Published: March 11th 2012February 11th 2012
Before emabarking on our journey to Itacare, I needed to take some money out to pay for the hostel. I had tried 3 banks the previous day to no avail, so I asked Inbal where a particular bank was that I knew would accept my card. He asked a few local friends and told me it was through a bad neighborhood but he would take me on his motorcycle if I wanted. 10 minutes later I was holding on strong to the rear handles of the bike, zooming through the steep curvy streets of Pelorinho. As we rode, I could see why one wouldn´t want to venture through the favela on foot. Dirty streets with skinny fiends taking shelter under bridges and in alleyways. The interesting part was this area was only 2 streets downhill from where we had stayed. Don´t take a wrong turn walking home!! 15 minutes later, we made it to the bank. I took out my cash and headed back on the moto. After paying up at the hostel, we got a taxi down to the harbor where we were to take a ferry.
The ferry terminal turned out to be quite a scene. Hundreds of
people, with no real organization, waited for the next available ferry. When they opened the gates, everyone crammed together and squeezed through the wide gate. It seemed as though if the boat reached capacity before you could squeeze on, you would just have to wait for the next one an hour later, only to repeat the process. We made it on our first try, and found a corner to put our stuff down on the open-air upper deck. It was so damn hot, although the sun was strong, at least there would be some moving air unlike the common seating inside the main deck. I had noticed during this process that we were the only foreigners. With big backpacks and white skin, we stood out pretty clearly. As the boat became full, I watched as a huge intimidating Bahiano, shirt off and sweating, put his plastic bags down next to our stuff and then asked me in Portuguese if I would watch his stuff. Automatically weary but not knowing what to do, I answereed, ¨Si, sem problema,¨ using the fingers-eye-stuff motion as well. 10 minutes later he reappeared from the lower deck carrying a few beers and a pepsi. He
offered me a beer and Chloe the pepsi to which be both replied, ¨Nao obrigado.¨ When he insisted, I took the beer but Chloe refused, so he gave it to a young kid instead. He thanked me for for watching his stuff and began to talk, of which I understood less than half of what he said. I used my best Portuñol to converse, where upon another Kid Cudi-looking guy joined in, asking where we were from. When I replied California, he lit up saying, ¨Red Hot Chili Peppers!¨ As our broken conversation progressed, we talked about how hot it was, and I commented that I had been looking for cheap tank tops but had had no luck. The big Bahiano guy turned to one of his bags, dug through it, and pulled out a white tank top and gave it to me. I told him I couldn´t accept it but he insisted, so I accepted the gift graciously. A few rounds of beers later, we arrived to the other side of the bay. After saying chao to my ferry friends, we got on a bus that would take us to Itacare.
This bus was completely different than the
luxury we had gotten used to in Argentina. Dirty with no air conditioning, it seemed as though we would be sweating the full 5 hours down the coast. Although the moving air was essential, the constant speeding, braking, passing, and stopping to pick people up from road side bus stops (all along a windy jungle coastline), made for a somewhat quesy experience. I tried my best to sweat to sleep, which had been enhanced even more after closing my window since a little girl in the seat ahead of us who was puking out her window. At the various small bus stations we pulled into along the way, a crowd of vendors would surround the bus offering food and drink, where upon you would make the exchange out the window. Fascinating and convenient, I wondered if this was how they did it throughout Brasil. As we passed through the dense jungle and small towns by rivers, I was captivated by the simplicity of peoples´ lives, but thankful we were on a paved road. By the time we reached Itacare, it had finally cooled to a tolerable temperature, late in the afternoon.
There are more photos below