Here Be Dragons

Seventy-two hours and three credit card failures later, here I am in Salvador de Bahia.

After spending Monday night stuck in Rio, trying and generally failing to deal with banking problems, I got some cash and headed to the bus station on Tuesday morning. Having no idea what bus to catch or what time it was running, I spewed forth my best sporadic, chunky Portuguese until I managed to figure out how to get a direct ticket north along the coast.

Twenty-eight stinky and sweaty hours later, I arrived in Salvador. It is a beautiful colonial city, very reminiscent of parts of Europe with old buildings led to by steep cobblestone roads. There is a huge festival next week, O Festival De Junho (the June Festival, officially) so there are brightly-coloured banners and streamers up around the main plazas throughout the downtown area.

The food here is world-renowned, and is a combination of African, Brazilian and Creole dishes and the smells you sense from the second you get into town lead you all around the city. A rumbling stomach after a twenty-eight hour ride didn't hurt too much, either.

Last night, I headed into downtown and watched some live music and ate some food - Encodidinho, the only thing I had no clue as to what it was on the whole menu - and then drank some beer in the street, watching a young Samba band play while young couples danced on the cobblestones and the Brazilian women danced in ways that are impossible to do by nature of human anatomy, hence my new interest in aliens. I think my next vacation will have to be to Roswell.

I woke up this morning intent on wandering around town. The people working at the pousada I am staying at tried to help me out with the aid of a city a map, except there were two minor problems. The first problem was that we are not, so to speak, on the map. The people working there had no clue where we were, and it took them twenty minutes to even offer me an approximation. The second problem occurred when I stepped outside and quickly realized that the street names on the map were not even close to corresponding to the street names on the street signs. In retrospect, I am wondering which city's map I was looking at.

Undaunted, and armed only with a blatant lack of knowledge of my surroundings, I head towards what I hoped would be town.
Salvador is beautiful, right on a large harbour with fresh seafood being sold everywhere and music blasting from all corners of town. The people are friendly and the weather is beautiful, and the nightlife is supposedly incomprable. I think I will have to be here at least until the Festival gets underway, and perhaps for a long while after that.

Disclaimer: Please forgive all previous spelling mistakes - they are due to the fact that internet time is overwhelmingly expensive, not due to the fact that I am unliterate.