Arriving in Salvadore on a wet, but warm, Sunday night was disconcerting. Looking out of the windows on the drive into town from the airport, the place looked run-down, and full of dangerous-looking nutters. People were stumbling out into the road, and when the car stopped at traffic lights, they knocked on the drivers window. It really did feel like a zombie movie, a Brazilian '28 Days Later'! Even Maria, the Argentinian guide, appreciated how scary it appeared as we passed through a particularly post-apocalyptical looking neighbourhood, and said 'don't worry, it'll look a lot different in the morning!' She then went on to warn us about walking 'round with jewellery on, taking too much cash or our credit cards out, flashing posh cameras, etc. Welcome to Brazil!
Our hotel was in a pedestrianised zone, in a street off the main square, in the 'old town'. It was populated by more scary-looking crazies, and Maria decided that pedestrianised zone or not, the car was dropping us right at the hotel door. She didn't want us walking up the street, and potentially 'at risk', not on her watch, anyway! She got out of the car to speak to the Police, and move the road-block. 'Lock the doors, don't open the windows. Here's a hand-gun, you know how to use it?' She didn't really give us a gun, but I reckon she might've if she'd been 'tooled up'!
She was right, it looked slightly less scary in the daylight, the crazy-looking people looked more 'eccentric' than 'murderous', and the town appeared more 'shabby-chic' than 'post-apocalyptical'! We had a nice mooch around, visited the beautiful old churches, inadvertently wandered into a dangerous neighbourhood, and had lunch in a buffet where they weigh your food and charge you accordingly!
No-one spoke English, and even when they realised we didn't speak Portuguese they just carried on talking at us. They're so lazy in some countries, not bothering to learn English!
We headed out in the evening for something to eat, and the hotel receptionist looked concerned, 'be careful out there, there's not many people around', he said. We only went 20 yards down the road to a restaurant, but it was the scariest 20 yards we've ever walked!
Off to Morro Do Sao Paolo, the next day, and despite being covered up virtually from head-to-toe like a Muslim wife, Sal managed to get mozzie bites on the her toes, which ended up looking like mutant strawberries! Time to slap on the repellent!