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Published: June 26th 2010
After Iguazu falls we took a flight up to Salvador in the north east of Brazil, in the Bahia region which is famous for its beaches and also Salvador the party capital of Brazil. Salvador has a weekly street party and also the countries best carnival, the tourists go to Rio the locals party in Salvador.
Salvador sits on a V shaped peninsular in a warm tropical climate, this is evident in the coast line it was more tropical than anywhere we have seen in South America. The guide book describes Salvador as the jewel in Brazils Afro-Brazilian crown and was the capital of the Portuguese new world colonies. Because over 3 million slaves were transported from Africa to Salvador it has a distinctive African culture to it which palpable just taking a walk down the street. The centre piece of Salvador is the Pelourinho district which is an Unesco world heritage site full of colonial buildings dating back to the 16th century and is full of cobbled streets, street vendors and people practicing Capoeira the Brazilian martial arts that combines dance with martial arts.
The Pelourinho is a beautiful area to explore and we happened to time our
visit for a yearly religious festival (any excuse to party) and also the world cup games. When Brazil play the whole city closes down and the bars are packed and the have a big screen in the plaza where everyone goes to watch so we head down to join the party. I think everyone there apart from the tourists is dressed in the national colours of yellow and green.
What the guide books don´t realy tell you is that Salvador is pretty sketchy. When you are in the old town you are constantly bothered by beggars and con artists and people trying to scam you. If you wander of the beaten track it quickly turns from being a bit sketchy into down right dangourous as the area is surrounded by favellers. Even the police travel in packs of 8 and we saw them stop a gang, and they were not messing around, fully automatic assault rifles is what they carry and they mean business.
We headed to the street party to watch the football leaving all valuables at the hostel the place was packed full and had an incredible atmosphere, but when the crowd started surging and you
do your best to stay on your feet, this is when the pick pockets strike, within about 2 minutes we saw about 5 people who had lost there wallets. Over the course of the 90 mins I caught 8 people with there hands in my pockets and they were just the bad thieves!!!
After the game we went to watch some live Samba bands play in the old town which was really good and the place was packed with people dancing and partying, Louise got a samba lesson from one of the locals and the whole town seemed to be enjoying the party. We headed to a club after which was a bit of a dive and the low light of the evening was when 2 guys to a fancy to my crappy 3 US Dollar watch that I bought in Columbia and tried to literally rip it of my arm. We decided that discression is the better part of valor and headed back to the hostel.
Bahia is famous for its beaches so we headed down the coast for a few hours to an island called Morro de Sao Paolo. It’s a really pretty island so we
spent a week just relaxing on the islands visiting the various beaches and soaking up a bit of sun and watching the world cup games. To say Brazil is football crazy is a understatement and when Brazil play the country just about shuts down. After our island break we flew down to our last stop on our trip and a city that I have always wanted to Visit, Rio De Janeiro.
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