13th October 2010

We flew in to Salvador [13] to avoid a 24 hour bus trip as we are finding the Brazilian buses more like amusement park rides.  Nega Maluca (crazy black woman) Guesthouse, just outside the Pelourinho where slaves were auctioned, was warm and welcoming plus served fresh pancakes for breakfast.


Salvador, on beautiful Bahia de Todos os Santos, was Brazil´s first capital from 1549 and second only to Lisbon in importance to the Portuguese empire.   Millions of African slaves were brought to the city in mid the 1500s and today their heritage is alive and flourishing in food, music, dance, religion and the practice of capoeira, a form of martial arts.


The vibrant historical centre in the upper part of the city has a wealth of crumbling 17th and 18th century buildings including many beautiful churches.  Brightly dressed women lure tourists into the many souvenir shops.  A 10 minute bus ride south bought us to the Farol da Barra, South America´s oldest light house, and 3 colonial forts.  On the beach we snacked on cheese cooked over charcoal by a singing cheese griller.


Salvador´s old heart

Three colourful local ladies

Packed in buildings lead up to the Carmelite Convent

Watching life go by

Local musical instrument

Port of Salvador

Fort in the Harbour

Restored buildings in the upper town (Pelourinho)

Tiled marker in the middle of the road

Wave pattern in the footpath leading to the Cathedral

Church steeples above the roof tops

Hill top church at Barra

Portuguese fort at Barra

Oldest lighthouse in South America

Beach at Barra