Posted by Amanda
Barra was suggested to us by people who stayed in Salvador the entire time so we got a cab and headed there. At Barra there is a lovely lighthouse along a busy beach. The beach area had many umbrellas and chairs for hire. There were a lot of rocks in the water that created lagoons and tide pools for people to play in. The water was so warm it was hard to believe it is the same Atlantic I froze in in Maryland.
For breakfast we got some agua de coco. This is a young coconut that is cut open. You insert a straw into the opening and drink the coconut water out of it. The water is what becomes the coconut milk as it ages. Once you finish drinking you ask the vendor to cut open the coconut to scoop out the inside. At this point of its growth, it is still sort of slimy and gelatinous. It doesn't taste much like the coconut we usually have.
We strolled over to the lighthouse putting our feet in the water along the way. The lighthouse is a maritime museum so we didn't go inside it.
We did find a cheese vendor as we were walking along. This time we got to see him char it as he fanned his coals with a broken DVD case. Before cooking it, he dipped the cheese in oregano and crushed red pepper. When he finished he poured a sweet molassas type thing on it. It was delicious though when you chewed it, it sounded like someone walking with wet shoes.
We went a bit off the main path in search of lunch. Oh, but first we saw Salvador's version of Christ the Redeemer. It is much smaller than Rio's and doesn't have its arms out. For lunch we found a small bakery with a convenience store attached. We sat there for a bit to cool off and write some postcards.
We took a cab back to the Pelourinho to take some photos and shop a bit. We had seen some postcards of the area that were so beautiful we wanted to recreate them. In actuality, it didn't look like the postcards because all of the colors were faded and dirty. I guess they were liberal with Photoshop.
We had seen on postcards these pretty statues of women in a fountain or lake. We asked around about them and discovered they are the orixha or saints. We took an overpriced cab there. If I go back to Brazil, I need to know how to say "use the meter" in Portuguese. It took our last bit of cash to get there.
The area was a nice park with a soccer stadium beside it. There were people fishing and renting paddleboats. We walked to the area of the lake with the orixha. They were in the middle of the lake. Again, the colors were very faded but they were still neat. A bit more strolling then back to convince a cab driver to take us to the ATM near the ship so we could pay him. It worked.
Not ready to get back on the ship yet we walked around the market a then headed back saying goodbye to Brazil.
Overall, I don't think I need to return to Salvador. I'd love to try Rio and would certainly go back to Iguacu. We head to South Africa next. I really want to love Cape Town.