Seeing the different faces of Brazil

Our first destination after Rio de Janeiro was Salvador de Bahia. Matze was still missing his luggage, but thanks to that he didn’t have to carry a lot, cause we used the public transportation to reach the city center from the airport. Our hostel was prefect located, right in the historic heart of Salvador.

Salvador has a very beautiful historic center with lovely renewed houses and cobble stoned streets. The bad side of Salvador is, that the city is quiet dangerous. Even locals has been victims of robberies and in the city center stands at really every corner a police guy and checks the streets. After 6, when it gets dark all the shops around the city center are closed and the streets are empty. So we had to take care to have a nice time in Salvador without bad experience. In Salvador you don’t really feel like in the rest of Brazil. The quiet modern Brazil I got to know was less organized, more dirty and it remembered me to the Dominican Republic or Peru. But somehow it had some charm. With an elevator for 15 Centavos could we reached the lower part of the city. Here, only 5min from the nice historic center, the houses almost escaped and where super old. On a handicraft market we bought some paintings and celebrated that with a beer on the terrace. Here we became victim of credit card abuse as we realized the some days after. One ATM was probably manipulated because it was the only one both of us used on our trip. They took all the money of Matzes account and they tried it with mine, without success but they entered 3 times the wrong Pin, that I had to lock my account as well. Thanks god, that both of us have a second card and Matze will get his money also back. With this bad taste of Salvador it was a bit hard to enjoy the first days, but we didn’t let us destroy our trip because of some criminals.

So the second day in Salvador we stayed on the beach on the island of itaparica, 40min by boat from Salvador. From the port of the island we used a taxi to get to our beach where we planned to go. The taxi was kind of not registered but the driver seemed quite trustful and stopped after 1min taxi-ride to buy fish for the lunch for his family. He even gave us a time to pick us up to get the ferry in time, which was very nice. At the beach Ponte de Area  we had to wait a bit for the rain which stared right when we arrived but after the rain we enjoyed a great day on the beach.  Plus when we came back we got good news, that the luggage of Matze arrived and is ready to pick up from the airport of Salvador. The follow night was quite short, because our flight has been rescheduled to 3:40 in the morning and we had to leave the hostel at 1am. Unfortunately this night a drummer band was making incredible noise right in front of our hostel which made it almost impossible to sleep. On the airport we got Matzes backpack and we were ready to leave for Recife. In Recife we stayed in the apartment of the Couchsurfer José, which was super good located in the nice neighborhood of Boa Viagem in the 14th floor of a building 5min walk to the beach.

Recife was totally different if you compare it to Salvador and remembered me to Sao Paulo, only the nice coast in Recife are millions of other buildings in Sao Paulo. But first we discovered the twin town of Recife Olinda. It’s a UNESCO world heritage and was a very calm and beautiful place with nice painted colonial buildings and great views to the Atlantic and the skyline of Recife. Two musicians sang a kind of freestyle folklore song for us, which was hard to understand. But it was nice to listen to the music while having a ice cold beer in the midday heat of Olinda that we rewarded that with some Reals.

After Olinda we went back to the apartment and to the beach. While swimming you had to take care because some sharks started to like the coast of Recife (Because of the new harbor in 1992 the food of the sharks was easier to get on the coast line of Recife) so you were not allowed to swim far from the beach and we checked twice the water before we went swimming.

We finished the day with Caipirinha on José’s balcony and stared the next day with running on the beach and some workout in the sand. José showed us this day the city center of his city which was really cool, because with the help of a local we could see the different faces of Recife which seemed to be the different sides of Brazil. Colonial old town, colonial renovated town, Favela, chaotic city markets, modern skyscrapers and 70’s styled old ugly building all together split on some island and connected by bridges. It was super interesting and indeed we never could do this tour without him. And its just incredible, that José who is a doctor and is quite busy, used his short free time to show some Gringos his city. But this is Couchsurfing…

On the evening Matze and me discovered the night life of Recife. The bar was 5min from our apartment, which was perfect because we had to go back due we couldn’t enter with Bermudas. The club was cool, the life music great, the entrance high like in Sao Paulo, the beer incredible expensive and the people the upper middle class of Recife. We decided that it’s better to party in Dresden for less money and more funny people and left the place quiet early because we were the only one who really danced on the dance floor.

The next day José gave us a ride to the airport and we went Fortaleza. Everyone including our guide book said that Fortaleza is not that worth to visit but the renovated a lot and the city beach was one of the cleanest city beach I have been with soft sand. Now we relax in the hostel and prepare ourselves to the trip in the so named backpackers paradise of Brazil – Jericoacoara.

Reisevorbereitung

Mathias Written by:

2 Comments

  1. 12. April 2012
    Reply

    Wow! Recife looks amazing!!! I think it is a city that is really worth to take a visit. It is a pity that you were victims to credit card scams in Salvador, but it’s good to know that you didn’t let ruin your trip. It seems the trip with your friend Matze at least started really nice! Let’s keep reading!

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