Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Salvador, Sunday, December 13, 1986

My second day in Salvador! I left Rio at 10 am on the 11th, taking the "ônibus leito", a 17-seat sleeper bus. "Emílio", the man who sat next to me, is a descendant of a Tennessee family that fled the US for the Brazilian Northeast after the Civil War! What irony - abolition took place in Brazil about 20 years later. (I'm watching a variety show on TV [O Cassino de Chacrinha] with half-naked carnavalesque dancers in the background as they interview a vet about pets and have a man lie on broken glass.)

More about the trip - we had several stops and I ate most meals with E. We talked quite a bit. Along the way, the terrain was mainly green, sometimes treeless with a number of thin cows and horses, at times heavily forested with a number of light-limbed trees. Some of the hills were cut away for the road, revealing brilliantly sunset-coloured earth.

Closer to Salvador were large cocoa orchards with squat, broad-leaved trees. The rest stops became squalid as we moved North. I tried cocoa juice (similar to soursop) twice. The second time (and the last stop on the journey), the milk it was mixed with was sour and the serving hatch full of flies.

On the whole, the journey was relaxed and enjoyable, but I was hot, sticky and tired at the end of it. The noise, heat and movement of the bus made it hard to sleep.

Yesterday I went for a walk with "Zara", one of my hosts. Her sister "Tamara" was there when I got back. Today, "Tamara" worked while "Zara" and I went to the beach (Jardim de Allah).

The beach is gorgeous, with waves breaking over low black rocks, sand that seems to be mixed with grains of gold, and palm trees.

Tried a fruit like a large, soft-skinned quenepa, sour and refreshing.

Wrote 7 postcards.

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