to an hour. They had the crowd dancing and everyone was having a great time. The entire reception was awesome.
Lencois-if anyone ever travels to Brazil, I would definitely recommend adding Lencois to your itinerary. It's a small town (about 7000 people), everyone is really friendly, and I actually felt safe walking around (unlike in Salvador). The area outside of town is beautiful. We hiked for about 10 miles the first day. We stopped at several waterholes and went swimming (primarily to cool off because it was SO hot!). Some of the waterholes had natural waterslides so that added to the fun. The water flowing over the rocks smoothed them over and then the algae grew over them making the rocks super slippery. We slid pretty fast down these rocks before landing in the water. My butt's a little sore, but it was worth it. The destination of our hike featured a waterfall and cliff jumping. We jumped off a 35 foot cliff into the water-scary, but awesome! If you look at my picture, you see that I'm kind of sitting in the air-I was still in that position when I landed, so yeah, my butt hurt quite a bit (once again) when I came up to the surface. We stood under the waterfall and relaxed on the rocks basking in the sun. The hike was long and I'm definitely sore, but it was well worth it. The pictures don't do justice to the real thing, but believe me, the area is incredible.
I am going to a football game (aka soccer) this afternoon. Apparently it's like the state championship of Bahia (the state of Brazil that we're in). I'm sure it's going to be crazy-Brazillians are pretty serious about their football. I'm looking forward to it.

Well that's all I got for now. We'll be at sea for 9 days before we reach South Africa. I hope everyone's doing well. Take care!

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