Salvador,Brazil, Backpacking Eight Months On the Road
Bus Through South America
By David Rice
Salvador, Brazil, Backpacking by Bus In South America
Eight Months On the Road
By David Rice
Salvador, Brazil, More Beaches
On a peninsula where the River Paraguacu empties into a wide bay, Bahia de Todos os Santos, the Portuguese arrived on All Saints Day in 1502 and by 1549 had built their settlements,
On a steep bluff that divides the city into two sections, Baija at sea level and Alta, 275 feet above, an elevator built in 1873 takes passengers between the upper city and lower city. Sao Salvador de Baihia de Todos os Santos is the name of this the oldest city in Brazil, the historic city noted for its carnival and now called Salvador.
In the center of the city there are two big squares and that is where the history and nightlife happen. Pelourinho Square, now a World Heritage Site, is also the location of the San Francisco church, a Baroque monument to excess.
The city had lots of wealth during the sugar and slave trade and they poured a considerable part of it into this very ornate baroque church that had many statues of European-looking angels, pregnant angels at that.
I love to explore the street food and found a local favorite: acaraje, a brown-eyed pea or brown bean fritter stuffed with shrimp, onion, garlic, and a touch of cayenne and deep fried in palm oil. Another that I liked, pasteis, a deep-fried palm oil fritter. These are treats of dubious health value but a backpacker walks off the extra fats..
Extremely steep hills divide the upper to lower city on the ocean while streets in the center hum with street music, beer joints, restaurants, and lots of shops selling art. The people were friendly, some brown skinned, some black, and some light skinned. The town also attracts many world tourists for its history, architecture and, festival and nightlife.
From Salvador I went south to Porto Seguro. There a man told me that I should go to Arrail d Ajuda, a colonial town on the ocean that I needed to see. He told me to go to the end of the dock and get a ferry to Arrail d Ajuda and then get a combi to the square. Turned out to be a nice clean square and an area of quaint hotels and b&bs, classic old buildings surrounded by tropical trees, a unique architecture with no high-rise buildings. All of the roads were cobblestone and they ended at a beach lined with restaurants and hotels. I enjoyed a beer and some swimming at this upscale community. This was my last beach before Rio so I spent the day there and caught ferry back in the afternoon hoping to catch a bus South to Rio, a long trip that might be 36 to 40 hours.
Soon I was on my way and stopped the next day for a rest briefly and then caught another bus to continue to Rio.
By now my mind was full of images of the beaches that I had heard so much about: Ipenema and Copacabana. Soon I would be moving south again towards Rio, normally a three-day trip by bus from Fortaleza, but for a beach loving backpacker it turned into ten days before I would hear the sambas, taste the foods, and walk the powdery sands of Rio's beaches.