Salvador, Sao Paulo, Foz do Iguaçu – Brazil pt.2

With the temperature in Rio being a bit too chilly for my liking (mid-20s) I decided to head north to the 3rd city of Brazil, Salvador.  Being about 1000 miles further north and closer to the equator, Salvador enjoys year round warmth and sunshine which make this seaside city a popular choice.

Porto Barra, Salvador:

Busiest beach ever.  Literally the furthest you got from neighbours on all sides was 1m, but very nice all the same:

At the same time this is also known as one of Brazil’s most dangerous cities in part due to the increased poverty in the northeast regions of the country.  This was evident during my stay as large parts of the city appeared to totally clear out of people after dark.  And I was constantly getting warnings of where I could and couldn’t go.

The days I spent in Salvador were very relaxed with a large portion spent chilling on the beach.  The weather was sunny and mid-30s, so ideal.  I moved hostels halfway through the stay, as I wanted to have a crack at surfing and it appeared the only place I could rent a board was one of the hostels.  So I set out into the waves, kind of assuming I would remember the several weeks of training I had as a teenager in South Wales and Cornwall.  This wasn’t to be the case and after being tossed and crunched by the brutal waves for 5 minutes, I returned to dry land to have a rethink and catch my breath.  My conclusion was to return the next day with the body board with which I was way more familiar.

Prior to getting battered by the sea (the camera doesn’t do the waves justice, they were vicious great monsters):

I had one of my best nights out of the trip in Salvador, as one of the local clubs was doing a Greenday vs Ramones night where they had two tribute acts smashing out all my old favourite songs, so I duly sang along to every word.  On another night-out, the town centre came alive with a huge street party and loads of bands playing the local music.  One of the groups playing was the very same Samba troupe from the MJ song, ‘They don’t really care about us’.   The acoustics of the drums being battered in the narrow Salvadorian streets was quite astounding, and guaranteed to get your feet moving.

Another highlight from Salvador was watching the sunset over the sea which is apparently the only place in Brazil you can see this.  The locals appreciate this phenomenon so much that they gather on a lighthouse hill, play music, drink beer and applaud when the sun dips beneath the horizon.

Last ride of the day:

After a week in Salvador I felt I had only just scratched the surface and could have stayed another 6 months there….but I had a flight to catch and my next destination was a one-night stopover so I could experience Brazil’s biggest city: São Paulo.

Most people in Brazil will generally tell you that you probably won’t enjoy São Paulo and unless you have something you urgently need to do or see there it’s not worth staying, so with this is mind I only booked one night and it appeared to be a good decision.   I was glad I went though as I’d never experienced such a behemoth of a city and it was awesome to see it from the top of one of it’s tallest buildings,  the Banespa (free to go up :)) and then from the plane on my flight out.   It’s also always interesting to stroll around a big city and do a bit of people watching…

Heavy morning on the trading floor for this commodities trader:

Catedral da Sé de São Paulo (notice the chap having a siesta bottom centre):

Rag and Bone man and his dogs:

Shop:

My final stop in Brazil was the City of Foz do Iguaçu which shares borders with both Paraguay and Argentina, and is also home to the world famous Iguaçu falls. Some people argue these are the most spectacular Cataracts in the world, but with only Kinder downfall as a benchmark I really couldn’t say how they compare to places like Victoria and Niagara.  Luckily for me it had been raining for several days before I arrived so the river and falls were at a very high level which adds to the spectacle.  Any more rain and they would have had to shut one of the highlights of the tour: Garganta do Diabo (Devil’s Throat), where you get to stand on a platform surrounded by these curtains of water (and get absolutely soaking wet through).  Thankfully it wasn’t raining on the day I was there and I was able to dry off in the sun.

The falls (ok, so my camera battery ran out and I forgot to recharge it so this is courtesy of google images):

Actually the last bit of camera juice I had left was filming this Quati, or Nasua Nasua, so not all was lost : ) These little critters swarm the whole area surrounding the falls, scavenging for food dropped by tourists, although not much nutrition in this plastic wrapper:

The night following my trip to the falls I got on the local public bus to take me over the border to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina and meet back up with Crag and Paola after they had taken an overland route through the south of the Brazil.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mum
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 00:24:20

    good to read your blog Dom, not heard from you for 13 days……. a little e-mail or text would bring a smile to my face. Thanks for writing your blog, its so good to ‘travel’ with you, you really are having awesome experiences…….
    Jonathan Dimbleby is doing 3 progs on S. America, Sunday nights BBC, the bit on Bolivia was v. interesting. I am also buying coffee and wine from S.America from the countries you are visiting, so we had Argentinian wine on Saturday, v. good.
    Love from Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Reply

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