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January 30th 2011
Published: January 31st 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Wednesday 19th January Salvador, Brazil

An early start today with breakfast in our cabin and we were excited as the better ports to stop at were now beginning.

Salvador was Brazil’s former capital and is divided into an upper and lower section. It is full of multicoloured homes, great markets, narrow cobbled stones, old squares and nearly 300 hundred churches. We decided to flavour it by taking a tour bus. Our guide was excellent and a local man, very well educated and enthusiastic about his town and country. The bus took us through winding streets old and new, this showed us how they have wealthy people living alongside the very poor. We were told that there was no middle class, you were either poor or wealthy….we wondered if this was true as we saw otherwise, we think our definitions of wealthy differ; it seems if you have a home and a job then you are wealthy! We were told that the unemployment figure was 7% and that no one paid taxes on their wages but everyone paid 38% tax on any purchases. People could work casual labour without declaring their income and be legal and many did especially on the street.

Some of the highlights of the tour were seeing inside the amazing Catholic churches which were decorated with gold leafed hand carvings of amazing detail, the ladies dressed in huge fancy dresses and wandering through the cobbled streets with amazing architecture. The weather was very hot and pleasant, however the town was packed with tourists and we had to move swiftly around the sights. Our last stop was at a busy market which would have been interesting if we could have got near the stalls through the sea of people! After the tour had finished we decided to take a free bus put on by Stein jewellers, back to the old upper part of the town so we could just wander at our leisure and had a great time. We stopped to watch the street dancers that do something that is a cross between combat kicking and ballet dancing which was good fun. Just to play we visited the Stein jewellers and I tried on some very fancy gold necklaces which were way out of our league and despite the young sales assistants attempts we decided not today thank you !!

We came back to the ship feeling very satisfied with our day and felt we had tasted and got to know about the Brazilian way of life, their industry and philosophies…which apparently is anything goes!!!

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