If It's The Beaches - Salvador, Brazil

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May 2nd 2016
Published: April 21st 2016
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After another harrowing day of travel I arrived in my new location of Salvador, Brazil some 18 hours after going to the airport in Manaus. The airport in Manuas had been closed for 36 hours due to heavy fog and had just reopened when I arrived to try and purchase a plane ticket. Due to this impeccable timing, no seats were available because of the backlog in passengers. My plan was to show up and try to fly stand-by to Recife. This was not possible and a ticket would cost $1,500 one way. So Plan B was to plead with a budget airline to fly me anywhere on the coast at a reasonable cost. I was able to get a flight to Salvador for $350. Problem being the flight did not leave until 2am. I bought my ticket at 2pm. Twelve hours in an airport isn't so bad, at least they had WiFi. When I arrived in Salvador very sleepy and disoriented I hopped on the bus bound for the beach neighborhood Barra, where true to form I had not pre-booked any accommodation and set out walking trying to find a hostel. The first three were full. The fourth was a dump but I had no choice. I took it.

Once in town I walked around and tried to get my bearings. Salvador is Brazil's third largest city and has a population of around five million. It is also one of the oldest cities in the Americas that was the center of Portuguese colonialism dating back to the 17th century. The old architectural buildings in the Pelourinho barrio (where I am currently staying) are stunning. The beaches throughout the city are fairly decent and it is fun to watch the surfers and families alike take part in having fun in the sun. It's really nice to be back onto the coast again and out of the dense Amazon.

After staying in the Barra neighborhood for a night I checked out first thing and headed on the bus to the colonial historic center of Salvador. The area is very picturesque and it actually reminds me a little of Cartagena. I've met a few people here in particular a Dutch couple who are very friendly, but for the most part I've been wandering the area solo and meeting local residents. Many more people here speak English which is good because I have zero Portuguese in my repertoire. I've ran across a few spontaneous concerts here in the city and even some sort of political demonstration which was interesting. I have no idea what they were or were not supporting but I gathered it was some kind of socialist party rally. Along with the live Samba music it was a good way to kill the afternoon.

Salvador has been alright but many people, locals included, have told me to be very careful of where I go and who is around me. Especially at night. Their have been a few times where my spidey sense has gone up. In Colombia no one ever told me to watch out and not once did I feel uncomfortable. In Salvador I have had a bad feeling a few times. Generally people are very friendly and welcoming but their are more than a few sketchy individuals about. I'll just have to be mindful and not become complacent. So tomorrow I'll head on a catamaran for two hours to Moora de Sao Paulo which is an island off of the coast of Brazil. Should be much more tranquil there being out of the big city.

Give me a chip and a chair and I can meet and hang with the locals no problem. Something my fellow travelers should take note of as I've become a tad jaded of late of the "backpacker" scene which is basically a giant tourist group that hangs out at the hostal all day together, site sees a bit as a big group together, goes out at night together, and talks about how dangerous it is outside of the hostal and what type of Malaria pills you are taking (um, that'd be none for me thanks). Never really talking or interacting with the populace or local establishments off of the beaten path. But that is for another blog.

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