Brazil more than a country is a continent. It is very likely that if you are looking to travel to Brazil, you are thinking about the carnival, beach, soccer and samba. These are the main reasons why one dreams of visiting Brazilian soil. From north to south, the giant of South America is like a continent of natural beauties and a cultural island of extreme contrasts. A culture that has resulted in people who radiates joy, imagination and a lot of rhythm.
DAY 1: RIO DE JANEIRO
We begin our adventure by taking the flight to Brazil. We arrived in Rio de Janeiro at 5:00 p.m. We took our bags and went to the hotel. We had hired a taxi for the hostel for 80 BRL, although it is more or less the same as if we took it directly at the airport. Really, once we know the city, we realize that the issue of insecurity is not so much. We can move perfectly on our own. In addition, the airport bus leaves us at the General Osório Square, right next to the hostel.
The hostel where we stayed is in Ipanema. It is very well located, as I said, next to the General Osório Square, from where all the necessary city buses leave to visit the city. It is very close to the beach and the Ipanema walking area. In all the forums they recommended to take the hostel in Ipanema or in Copacabana, so we did it. It is quite difficult to take accommodation in Ipanema because it is very crowded, especially on the weekend, and it is very expensive. I think the hostel is super cool and there is a good atmosphere.
Upon arrival, we hit the shower and left. Since we were exhausted from the trip, we decided to leave for Ipanema. We dined at a restaurant recommended by the hostel. The place is very lively, typical of a Friday night. We order dried meat (typical food) from there, and it's pretty good, squid, and some croquettes but it's worth the ambience that it has. The truth is that after our first dinner, we thought that the food there was not going to be any wonder, but later we saw that it was not like that.
In front of the restaurant where we dined is a very lively bar in Ipanema. According to the hostel, it is the best in Ipanema. There we tried the first Caipirinha and the first Caipifruta on the terrace where everyone is, how good we sat!
When we arrived at the hostel, we had the typical discussion of air conditioning. The air at the top made a noise of hell. Of course, we later got used to that noise during the whole trip and we could not sleep without it.
DAY 2: RIO DE JANEIRO
We slept until 9:00. There are the thousands of noises that are everywhere in the shelter. There are people arriving at the morning, others getting up early, drying their hair with the dryer, children bathing in the mini-pool, others playing table football. The breakfast is great, based on delicious fruit, bread, and cold meats.
Our first plan was to visit the Sugar Loaf. By the General Osorio square the bus goes. I have to dedicate a few words to the journey by bus. They go at full speed. They hit braking when they need it. They overcome obstacles with a lot of lightness. They give some boats that better hold on and they turn the curves with a force like in the cartoons. Anyway, it's an adventure to travel by bus in Rio.
We went to the Sugar Loaf. The views were the ones we were used to seeing in all the photos and documentaries. The whole city is integrated into the jungle and mountains, with the Christ the Redeemer in the background and the beaches everywhere. It was clear and we could see everything very well.
When we go down, we enter the Vermelha beach, which is next to the sugar loaf. It is a small beach but with crystal clear water and views of sugar bread. Instead of continuing to Ipanema with the bus, we went down to Copacabana beach to take a stroll through the volleyball area. It is one of the places Lonely Planet recommended to take a stroll.
We were not very hungry, but there were many beach bars that offered prawns with a great pint (camarao, which is what they call it there). So as we could not resist the temptation. We sat at a beach bar with live music to take some camarao with smoked cheese and some little fish, in front of Copacabana beach. Well, live music is the most normal thing in Rio and throughout Brazil. There is music everywhere and, in general, everyone is lively and with a smile from one ear to the other wherever you go.
We continue the march to Lagoa, enjoying the streets of Rio with its mountains everywhere and the jungle everywhere. We discover how the city located in the middle of the jungle is integrated between the mountains and the lake. It is surrounded by incredible beaches, which is what makes the city a marvel. From the lake, and from almost all parts of the city, you can see the Christ of Corcovado watching the city.
We had a coffee with some tartitas (anyone would say that we were not hungry) and we went to the hostel to change for a party in the liveliest neighborhood of the city: Lapa. To get there, once again we take a bus to the General Osório Square. It takes about three quarters of an hour. Again, a whole experience of traveling by bus through Rio.
The neighborhood of Lapa is just as we imagined it. It is full of bars, restaurants, people in the street, of course, music everywhere. In the hostel they had told us that it was not so safe to wear anything of value, or takes cameras and mobile. But the truth is that once there we did not see much apparent danger either. Perhaps leaving the main streets you would notice more insecurity, but where we walked we did not see anything strange. For the following days we decided to leave with everything.
We had dinner in one of the many restaurants that were there. Three waiters serve us one of those cubes with Brahma beer in the purest style. It is very common to see a guy everywhere (restaurants and bars) move with a tray loaded with "salty" muffins of various flavors, for example, cod, and meat. We tried one of each and ordered a risotto with camarao and rich meat. This restaurant was something else and had nothing to do with dinner the day before. The food was delicious. After dinner, we went to another of the bars that face the street to ask for some delicious caipirinhas.
The Brazilian girls in the reception had recommended us to go to a disco to dance. It is supposed to be the fashionable nightclub of the moment, with several dance floors. It is in on one of the streets that leaves the main street, a very nice street with colonial houses. So there we went. Indeed, it was a disco of 3 floors, with several dance halls. It is an old colonial house decorated with details, with its living room, old paintings, and sofas.
To get back we took a taxi. The taxi driver bring us back at 100 km per hour through the streets of Rio, after skipping all the traffic lights that were on the road, in the style of buses.
DAY 3: RIO DE JANEIRO
We get up at 10:00 to arrive on time for breakfast. We were tired because the jet lag that was still present in us. Our Sunday plan was rather relaxed. I planned to go to Ipanema beach to enjoy it. We knew that on Sundays they closed a lane to traffic to be able to walk more easily and ride a bike. Although it is true that being Sunday there were many more people. It is amazing, there is almost no place to put the towel.
The post No. 9 is where there are more young people. So there we put (or try to put, given the difficulty of the beach) a little towel. I swim in Ipanema, and the water of the Atlantic is cool, but it's nice because it was very hot. How nice it was to bathe in the sea when you know that on the other side of the Atlantic they are in a cold wave.
It is very funny because every three seconds a street vendor try to sell grilled cheese, bracelets, kebabs, drinks, ice cream, bikinis, and sarongs. It was time for lunch and I feel hungry. The beach bars are not as good as in Copacabana, so we walked through the streets of Ipanema and found a Japanese restaurant, which is our weak point. The menu was modest for the price.
We went to the hostel to leave the towel and went to the market of the General Osório Square which is on Sundays. We start making the first purchases of the trip. On the way to the square we are surprised by a children's batucada that left us with our mouths open. In this city we hear music everywhere! And when we see, it impresses us even more, the march they have and they infect us.
We gave ourselves a shower and we prepared to go to a very cool place to eat an authentic feijoada and churrasco (typical of Brazil) and dance amidst Brazilian music. As always, we take Osorio's bus to the pink house. The site is phenomenal. It is a house of pink color as its name indicates, with a huge terrace, crowded with people, and a dance hall where people are giving everything with live music based on Brazilian rock. Without a doubt, it was our site. We ordered some Moorish pinchos, some skewers of cheese to the grill and churrasco.
We met some Portuguese people who have been living in Rio for some time. Their houses are in favelas. As far as they tell, the favelas are not all dangerous, as I imagined. Apparently, they are pacifying the favelas to increase security in Rio for the next football world cup and Olympic games. They say that they live in a rental apartment. They are happy to live there because being on a hill it gives magnificent views.
Of course, little by little in this country we were realizing that people are wonderful, open, friendly and always talk with a smile. In the end, we ended up talking with the waitress at the bar. The cocktails are delicious and this new friend of ours makes them luxurious.
This closes at 1:00 (since from 6 in the afternoon there is a charanga). As this city is a non-stop, we went down to our neighborhood of confidence, Ipanema, and we went to the bar where we continued the march a little longer.
DAY 4: RIO DE JANEIRO
We got up at 10 am rushing to breakfast and prepare to go to the Christ the Redeemer. Again, indicated by the hostel, we go to the General Osório Square to catch a bus that brings us there. At the bottom of the bus, there are spontaneous guides that offer you to climb up to the statue. The price is quite good, but we prefer to climb in the traditional medium, which is the Corcovado tram, with a similar price.
Once there, we get excited seeing the Christ. It is huge, that's why it is seen from all points of the city. The views are incredible and, hopefully, we did not have fog and we could enjoy them. On the way down, we approach a little square called Largo de Boticario, with houses of uninhabited colonial colors. The truth is that the square has a special charm and we liked to go. Being our last day in Rio, we wanted to visit the neighborhood of Santa Teresa without losing much time, so we took a taxi.
According to the guide, we had to go to Aprazivel Street, so there we went. They are old mansions that are surrounded by favelas, but it does not have much more. There are no restaurants, shops, people, or anything, but magnificent views of the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. From there, we went for a walk to the most central area of Santa Teresa to find a place to eat.
In the main street there is a restaurant with a great pint. Every day that passed we ate better and began to taste the Brazilian food with pleasure. We ate some empanadillas (which are very typical of Brazil, although they call it cakes) of cheese, camarao and crab. We also ordered a codfish punheta which is a mixture of cod with very good onion, and a mango dish with heart of palm, an initially rare but very good mixture. Now that I am writing it, I remember how well that food sat us down.
We walk along the main street where the Bonde tram passes, which goes from Santa Teresa to Lapa. We had intention to take it but it was broken, a pity. We went into a couple of shops where they told us not to leave the main street, which could be dangerous. Although we could not resist going out to a little street to take a picture of some favelas that could be seen from there with the sugar loaf in the background . There were a couple of weird guys looking at us, but then there's no danger.
Instead of taking the Bonde, we take one of those buses that go through the cobbled streets, tumbling at full speed, you have to go grabbing or you shoot. Taking this bus as well as being an adventure is wonderful because it has views of the Santa Teresa neighborhood and the impressive city center and all this at sunset. Between the colonial houses they began to see the skyscrapers of the center and behind the favelas, a very surprising mixture.
We got off at the main street of Lapa, where the arches are. The truth is that we did not imagine the neighborhood like that because when we had gone it was Saturday night. We took a walk through the neighborhood of Lapa and the downtown area, we liked it a lot. Above all, we did not imagine that these skyscrapers were right next to the Arcos da Lapa and the colonial houses of the Lapa neighborhood. Suddenly, we saw some favelas in an alley.
We enter by chance to take a look and, suddenly, we find a wonderful staircase, a special place. It is a staircase full of colorful tiles with different motifs from many countries of the world. It is the staircase of Selaron, who climbs from Lapa to the convent of Santa Teresa. We loved this place that we found suddenly. It is not their in the Lonely Planet guide.
We continue our march walking to the financial center, passing the statue of Gandhi, the theater, and all those buildings integrated almost in the neighborhood of Lapa. We returned to the center of Lapa and took a succo in one of the animated terraces. Our intention that last night in Rio was to dance samba. So we went to one of the most recommended places in Rio to dance samba that is in Lapa.
In addition to being a bar with live samba music, at the back they have tables with a small restaurant where we can take great snacks. There are quite a few tourists (because it is a recommended place in the guides), but also many places. We got a Brazilian girl to teach us the steps to dance samba, although it is very complicated! We also met with a couple interested in learning, but they seemed as complicated as we were. There we spend the night between dances and laughter.
DAY 5: ILHA GRANDE
At 5:30 am, with all the pain of our heart, we got up to take a taxi to the bus station of Rodoviaria. There we have to take a bus from the company Costa Verde that departs at 7:00 am, to go to Angra dos Reis. From here the catamarans depart to Ilha Grande, specifically, to Vila do Abrao, the largest town in the island.
We arrived at 10:00 and the boat to Abraao departs at 11:00. The catamaran leaves the port, which is 20 minutes from the bus station. The road from the station to the port is along the beach of Angra dos Reis, which is super beautiful and crystal clear water. Right from there we can see all the favelas of the town, a cool view.
The boat takes 1 hour and 30 min. As we get closer, we can see the paradisiacal island of Ilha Grande, an island without cars. It is full of pristine beaches and that is known as the Brazilian Caribbean. It is famous for having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world that, without a doubt, we were going to visit. It is the beach of Lopes Mendes.
We had booked an apartment. It is one of those good, nice and cheap ones that is located a minute from where the boat leaves us, in Vila do Abraao. It is close to all the bars, restaurants and shops. We wanted to sleep peacefully without the noise.
We put on our shorts and went to have a sandwich at the bar across the street in a quick plan to not lose much time and go to the beach. We did a mini excursion to Abraozinho beach. It's about walking through the jungle and stopping at several beaches along the way. Each one is more beautiful and with more transparent water. It should be mentioned that the water is not turquoise blue like in Thailand. It is emerald green because of the amount of vegetation that the island has. At the last stop we took a bath in those crystal clear waters while chatting and enjoying the jungle landscape of the island.
We thought of going back to the village from where we had come, but a taxi boat offered to take us back. So we decided to go by taxi boat and enjoy the scenery by boat. We take a shower and ask in different agencies for possible excursions on the island. We had read in several forums of one who lives on the island, who prepares some very cool, well organized and more personalized excursions.
It seems that he himself takes the kayaks, prepares a barbecue and there is usually a good atmosphere. So in addition to the agencies we saw, we tried to find him. As we did not know very well where to look, we asked an uncle from the island that seemed like a local. He told us that we could find the one who we were searching for in his lodge at night. We decided to go after to have dinner to see what was cooking over there.
In any case, the next day we did not think about hiring any excursion. We had already decided to go to Lopes Mendes trekking and for that we do not need any organized tour. The excursion would be, perhaps, for the day after. Once we know that the guy exists, we went to dinner.
You have to make the decision to go to dinner long before you have a fierce hunger, because it takes, on average, an hour to serve your food since you ask. The same happened to us on several occasions. When we are hungry, we go to dinner, and drink a few brahmas. As we get more hungry, we eat all the bread in the basket and ask for more brahmas. So until they serve us food.
That night we had dinner at the restaurant on the sand, with live music, candles, and good atmosphere. We tried the moqueca for the first time, a typical soup there, seafood and camaraos that is impressive. After dinner, we went to Misti to find our imaginary friend and to see what kind of party there was. At that time, there were not many people. We asked at the reception desk and they told us that he would spend the next day at the hostel. But in any case, they would sign us up for the trip to the Blue Lake for two days later.
As there was not much to do in Miste, we were told that there was a party next to the hostel, on the beach of Canto. So we went there. And that's where our first night on the paradisiacal Island began.
DAY 6: ILHA GRANDE
We have breakfast as if we had not eaten in weeks. Also, thinking that we had a trek ahead, it was more than necessary. Yes, our plan of the day was to go to the Lopes Mendes beach, apparently one of the best beaches in the world.
There are several ways to go, but we decided to go trekking. The other alternative is to hire an organized tour and go by boat with a group. In any case, if done by boat, the final part (about 20 minutes) must also be done walking. The full trekking is about 2.5 hours if taken calmly. There are three steep slopes that you have to climb and then, obviously, lower. During the trek we pass through wonderful beaches of crystal clear water and fine sand. It was all paradisiacal. And from the top we take some very nice photos as there are incredible views of the beaches where you are going.
On our last steep slope, we stopped, not to change, to take some pictures. At that time, we met a group of Chileans, American, Australian and a Swiss. They traveled alone. We continue the march with them until we reach that idyllic and wonderful place, one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen: Lopes Mendes. The sand is so fine and so white that they look like talcum powder. The water look totally crystalline. There was an incredible sun, a long beach, and waves without stopping. In very good company, in short, it was paradise.
We took a few baths, and walk along. We took our sandwiches that we had intelligently bought in the morning (there are practically no beach bars there). We took some photos, chatted, told each other our lives, and we enjoyed ourselves.
At 17:30 the last boat leaves the beach next door to return to Abrao, so you have to come back with enough time to take it. Although when we got there we decided to take a taxi boat on our own and go quietly. The price was similar. Even the ride back by boat is worth it. It gives us the air in our face. We see a beautiful landscape. We are with friends and we simply enjoy life.
After a shower, we take a walk and go out to dinner. We went to the restaurant recommended by the guide. After an hour of waiting to bring the food (see that we knew, but when we were hungry it was too late) and a few Brahmas in the body, we enjoyed the fish with coconut sauce and banana sauce. It was delicious and special.
We had stayed overnight with our new friends. In addition, we wanted to go there to confirm that the excursion to Blue Lake was leaving the next day which our friends also signed up for. This day the hostel was lively, with people drinking delicious caipirinhas. There were fresh fruit served with a lot of care by the guy who controlled everything. At 12:00 no more drinks are served, but the party continues at the hostel.
The walk there is most pleasant in the light of the moon. The hostel had a very cool terrace where there was a bar and a bar overlooking the beach. All the possible young people who were in Ilha Grande and wanted to have a little fun were concentrated there.
Two English and two Brazilians became part of our group, and so we ended up forming a great team. It was a very special night. We had a great time with all the people, drinking caipirinhas in the light of the moon and the stars, in that magical terrace, chatting, exchanging impressions and meeting people.
DAY 7: ILHA GRANDE
We have breakfast again as if the world were going to end. At 10:00 we went to the Misti where we had stayed with our supposed friend, known worldwide but we had not yet seen.
His Austrian girlfriend appeared with whom he had only been there for 3 months and took us to him. The tour is on his private boat and not many people. We were ourselves, our new friends and few very nice people, unlike the tours organized by agency that are more crowded.
We go to Lagoa Azul and Isla de los Macacos. Although the day was cloudy, the landscape was spectacular. It was a small beach of emerald green water surrounded by vegetation everywhere. We took some kayaks and we went a bit to snorkel and see little fish of all colors.
On the way back, the guy was preparing a barbecue. So in the middle of the paradisiacal beach, with super charming people, we were having a barbecue, what more could you want? Well, a little nap on the towel.
In the afternoon we did a 45-minute trek to other beaches, enjoying the jungle environment and the beaches we passed through. At 17:30 we returned by boat to the apartment. It starts to drizzle, but it's nothing that has no solution with a good trusty raincoat.
We showered and went out to dinner at the restaurant on Calle Santa Maria. It was still raining. The waiters were very friendly and the food delicious.
Next, we went to our trusted hostel where there was live Brazilian music. This day, yes, it was very lively. We take our capirinas prepared with a lot of dedication. There we met with our friends on our last night in Ilha Grande. After the Misti, the party continued at the one next to Che Lagarto.
So I went back to the beach in the moonlight. When they threw us out of the next one, we continued the march on the beach, although the plan was a few beers and a bonfire. This man is everywhere and more where there is a party. It was a magic night in our small island that we would leave with grief the next day after saying goodbye to all our new friends.
DAY 8: ILHA GRANDE - IGUAZU
We had to take the catamaran from 10:00 am in the direction of Conceicao de Jacarei. It was a one hour trip. There we took a van that went directly to the airport and in 2 hours we left there. We had the flight at 4:45 and we wanted to go without hurry. At the airport we take a plane to Foz do Iguacu to see that wonderful place in the world that everyone is fascinated by: the Iguazu Falls.
In 2 hours of flight we are in Foz do Iguacu. We take the urban bus to the center and we go to our Pousada, which is about 15-20 minutes from downtown. It is a simple Pousada, without much decoration, but just enough to be comfortable.
When we got out of the room to go to dinner, we spent a moment at the reception to tell us how to get to the falls. He tells us his life to come to the conclusion that, although it is better to do the Brazilian side first than the Argentine side (which had been recommended to us by the whole world), he recommended that we go to the Argentine side the first day.
In Iguacu the bad weather is unthinkable. It is in the jungle and there is humidity, heat and sun, and nothing more. We took note of what he told us and we decided to go first to the Argentine side without thinking twice. We went out to dinner at the one, which, according to the guide, is a classic among the classics in Foz. We ordered the Picanha, which is typical there with meat on the stone. It was very tasty and the terrace is very nice.
It is in the street of the bars, so we went to have a drink there to see the atmosphere. We miss the local and friendly atmosphere of our Ilha Grande and Rio, as it was much more crowded. Foz did not look as touristy as we had imagined. Still, it has lively terraces with people drinking caipirinhas and beers. We did not go very late to bed, as the next day we wanted to be cool to enjoy Iguacu.
DAY 9: IGUACU
The breakfast was improving every time. We eat the best fruit we had tasted so far. There was the great variety of things we have to choose from. At 8:30 a bus comes to pick us up in the Argentine part of Iguazu and in a half hour we are in the park. As we thought we were going to be once in life in Iguazu, we decided to hire the jeep tour plus boat below the falls. We had the theory of doing everything we can. Actually it is quite expensive, it must be said, but it is the way to be under a waterfall and see everything up close.
The jeep is 20 minutes of walk where they are telling us about the fauna and flora of the park. Then we take the boat and we get closer to the falls until we get almost below. It's only an hour's journey, but it's quite impressive to see it from so close and get wet with the water from the waterfall. We began to confirm that this place is one of the most wonderful places on the planet that must be visited. You have to be with all your senses and enjoy the most of that incredible place.
The boat leaves us where we take the boat for free to San Martin Island. They do not open at all times because of the flooding of the river, but just when we arrived it was open. It is a very cool island with different views of the falls from where we can also see the Devil's Throat.
Then we continue walking along the footbridges indicated in the map and stop at the viewpoints. On a lower walk we see different waterfalls from below approaching a lot to the falls and a top walk where we see the jumps from above. From here we can access the Garganta del Diablo which is one of the most impressive waterfalls. It is a viewpoint with spectacular high jumps where we can also see the rainbow. The noise of falling water is spectacular.
We ate at one of the restaurants in the park, based on pasties and some typical alfajores there. It's pretty average and fast food, but the food is delicious.
At 6 pm we return. We get ready and go out to dinner in one of the many terraces on the main street. We ate at the restaurant. The atmosphere was very lively and they only took 20 minutes to serve us!
The restaurant of the previous day gave us some passes for the nightclub. We did not know what the plan was, but there we went to see what cooked in the absence of a plan. It was a very fashionable place, with well-groomed people (and we with the best dresses of repeated clothes of the whole trip and chancas from the beach). There was modern, soaring music. It was not what we were used to seeing in this country.
We had a caipirinha on the terrace. We danced a little and decided to return to the area of trust. The music was a little more light and the atmosphere less fashionable, but we missed our Brazilian music of confidence. Suddenly, the lights come on, some curtains run, a stage lights up and surprise! There is Live music of a typical group from there with our Brazilian music that we already knew. So there we stay.
DAY 10: IGUACU
We get up with all the peace of the world at 10:45. We set off to find a place to have breakfast. There did not seem to be any wax and, in addition, it was Sunday, so the situation did not bode well. We approached a bar with the illusion of the world, but when we arrived, the uncle told us that he had nothing at all.
It seemed that he was indicating another place. The man was dedicated to explain it, but as we did not understand very well what he was saying, with all his goodwill he decided to accompany us to the place he knew. Foolishly, we went through half the town until we found the place he said was also great.
After the mega breakfast we got late in the morning, we took the bus in the direction of Iguazu National Park, at the Brazilian side. Once inside, we have to take a free bus that takes us from the entrance of the park to where the catwalks start.
We had stayed with our English friends who had known the Big Island, to see the Brazilian part, since they just made the same route (although later they continued to Buenos Aires). We went for a walk with them. The views are also incredible, although we're not that close, but it's worth the view. Then we had a snack and we said goodbye to our friends.
At 17:00 they close the park, so we return to Foz. We showered and went to dinner at a restaurant, which has a very nice terrace and is close to the hostel. We liked the food very much. There was zucchini with prawns and a cheese sauce, a brandade of good salmon and stone meat. We did not take long to go home as we were tired and the next day we had to get up early.
DAY 11: SALVADOR DE BAHIA
At 6:30 we got up. We went to the airport on the same bus that goes to the falls. We had the flight at 9:30 am to Salvador de Bahia, with a stopover in Rio. At 14:30 we arrived in Salvador de Bahia (it is one hour less than in Rio). We take a bus to the center of the city, Pelourinho, which is where we have the hostel.
According to the Lonely Planet, the bus takes between one and two hours to get to the center, depending on the traffic. It took 1.5 hours, but it is worth the trip because we see the whole city, we go through several beaches, the beach bar, lighthouse, and skyscrapers. In short, the walk is not bad.
The Pelourinho is the old town, located on a hill. It is very picturesque, full of colorful colonial houses. The bahian's are dressed in their regional costumes. There are cobbled streets. There are some boys dancing capoeira. We see the market of course, which is a very touristy place. There is a fenced area that you can not go out at night. There are police everywhere and intense lighting at night. in short, here you can breathe a little more insecurity than in Rio.
We stayed at the Pousada which is in the heart of Pelourinho. It's not cheap and it's nothing special. Moreover, at first it gives us fear. When we enter, it looks like a warehouse, but it turns out that we then run into a kind of reception where there is a very nice guy. There are not many more who work in the pousada. We have to climb some hellish stairs to get to the room, but they are very good. They are very spacious (the bathroom is not so much) and they have air conditioning.
We leave the things and take a nocturnal walk (dusk at 17:00) by the Pelourinho. It's a little strange that when we get to the fenced area we see "end of the safe area" signboard!
We went to dinner at a restaurant recommended to us by the hostel that, apparently, has all homemade food. They offer us a caipirinha if we dined there, so why do we want more? We were on the terrace. We dined a fish with vegetables, a bobo de camarao, which is like a cassava puree with prawns, and some cheese bread. The owner of the restaurant was lovely. We were chatting with her after dinner. We had a very pleasant time talking to her, telling us about her adventures there. She told us her life with a smile and it gave off good vibes.
There was live music on the terrace of the bar next door, so we went there with our friend. Actually, at the bar there would not be more than 10 people on the terrace. She started to dance samba and tried to teach us, but I think that it is in the blood, because it is very complicated. In short, a moment to remember, be in full pelourinho on a terrace, with live music and dancing with our new friend.
In this city there is music everywhere. All the bars, no matter how small they are or how few people there are, there is Brazilian music at full volume. So we go strolling and listen to lively music by the streets. When we went for a walk, we found that lively music came out of a floor of a house. It was really reggae and very cool. There we stayed for a while throwing some dance and then return to sleep.
DAY 12: SALVADOR DE BAHIA
We got up early to visit the city. We thought that in our hostel, there was no one else, but when we had breakfast we found two who were traveling there as well. We exchanged impressions while having breakfast, putting ourselves up to the fruit of the earth.
We take a walk through Pelourinho by day. The Bahian vendors that roam the Pelourinho did not take long to put on the colorful wristbands of Bonfim. We visited the main streets, did some shopping, went to the Lacerda elevator (because you have to remember that Pelourinho is on a high). From there we went down to the model market. We were doing some shopping and ate there.
Next to Mercado Modelo is the port from where catamarans leave for Morro de Sao Paulo, our next destination. We went to ask for schedules for the next day. On returning from Morro, on Saturday, we would have to go directly to the airport to catch the flight that was returning home. What happens is that the last catamaran arrives at 17:00 and our flight is at 12 o'clock at night. So we hired a taxi service that keeps our bags until it take us to the airport. Once informed of all this, we return to our model market to follow with the purchases.
The best thing about Salvador de Bahia, according to what they had told us, is the batucada that there is every Tuesday of the year and of always. It is a party organized by bands playing on the street. There are lively people, beach bars, in the style of a village party. We were on Tuesday and a good party was predicted, until at 5:30 p.m. it starts to rain. It was a deluge.
It was something that could happen and was in the forecasts, but we did not think it would be true. If it rained, there was no batucada. We put on our trusty raincoats and climbed Pelourinho by the elevator in the hope that on the way it would stop. As usual before going to the batucada we go sadly to the same place at 6:00 p.m. It is a most lively mass. There was even a batucada inside! It was a band with drums, all singing, and some half dancing.
It was raining, so we went to a bar to wait for it to stop. As it did not stop, we went to dinner. We went to the restaurant, but as it was raining, they had closed and we could not talk to our friend. Instead, we went to a local bar to have a moqueca. And while we were having dinner, we finally saw the light, as it stopped raining. The music returned to the street again, with its drums and regional rhythms, like in a festival.
How little time does it take for people to go out into the street as soon as it stops raining and cheer up. It was too late to start the classical batucada on Tuesdays, but the loud music of all the bars was heard even more than the night before. We went to the bar to see how the atmosphere was. It seemed there was going to be a salsa party, but everyone was on the street drinking and listening to music. So there we stayed for a while and then we to sleep.
DAY 13: MORRO DE SAO PAULO
After breakfast, they come to pick us up to take us to the catamaran that left at 9:00 from the Mercado Modelo. In all the forums everyone said that the catamaran moved a lot, so it was worth taking a pill for seasickness. My friends took it and I did not take it. Yes it moved a bit, but it holds up well.
At 11:30 we arrived at what we considered for the next and last days of our trip as close to Paradise: Morro de Sao Paulo. It is a paradisiacal island, with beaches of crystal clear water and fine sand, where cars do not circulate, as in Ilha Grande. It has 4 beaches. The first beach is full of inns and restaurant and it is more the area of the village town.
The second beach is the most famous, the most lively, with a lot of beach bars on the beach and music at all hours. It is the beach, that also has inns and is a beautiful beach. The third beach is supposed to be the most suitable for diving. It is a long beach, with crystal clear water, less agitated than the previous one and less inns. Finally, the fourth beach, which seems to have no end, is very long, beautiful, super quiet and almost without accommodations.
We were staying at an inn on the 2nd beach. It was the best hotel of the trip, without a doubt, and it is that we give ourselves these luxuries at the end of the trips to end with a good taste in our mouths. Yes, it is a tad more expensive than the rest, but it is worth it. As there is no transport in the whole island and to get to our inn had to walk up and down and directly on the sand, we hired a driver who takes our bags. Our driver was a local there who had lived on the island for quite some time and knew it well. So he was telling us little things about the customs there and the bars where to go. On the way, we were already enjoying those landscapes,
We were looking forward to lying on the towel, taking a bath and enjoying ourselves. So we paid our friend, left things and the beach. There is a supermarket next to the hotel where we buy bread and sausage to prepare some sandwiches and take them happily on the beach. For dessert, we tried the Acai, a fruit of the palm tree. It is purple, and smaller than a grape, which is prepared as an ice cream with guarana and together with another fruit to choose (banana is very good). They had told us that in this area the acai was very good and, in fact, it tasted great.
We went for a walk to the fourth beach. On the walk, we met Chileans who were also on vacation in Morro. They were also freaking out with the island, like us. On the way back, we went through a small town shop, have a shower and went out to dinner.
We met our new friends the Chileans who came to have dinner with us. We took a walk along the 2nd beach walkway to choose the place to dine. All had very good looks, with live music, and anchored in the beach itself. Well, almost the entire island was directly in the sand itself. Anyway, there we can go out in flip-flops or barefoot because we spend all our time either on the trek or in the sand. In one of the restaurants, in addition to offering typical Brazilian food, they have makis and pizzas. They offered us a free caipirinha like that to begin with, so between some things and others, we stayed.
The night party was right next to the a bar. The party is really outside, with baffles on the street. It was full of the local people there plus the Chileans who also joined us. There were stalls full of fruit all over the beach walkway where they made us a caipirinha with the fruits we wanted.
We spend the night enjoying to the fullest. The thing did not stop there, when we finished, the party continued on the 3rd beach in a joint that for the day they serve burgers with potatoes. At night they serve drinks. Well, it was a simply great night.
DAY 14: MORRO DE SAO PAULO
Although we had not slept much, we got up with a desire to have breakfast and continue enjoying this wonderful island. As it was cloudy, we decided to go for a walk to where we arrived, which in the end was beyond Fourth Beach, enjoying the wonderful landscape of the island.
On the way, we met Dutch people who accompanied us throughout our trip. The truth is that these people impress very much. They leave everything and go to live life taking a tour of the world, meeting people and living wonderful experiences. Back to the beach we ate in one of the chiringuitos a hamburger, although it was a little bad.
We went to take a little nap at the hotel to get strength and go shopping. Then we have shower and find another place to dine. This time, we ordered pizzas, which are made in the wood oven and are delicious (better than the makis). Of course, they invited us to a caipirinha and we already took care of asking for another one. Without our two caipirinhas, we did not have dinner.
This day there was a party on the beach. Here I capture what we do not stop saying throughout the night if this can be described with words. Indeed, I do not think I can contemplate what we experienced that night, as it was magical. It was not one of those crowded parties on the beach. It was not a normal party but was a party made to measure.
To begin with, there were all our friends and the local Brazilians of the previous night. There were the Chileans, the Dutch, the Argentine waiters. A part of the beach had fruit bars to make the caipirinha to our taste. So there we ordered caipirinhas until I think we tried all the fruit combinations. There was also a DJ with Brazilian music that after almost two weeks in the country we already knew. So there we gave everything enjoying our little island.
DAY 15: MORRO DE SAO PAULO
Again we slept little so our goal of the day was to relax on the beach, enjoy the tranquility, enjoy the solace. However, nothing is further from the truth. As we put the towel on the beach, our Dutch friends appear from a distance and, even more so, one of the Brazilians from Rio with a giant loudspeaker and music at full speed with the Brazilian successes of the moment.
So we were there with music to the fullest, swimming on the beach and forgetting our nap. Of course, we had a thousand laughs. Since sleeping was not possible, we decided to go to the 4th beach to relax for a while. Again, it cannot be described with words.
As we continue beyond the 4th beach we reach the mangroves, a super nice beach area. And finally we stayed without making the trips to Gamboa or the island of Boipeba, thanks to our days on the island calmly. The truth is that we do not regret. In the end, all the excursions end up being like that, and to go to other beaches, we enjoy the ones we have. And, well, what we have left for when we return, because it is an island to return and enjoy again.
On the way back, we enjoyed a great Acai from the area with banana. Then we have shower and go out to dinner. This time we went to a restaurant where we tried one of the best moquecas of the whole trip (and last unfortunately). Today's party was at the entrance of the island, where the catamarans arrive. It is very cool, chill-out type. It is on a hill and it has good views of the sea. On a daily basis, they arrange parties in the afternoon. At night, the music was very good and the atmosphere was fun.
DAY 16: MORRO DE SAO PAULO
We woke up with the pity that it was our last day on the island and in Brazil. So fast and swift we went to the beach to enjoy the last moments. We took our last walk to the fourth beach. At 2:30 pm we had our driver take our bags to the dock, since at 3:00 pm our Catamaran leaves to Salvador de Bahia. Here a taxi driver was supposed to wait for us.
When we arrived at the dock to catch the catamaran with all our grief, they told us that by wind the catamaran could not go directly to Salvador, but it made the journey by sections. First, it makes a stop in a village, after half an hour's journey. There they put us in a bus for two hours and then another half an hour in a boat all crammed. We were sad about the altercation because we were afraid we would not get to Salvador in time to see the giant batucada that day was on the street.
Indeed, we arrived an hour and a half later than expected. Anyway, we left the suitcases in the supposed taxi and went up to the pelourinho (by taxi from the street because it is not supposed to be safe to climb on our own by the street and the elevator was closed).
There was an incredible atmosphere. We had the double feeling. On the one hand, excited by the music, the atmosphere, the verbena that there was and on the other hand, I was sad, because our trip to Brazil was touching its end. The festival was preparing to see one of the best bands there, but they played at 8:30 pm and we would not get to see it, since at that time we had to go to the airport.
What we have left, along with a thousand other things, for when we return. We enjoy these last moments. We eat food from the beach bars. We take some juices and we bid farewell to that wonderful country that so many beautiful experiences had allowed us to live. We return with the heart in a fist.