Friday, 26 March 2010


It has been a while, no? Believe it or not I am still in Salvador! Never planned to stay so long but it's nearing 4 weeks now. I have to say that this place is special, Bahia is special.

What have I been up to? Well, loads and nothing. The city is thriving, street theater, beaches and bars, street parties and beach concerts and then some lazy days too, it has been all. On top of all these we've entered the rainy season and you're likely to get drenched in a minute while still sweating like hell!

We had Buena Vista Social Club playing in Porto de Barra beach on a huge beach party two Saturdays ago and that was great! A floating stage, swimming after midnight and drinks and dance and everything! The nightlife is hot, and I mean hot! Some uncomfortable and even funny situations arose inevitably but all in all it has been fantastic.

As for the city itself, well, most people see the old city, Cidade Alta or Pelourinho, but there is much more to it than this. The old colonial mansions, the cobbled streets, churches and all the rest you can read in all travel guides. The market of Sao Joaquim though is manic! I spend some great days there and it wasn't enough. A crazy place full of animals (live and slaughtered), fish and fruits and spices, household items and all sorts of obscurities. Among them of course all the paraphernalia necessary for the practicing of Candomble. Which is the very widespread African-rooted religion of the Orixas, the deities (or saint equivalents) that are worshiped together with the European Catholicism. The nearby islands and beaches are spectacular too but I avoided the busy touristic hot-spots.  The world-famous Capoeira as well is all around, another part of the African soul planted in Bahia from the millions of slaves the Portuguese brought in Salvador. This is where it is and this is how it's done! And there's so much more, the feel of this city is captivating!

Once again of course it's the people that make a place. And the Bahian people are beautiful and sexy and friendly and graceful. That's more than one can ask for! I get constantly surprised and excited about Brazil, I honestly was not prepared for all this. It is a blessed land. The only problem for me is that I have not been photographing. I have not really done much. Oh well. I'm moving on now, I wont forget Salvador anyway, so a few photos were never made, so what right?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

In Salvador.

Salvador, the old capital of Brazil, the jewel of Bahia and true heart of the country.

This is where most of the African slaves the Portuguese colonists brought over, first step foot. Some 4.5 millions of them. This was the richest city in Brazil for centuries, mostly due to sugar cane plantations and the slave trade. This is now the third biggest city in the country and one of its poorest ones, with considerable levels of violence. The keeper of the bay, with the first lighthouse in the continent, and the richest collection of colonial architecture. This is where the famous Pelourinho, the Centro Historico, with the decaying palaces, mansions and churches is. With its strong African roots, in music, food, arts, language, religions and of course Capoeira is a place like no other.

Yes it has miles and miles of stunning beaches, islands and villages around. It's full of color and character and the people are gracious and beautiful but altogether the essence lies in the unseen details. All the above seep slowly into you, every pore gets saturated and you cannot resist it. It's difficult to pinpoint what is the secret, what is this that captivates you and even when you count all your minutes here you still end up with a sum so much richer and tastier.

I'm not good with words and haven't managed to get even close this sense visually, so more should follow in time. Time once again.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Last one from Rio (for now)

On a super rainy day like this it time to part ways with Rio after 3 busy and beautiful weeks. Very grateful and rejuvenated! A bit unfair to be leaving with this weather but I guess it's a wink to that song "Aguas de Março" and I'll keep this. I thought I had found something special in Buenos Aires and it's still in my heart but Rio is something else. I need to keep looking.

On my way to Bahia in a few hours and the trip is really warming up. Lately I haven't been photographing at all, it was too good to be bothered. I only have a couple of touristic photos today. But then again I'm sure this will not be my last time here. It seems inevitable I think.

Ate logo.