Goodbye Morro São Paulo:
We slept in late, went for a run, did some push-ups and pull-ups, had breakfast, checked out of our place and headed on the catamaran back to Salvador.
This is the big day in Salvador. The streets of the historic city are lined with drum bands, live bands, people dancing, drinking and celebrating. It started as the day that the parishioners at the church would give brad and donations to the poor. It has turned into a huge party. We checked into our hostel, got some free caipirienhas and headed straight to the madness. We rand into Marco, our previous tour guide and he gave us the rundown of the celebration. We chatted for a while as steve are some acaraje which is deep fried mashed been dough in dende oil stuffed with shrimp sauce and hot peppers. We then set off.
|The main square. The calm before the storm|
On the church steps there are thousands of people dancing and drinking to a live band. Steve and I felt like targets here for pick pockets, we both had an uneasy and unsafe feeling, but we were in a crowd of people and there was a mild presence of armed security. As we were walking down the steps, some pick pockets tried to take our wallets. They come in large groups, push you from each direction to confuse you then try to take your money. Steve caught two hands reaching in his pockets and grabbed them, I walked down quickly and had a zippered pocket that they managed to unzipped halfway before my hand blocked it. We headed back to the hostel and emptied our pockets out and headed back to the square.
Tourists as targets:
I have traveled around the world and there is one thing I dislike more than anything is being a target. Locals who approach you in a friendly manner to talk and only see dollar signs. Everyone who approached in the Bahia region who was friendly wanted something. A tip for showing us where our hostel was that we already knew, selling drugs and working girls, to eat at their restaurants, to buy their drink, give you free church bracelets only to trick you into buying necklaces, beg for money or to sell tours. Nobody approached you as a tourist with open arms and no expectations. This leaves me on guard. In huaraz (where I traveled last for my climbing trip) it was the complete opposite. You were never hassled and the locals were friendly directly from the heart, not the wallet.
Main plaza live music:
We transitioned to the main plaza for more live music. We mostly just people watched. Homeless vagrants sifting their way through the crowds to collect empty beer cans. Women and men were everywhere shaking their hips and dancing samba - which seems more like an exercise of how quickly you can shake your booty and get low to the ground than a dance. Steve and I were getting tired and had a 5:30am flight, so we headed back to the hostel to sleep. Next stop Florienopolis.