20-10-10

Brazil: the sequel

 

Hello out there! How are you all? Well, here some things have changed over the last weeks. After almost a year of packing and unpacking my backpack, setting up and breaking up my tent, and meeting and leaving people, I have decided to stick around over here for a longer period. ´Here´, that is Salvador da Bahía, the third or fourth biggest Brazilian city, at the end of a peninsula and sitting on the biggest bay in South America. It is often called the biggest African city in the Western Hemisphere. Now, geographically spoken, that is of course not completely true, as a part of Africa itself lies in that same Western Hemisphere, but this expression does define more or less the feel and the vibe of this city. It´s true: the African influence cannot be denied! There is candomble (a mysterious, African influenced religion that is practised by a part of the population), olodum (the famous drum sessions during the carnaval), snacks made with palm oil and of course, last but not least: capoeira (the martial art that looks a bit like a dance and that was develped by the slaves).


 

Let´s go back in time a little bit. More than a month ago, I was trying to get out of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais. Considering that buses in Brazil are actually not that cheap (I would even dare to use the word expensive!) I started thinking about hitchhiking again. Just put out your thumb and there you go! Hmmm, not so in Brazil. Felipe, the guy who hosted me in Belo Horizonte, already told me that, in Brazil, you have to go to tank stations and ask truck drivers personally if they can give you a ride. Just standing near the road with a sign that has the name of a city on it does not convince too many people to stop. Brazil, that country that is, was and will always be the country of the future, is, was and will for at least some time be a quite insecure country as well. So, standing beside the road and putting up your tent when it gets dark (inevitable when hitchhiking) is perhaps not the most recommendable idea.

So before getting started, I had to give it some thought. Felipe however persuaded me to go for it without he  himself even being aware of it: he explained me he had once hitchhiked back from Argentina over São Paulo to Belo Horizonte. So, if he could do it, I could too!


 

I have this small trick to get out of big cities. I take a bus that leaves the city in the direction I am going to. B´cuz inside big cities, hitchhiking´s too damn difficult! In the bus station it´s often not easy to explain what you want: ´I want to take the bus to town X, but I want to get off at the first tank station.´ Seems easy, but the vendors often don´t know where the first tank station is. Google maps helps though: ´There is supposed to be one close to town Y. Is that possible?´ Answer: ´Oh yeah, of course: you mean the tank station in front of the extra huge ultramodern shopping mall over there close to the Attractions Park of town Y. No problem, we´ll leave you there!´ Google references versus locals´ references: the latter ones are of course much more colourful!


 

I wanted to arrive in the Chapada Diamantina, some one thousand kilometers up north, peanuts in Brazil: only two and a half days hitchhiking! I actually got only two rides, both of more or less one day long. This makes hitchhiking in Brazil more of an adventure than for instance in Belgium. In the latter you mostly spend some minutes in one´s car, in Brazil a couple of hours or even a full day. Quite a different time-space approach I must say. During the nights I slept in my tent surrounded by trucks at a gas station / trucker´s parking. The second trucker was certainly the most colourful character. He kept on asking questions about women in Belgium, women in Europe, women in Argentina and women in general. To change the conversation a little bit, he started talking about his wife and his kids, but not for too long, as he also had lots of things to say on his many girlfriends around. Mind you, I am not making fun of the guy. He was a nice chap, very Brazilian, let´s say. Later on that day he invited me to go and see one of his girlfriends. So, we stopped at this bar / brothel alongside the road, somewhere close to the Minas Gerais / Bahia interstate border. While the truck driver was cooking some food in the kitchen of the place, I was shown around a bit by one of the prostitutes. She showed me their vegetable garden behind the bar, her room and the place where they take showers. After that, we ate the delicious soup the truck driver had prepared and we hit the road. Then, he started talking about the girls: ´You know, I am always friendly to them, because they are very good people.´ As far as I am concerned, that´s certainly true: their friendliness almost even surprised me. ´You saw the one I was trying to score? One day she´ll succumb and I´ll fuck her! Without paying. I don´t want to fuck them for money, I want to do it for free.´ The one he was trying to score, just for the record, was not his ´girlfriend´. I am sure he´ll get lucky one day. But maybe he´ll have to prepare many more soups. Patience is golden!


 

I did the last stretch to the Chapada Diamantina by bus. The landscape started changing. In the beginning it was all very dry, but then I started seeing a table mountain from time to time and we started passing some nice small towns. The table mountains started appearing with shorter intervals and after a few hours of bussing, we reached Mucugê, the town I was going to use as a base to explore the national park. The next three weeks I did three different treks, all by myself. For security reasons it´s always better to do treks with someone else. But then, I didn´t want to wait a few days just to find someone to accompany me. And oh yes, in Brazil almost everything is expensive, so don´t even think of contracting a guide all by yourself. It is a bit annoying though that it seems difficult to find people who want to do treks by themselves without the help of a guide these days. Sometimes it seems everybody believes you cannot do them without a guide. Frankly spoken, if you have a map and you know something about map reading, most trails over there can be done! You don´t have to expect well indicated trails but compared to the difficulty of some of the trails I did in Patagonia last year, the Chapada ones were not so difficult … Anyway, being alone in nature for a few days gives you a sense of real freedom! Everyone should try it, it´s actually much less lonesome than you would think ... It´s a paradox: being alone in a big city with all those people around gives me a sense of loneliness, but this feeling totally disappears when I am completely alone with nature.


 

If the Chapada was worth the trouble? Many others had told me before and I will tell the same to everyone who is planning to go to Brazil one day: put the Chapada Diamantina in the state of Bahía on your to-do-list, please! No way you´ll regret it. The chapada is a range of table mountains and canyons that were formed by an all destructive earthquake millions of years ago. At least, that is what most scientists agree on. I think they´re right because in its rivers you´ll notice huge supersize rocks that can never have been the result of erosion alone. The rivers are relatively small in size and those huge rocks are just everywhere, so something more far-reaching must have happened … Underneath you will see some pictures with very dramatic landscapes. It was one of those experiences in which you at times don´t believe what you´re seeing before your eyes. Out of the common. Surrealistic. Dramatic to the edge. Absurd. I hope the pictures will give a grasp of what I mean.


 

Of course, walking around like that on your own IS a strong experience. You know you have to pay extra attention. Don´t break legs, watch your steps. Descend slowly. Also, watch out for dangerous animals. The park counts some jaguars, but apparently they´re very small (read: not dangerous for people) and there are very few of them. They generally don´t get close to the walking paths and hunt at night so if you stick to your tent, you shouldn´t get into trouble. There has never been an accident with jaguars. A guide told me that in the twenty years he´s been working in the national park, meaning he knows about every corner of it, he´s never seen a jaguar! But then still, when you are out there in your tent at night and you hear animal steps approaching your tent, you can´t help thinking: ´Imagine it IS a jaguar and it is very hungry, then all those facts don´t matter.´ The day after you feel kind of silly because of you thinking likewise, but at night things seem quite different. Anyway, staying out a few nights inside the park makes you more relaxed.


 

More dangerous than the jaguars are some snakes inside the park: some of them are supposed to be very poisonous. But then, it´s a bit the same thing with snakes. Unless they´re very hungry they will never attack and only very few snakes are likely to attack human beings anyway. And these very few are non-existent in the park. Of course, there is still the possibility of you surprising a snake resulting in an attack to defend itself. But even that is quite out of the common: because of the vibrations a walker sends out through the earth snakes generally know quite some time ahead that you are arriving. And they head off. I actually saw one snake slipping away in front of my feet to position itself a bit further. So, I just walked around it very slowly without making any sudden movements. When you are walking in nature and you are confronted with animals, you just realize that most reactions are plain logical. If you show you won´t do anything, they won´t do anything either. We are possibly too brainwashed by Hollywood movies depicting animals as willing to attack human beings at once. Of course, you need to be cautious as you don´t want to be that one person getting bitten by a snake. But then you also don´t want to be that person being run over by a car. That doesn´t stop us from moving around in murderous traffic every day. Walking around alone in nature makes you think how some of our fears are illogical and subjective. It´s the fear for the unknown of course!


 

To finish, a last danger would be getting lost. But the chapada is not that big, there are not so many woods and there are many mountains that are always visible, so with the help of a map, you always know where you have to go to. Sometimes you´ll loose track, but at some moment you´ll always get back to the trail. Adventure guaranteed!


 

The three trips were quite different from each other. The first trip in the central part was the one of the mind blowing landscapes. Also, you can sleep over at some inhabitants´ houses. I stayed at Dona Raquel´s house, a woman who was born in the chapada and who has lived there her whole life! She has never been any further than two villages in the direct surroundings of the park. She has never seen a city with her own eyes. She has such a different life than me! I always want to explore new countries and regions. And I enjoy it a lot. Yet, I don´t think that I am a happier person than she is. These people make you think about yourself.


The second trip was the one at the southern tip of the national park. You get into the park through one of the grassy plateaus. After two hours of walking you arrive at a river that soon cuts itself dramatically into the landscape, leaving you grasping for air while you are marveling at the incredible canyon structures. After that, there is an almost vertical path in between two ´walls´ that takes you down to the river. That was the only trail of the park I should have done with a guide! Not that it was difficult to find the trail, but it is without any doubt one of the most dangerous paths I´ve done so far during my trips. Some parts resembled more mountain climbing than trekking. At times I was really asking myself what the hell I was doing, but in such circumstances you have to stay calm and go step by step. The rest of the path, partly out of the park, was much more relaxed. One night I arrived in a fazenda where I was invited to dinner. I had some nice chats with the owner who was a retired  business man who had moved to his native Bahía to get out of the stress of São Paulo. The next day he gave me a big bottle of cachaça (the typical Brazilian liquour made of sugar cane) and off I went to the Buracão waterfall, a one hundred meter high waterfall you have to reach swimming! The waterfall forms a sort of long lake that is squeezed in between two high canyon-like walls. The feeling you get when swimming there is difficult to explain but the ingredients are amazement, adrenalin and sheer happiness! I went with my own personal guide who was the boy who guards the cars that are parked at the entrance of the site. However, as I was the only visitor that day he decided to guide me around. He didn´t even want to accept my tip! Those bahianos of the small villages have really preserved some kind of ´goodness´ you can´t find everywhere anymore.


 

My third trip was in the northern tip of the park. I went from Lençois, the most touristy village of the park, to the Fumaça, a waterfall of three hundred meters high! Yes, 300 meters that is … The thing is that there is not a lot of water at this time of the year seen the fact we´re in the dry season. So, there I was sitting down there watching a thin jet of water falling three hundred meters down. Sometimes the wind swept the water to the left and sometimes to the right. Even with the absence of a large quantity of water, it was very impressive. The next day I got to see the Fumaça from above and got on the Vale do Capão, a sleepy village that is full of hippies and the like. Very nice atmosphere and it must be said: what a beautiful valley! It seems a village out of a movie!


 

From the Chapada I hitchhiked to Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia and the city I already mentioned above. The hitchhiking was very easy as I was quickly picked up by someone who went to Salvador itself! Five hours later I was in the city!

Sometimes when I go to a place I think how the same place could have been different if I would have been there one week earlier or later. Maybe I would have stayed in a different place, the weather could have been different and most importantly, I would have probably met other people. So, the overall experience would have been different. And maybe it is that that kept me in Salvador to this day. When I arrived I immediately met some people from all over the world with whom I had a special connection. In the hostel I stayed I met Choy from Korea, Zad from Singapore, Maria from Portugal, Robert from Poland, Juan from Spain etcetera.  On top of that, I quickly started to get to know some local people who I, only a few weeks later, start considering as good friends: Marcio (a carioca living in Salvador), Camila (an interesting local girl who´s lived some time in Italy), Rafael, Antonio and so forth. After travelling for almost a year, always meeting and saying goodbye to lovely people, I utterly enjoy getting to know some people a bit better. It´s great being able to connect with people in a less superficial way. I guess I started getting tired of investing emotionally in people I would possibly never see again. In the end, saying goodbye to someone is always a bit sad, even though one gets used to it.


 

Salvador is a very interesting city. It has a well-preserved colonial centre which is called Pelourinho. So many things are going on there, practically every night of the week. After some time you just have to get out of there in order to save yourself, haha! I think this very outgoing spirit of the locals is what makes the following mantra about the city so famous: ´Na Bahía só alegría.´ (´In Bahía, only happiness.´) The city´s outdoor life is actually very addictive and if you don´t go beyond this first impression of all time alegría you would believe that over here it´s the paradise on earth. Of course, the many kilometers of nice beaches enforce this image. When you take a bus following the avenues by the beaches, you´ll see lots of young kids surfing the waves and many people wandering on the white sand, often with a beer in their hands. Yet, reality is of course different. The difference between the rich and the poor being so big in Brazil, Salvador is known as the city with the highest concentration of riches in the country. In other words, in the unequal society that Brazil is, Salvador tops it all. Think in extremes! You´ll find the most luxurious, top-notch villas beside slums. It is amazing how these opposed spaces mix in the urban landscape.


Studies found out that the living standards in some of the city´s areas are higher than in Norway, whereas in some other areas, notably the favelas, they are comparable to Sub-Saharian Africa. All this makes a city with a comparable level of stress. The poor are constantly being confronted with rich people living lives they will never lead, the rich live rich but fenced off from the outer world, scared to lose. These opposed worlds often scratch each another. An example: every Saturday there is a jazz session in the garden of the MAM (Museu de Arte Moderno). It´s a beautiful stretch of land between the sea and an avenue some twenty meters above. The audience generally consists of well-educated middle class people. You actually won´t find a lot of favelados (people living in the favelas) over there. Yet, just some one hundred metres away there is a small favela. And the whole area around the MAM is a pretty rough neighbourhood, not the kind of place where you want to walk around alone late at night. At least you would have o stick a bit to the avenues.


 

At night I sometimes have to walk back home from Pelourinho. I just live a few minutes walking from the historical centre. Without wanting to exaggerate I do have to keep my eyes open when I walk back home. I live at the beginning of an area in which there are a lot of crack smokers and transsexual prostitutes in the streets. But till now, I´ve never had any problems. I even think they realize I live there. Is that why they leave me alone? Not looking too rich helps out a lot though. I wouldn´t feel very safe walking around in very expensive clothes and with a necklace around my neck. So I take my precautions and just take the necessary when I go to some samba or forró night in Pelourinho: some money to buy a couple of beers and that´s it. It is odd though that some friends of mine have already been mugged. Thugs have tried to rob my friend Marcio three times in half a year, but being a Rio guy and a ´mestre de capoeira´ (capoeira master), he´s very malandro (I don´t know how to translate this.) so the last time he grabbed the thieves by their arms. After security settled in, they ended up in the police station where they already knew those guys: ´What? You guys again!´ Marcio told me he feels more insecure here in Salvador than in Rio de Janeiro. Me too; Rio is more relaxed. I guess the type of criminality is different. Criminals in Rio seem to be more organized. In Salvador there seems to be more opportunistic, out of the blue street crime: ´Look, there´s a guy with a nice necklace over there. Let´s go and rob him.´ I guess you get it: if you don´t wear that necklace and you look low profile, you can avoid quite some problems. It is a strange thing though: during the day there are a lot of big guided tours in Pelourinho; people armed with big expensive cameras. Around them you can often see a whole army of street vendors trying to sell water or soda, street kids trying to sell whatever they can sell, prostitutes trying to get some attention and of course some people observing …


 

And yet there is something that keeps me here. I love walking around in this city in which there is always something going on, a city that never bores. Even taking a bus and just observing the world outside is such an interesting thing to do. It´s a city that bursts, a city that lives, a city that impresses. It´s full of imperfections, it´s difficult to grasp at times, it´s far from being the paradise described above, yet there is a beauty to it that is unique. I guess the long stretches of beach do have an enormous impact on the life of this city. And of course there are all the parties and the carnival that function as escapes from reality, as if those escapes become a reality itself. It simply doesn´t leave you untouched – impossible! And in some way the laid-back, easy going nature of the village bahiano finds its way to its capital city. Even though being a gringo means you might have to be extra careful you´ll often have conversations with people from all stretches of life. Yesterday, for example, I was walking behind a rasta guy. When passing the town hall, he turned around, smiled at me and started talking about a deputy that was there to win votes: ´Look at him. Before the elections they are everywhere and the day after they forget us. That´s how politics work.´ Often it´s really that easy to pick up a conversation with a stranger. Anyway, one does feel that this is much easier in smaller villages in Bahia. Logical: everyone is more at ease, everything is relachi.


 

Oh yes, elections! On October 3rd, the first round of the presidential elections took place (along with six other elections if I am not mistaken). In Brazil, many candidates have a song made about themselves. Then they hire people to drive around the whole day with some extremely loud speakers on top of the car. Every few minutes you see and hear one of these cars passing by. TV is all about elections as well. Young, attractive women are hired to wave flags of political parties all day long (supposedly being paid 15 reais – about 6 euros – a day). It´s just everywhere!


 

At the end of the month we´ll know who ´ll be the new president. It will either be Dilma, a woman of the same party as the current president Lula (left), or Serra, the candidate of the right. Studies show that in the first round it´s actually the Brazilian northeast that is responsible for the big difference between the two candidates. In the other regions the two candidates get comparable scores, but Dilma is much more popular in the northeast. Very typical of course: in the northeast, being the poorest region in Brazil, the left candidate gets much more votes. So nationwide, Dilma got 46 percent of the votes. Serra got 31 percent if I am not wrong.


 

Dilma can count on the support of Lula, the quite popular president under whose eight year´s regime Brazil grew quickly in economical terms. Brazil has opted to use capitalism as a means to alleviate the lives of the lower sections of society. Many international companies were attracted over the last years; at the same time many people have been able to get out of extreme poverty and there is an ever growing middle class. But, the social differences stay huge and for some the change neither goes quickly enough nor in the right direction. Corruption stays a big problem and in the case of Salvador, problems related to insecurity have gotten much bigger than before. So, in general terms, many things have improved for quite some people, but there are a lot of imperfections. So, where will the focus be during the second round of the elections?


The quarrels between the candidates have already started. Moreover, the discussion seems to turn away from economical subjects. Philosophical subjects are gaining ground. Dilma is said to be willing to legalize abortion. Evangelical and other churches have already called on their believers not to vote on Dilma for this reason. The latter already proclaimed she´s only pro abortion in certain cases. It makes me think of some subjects in the American presidential elections. The US have such a big influence on the whole world, yet the themes that convince lots of people center around these (local) kind of discussions. In the case of these presidential elections, it´s a bit the same. Instead of focusing on economical topics, the public is turned away from them. Anyway, we´ll see what happens at the end of the month.


 

To end this message, I tell you that I am working a bit here in Salvador. I am currently working as a teacher of English in a language school. Pay is pretty bad though and it seems difficult to find more work. At this very moment, I am only working for six hours a week. I can probably get some more work in the near future but here in Salvador you always have to be a bit suspicious about these kinds of things. People often tell you they want to take a private course, but in the end there is a big difference between their words and their actions. Plus, lots of lessons are cancelled, so it´s not at all a perfect situation. But, we stay positive: I have a lot of free time to discover more of this city. Maybe I just need more time to get more connections. Once you get started and can get some private students, oral propaganda might help you out. It´s all about having a bit of luck. Right now my courses help me to cover some of my monthly costs. At the same time I enjoy working as a teacher after not having worked for quite some time. I hope I can tell you more about it in the next message.


Please, tell me what´s going on in your lives! It´s always nice to know what´s happening over there. Greetings from Salvador!

 

 

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A view of the town of Mucugê in the heart of the Chapada Diamantina. A cute, sleepy town you could even call boring after staying for more than a few days ...

 

 

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In Mucugê I became friends with Ricardo, an Argentinian guy who´s been living there for quite some years. Here are some of the beautiful leather sandals he makes. If you ever visit the town you should visit his shop ... 

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Ricardo and myself ...

 

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When I wanted to go for my first trekking I had to do some hitchhiking. I was picked up by the first guy on the left. However, he invited me to a cowboy style rodeo in some village. This was our party bunch. 

 

 

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The competition was like this: the jockeys had to make their horses run as quickly as possible. With a stick they had to pick a small ring. The first one to do so won.

 

 

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The Chapada Diamantina is full of beautiful flowers!

 


 

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The Vale do Paty. Breathtaking ...

 

 

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Some of the strange vegetation in the Chapada.

 

 

 

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The Cachoeirão (Big Waterfall) though it´s dry most of the year. Another stunning view, especially when you go sit down on the overhanging rock.

 

 

 

 

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This is me on the overhanging rock. Down there you see where the water falls when there is water.

 

 

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Chapada Diamantina.

 

 

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Going uphill to the top of a mountain where suddenly I got to see another mountain.

 

 

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And when I got to the top itself I saw this! From there on I had to get down: steeeeep!

 

 

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Chapada Diamantina.

 

 

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In the Vale do Paty you can climb up a mountain. Close to the top you can get into some caves. On the other side, getting out of the cave, there are lots of crazy vertical cliffs. Very strange.

 

 

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Arriving at the other side of a cave. What a view again!

 

 

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Chapada Diamantina.

 

 

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In the Vale do Paty you can stay at locals´ houses. The woman in the picture is Dona Raquel, who has never been in a city!  

 

 

 

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The second trekking in the southern part of the national park. Getting to the park itself.

 

 

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Coffee shrubs.

 

 

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Drying of the coffee beans.

 

 

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The Fumacinha waterfall.

 

 

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Another flower in the park with an insect inside.

 

 

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The canyon formed by the Fumacinha.

 

 

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Part of one of the most dangerous paths I´ve done. A path inbetween two walls.

 

 

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One of the so many waterfalls in the park.

 

 

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A river in the Chapada Diamantina.

 

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Production of cachaça: the guy on the left is holding the sugar cane inside the machine that separates the juice form the rest.

 

 

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Production of cachaça: the juice is led to these plastic barrels where it ferments into cachaça. It´s as simple as that!

 

 

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With Luis from the Breijão fazenda, who let me sleep in his fazenda and who offered me some liters of his cachaça as a goodbye gift.

 

 

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A small bar with two palm trees close to the Breijão fazenda.

 

 

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A humming bird (kolibri)! I love them!

 

 

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A waterfall close to the Buracão waterfall. Southern tip of the Chapada Diamantine National Park. The specialty is that the water comes from an underground river.

 

 

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Swimmng between the ´walls´in direction of the Buracão waterfall.

 

 

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The Buracão waterfall.

 

 

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Some of the crazy geological structures close to the Buracão.

 

 

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Eliandro, the nice guy who guided me to the Buracão. 

 

 

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Just outside of the national park.

 

 

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On the way to the town of Ibicoara, close to the national park. You can see the poster of Dilma, running for presidency.

 

 

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Mucugê again.

 

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A collection of pictures of the owner of the camping I stayed in in Lençois. Rockbands are relatively popular among the local population. Probably the fact that Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin has a house in Lençois accounts for this fact. Also note the Brazilian number plate on top: ´Rolling Stones - Rio 2006. Eu fui (´I was there.´)´     

 

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At a fifty minutes´walk from Lençois: the Ribeirão do Meio, a pool of water with a naturally shaped slide. This is a great place to go to after a few days of walking.  

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The Fumaça from underneath. You can see there is only a bit of water. A splendid sight though ...

 

 

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 Same thing.

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In the valley of the Fumaça river: papaya´s.

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This is a picture of the snake I met on my way.

 

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One of the ´waterfalls´ I had to kind of climb up to to continue my path. Seems difficult, but there was always a way to go up.

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The strange colours of the waterpools in the Chapada.

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Some crazily coloured flower in the Chapada.

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The Fumaça from above. You can see the pool of water down there. I was there the day before.

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Cactuses.

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Arriving at the fringe of the Vale do Capão. In this valley there is a village that nowadays is populated mostly by hippies and the like. They do know how to pick out the most beautiful and most peaceful spots.

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Going down to the village. On the right you can see the ´Morrão´(´Big Hill´), a marvellous tyable mountain I would get to see closed the next day.

 

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The next day. Getting closer to the Morrão.

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Morrão.

 

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Lençois again. Very Brazilian picture: teens playing soccer and others looking up the sky to spot a kite. Flying a kite is a popular leisure time activity here.

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Salvador. This picture is taken from a terrace in the Cidade Alta (High City). To get to the lower parts you have to take an elevator.

 

 

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A street scene in Pelourinho, the historical centre of Salvador. Different worlds mix in this part of the city. Shop owners try to sell paintings and other souvenirs to the many tourists. At the same time crackheads walk around with plastic bags to collect used tins they get money for. Recycling, that´s called.

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With some international friends at the beach: from the right to the left: Maria from Portugal, Choy from South-Corea, Zad from Singapore and me.

 

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A kid on the beach on a windy day. Mind the bonnet. Brazilians feel cold quite quickly ...

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A samba Sunday afternoon organised and attended by the great local couchsurfing community.

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This is the elevator you have to take to get to the lower part of the city.

  

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One of the modernistic sculptures in the city. Is that a representation of a woman? In front of it, kids playing with kites ... are they protected by big mamma?

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Another view of Salvador. In this picture the traffic seems more organised than it really is though.

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Another, somewhat more dramatic picture of the elevator.

 

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The Palacio Branco.  

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Inside the church of San Francisco in Pelourinho. It´s really worth a visit. Inside the church itself the ceilings and walls are full of gold. And on this square inside the church there are lots of these kinds of wall pictures. This one shows how death is equal to both rich and poor.

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Skol is Brazil´s most popular beer sold on every street corner. It´s a rather crappy beer, certainly for a Belgian, but one gets used to anything, right? Mind the spelling though.

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Salvador, a parade on a Sunday. Salvador is not only about capoeira and samba of course. As I already said there is always something interesting going on in the streets, like this drunk guy walking / dancing / almost falling with one of his shoes in his hand, lol!

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Look at those serious faces!

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Another picture of the Palacio Branco. The workers on top are taking a rest ...

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Spelling mistakes part II: somehow the street vendors can´t get the spelling of ´Skol´right!

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With some of my friends near the beach at Barra, one of Salvador´s nicer areas. From the left to the right: Juan from Spain, Robert from Poland and Marcio, my carioca (Rio) friend.

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With some friends on the beach: from the left to the right: Marcio, Massimo (the one who´s sitting), Julius, Camila, Emily and Rafael. Great friends!

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Olodum. This is one of the most famous olodum groups. During carnival they head out in the streets and demonstrate their rhythms to the crazy crowd. Some weeks ago they did a sort of general repetition.

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Another action picture of the olodum.

 

 

18:55 Gepost door Peter | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |