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Thursday 21 Jan 2010
Salvador, Brazil

Brazillian sun is STRONG! Factor 30 cream at the ready.

After a fruity brekkie with my fellow backpackers, I headed straight for the Barra beach! I brought along my factor 20 suncream which is usually more than enough for me and I lathered it on but after only 2 hours (half of which was even under water!)  I noticed I was getting sorta red, so decided to chill in the shade for a while... the sun is VERY strong here, the famous Brazillian tan doesn't exist for nothing! After this session I bought some factor 30 as a min precaution, not to mention some Aloe Vera "Pos sol" Cool

The Barra beach is fairly ok to be honest. It's got nice white sand, but lots of coral close to shore so watch out where ya step! I later found out that the best beaches in Salvador are in fact on a nearby island. There are plenty of hawkers on the beach selling their wares though which is a mixed blessing as they are great when you need them (for drinks etc), but kinda annoying when you want some peace and quiet. Pretty much 95% of people walking on the beach were hawkers, and usually they would leave you in peace, except for one guy that wanted me to give me a "free" henna tatoo and was determined to do so despite my protests!!

Chilled in a hammock in the hostel... fell asleep with cooling breeze.. so nice! Sitting in a hammock is an art form. You sort of have to lay into it in a diagonal fashion so that you end up fairly "flat" and won't get an aching back after.

One thing that has amazed me on this trip so far: the complete lack of insects! If any country was going to have insects, I would think, it would be the country with the largest share of Amazon rainforest. But no, apart from a little bug I saw climbing up Cristo Redentor, I've barely seen 1 mozzie and 2 cockroaches in a drain! This is great as it means I can leave the window in my pousada open all night and get the cooling breeze. It's really odd, but perhaps generations of Brazillians have gone out of their way to fumigate their towns.

Later on I explored Barra and discovered that it seems to be a pretty upmarket part of Salvador beside the beach with a huge shopping mall and many quality restaurants and hotels. Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, but you would need to head into the old town to get a real feeling of this history, although Barra does have some lovely old Portuguese forts. I imagine the centre of town was more inland for security reasons. The place reminded me very much of an old-style Bondi Beach in Sydney!

Had a lovely German-Bahian meal that night (many Germans and Swiss emigrated here in the early C20th). ... lovely locally brewed Weissbeir and jerked beef with some sort of potato-like root veg (I've no idea what it was) and lots of hot spices. Nice fusion!

Brazil's population are so diverse in origin that pretty much ANYONE you see could be Brazillian, whether you have ginger hair or look Japanese. One advantage is that you don't always stand out as a foreigner... although my newly earned red-skin started to turn heads soon after.

Oye... gringo stupido!

1 Comment for this Travel blog entry

Mum Says:

28 January 2010

Interesting blog Peter! Careful lying in those hammocks - not do the ole back any favours! No mossies - that's amazing! That potato like veg was probably Yam - or sweet potato. Lots to read!

peterforan Replies:

28 January 2010

wasn't sweet potato, I know what that tastes like because we have it so much at home :)

Might have been yam

South America Twenty Ten

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After previously dipping my toes in Latin America via trips to Cuba and Central America, it's time to go for the big splash! 3 1/2 months to take in as much as I can, armed with little more than my camera, laptop and a few dodgy Spanish phrases.

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