|Bon Dias from Paradise - a secluded spot near Espelho|
We have spent 2 weeks traveling the Bahia coastline 100 km south of Porto Seguro. This area is a popular holiday destination for Brazilians and thus a great opportunity to observe their mixed cultures and racial blends but a poor opportunity to communicate verbally due to our language barrier. Most people speak only Portuguese and gathering information about an area or activity proved to be rather challenging ( we have taken charades to a new level and find we have become fluent in broken english)
|Man fixes fishing nets before cold cerveza|
|His daily catch - Porto Seguro harbour|
Brazilians seem to be people who stick to themselves and mind their own business, you are hardly greeted on the streets and no-one hassles you for anything including the vendors on the beach. Although this makes us feel isolated at times we appreciate this attribute as it makes us feel safe and secure when moving from place to place.
|These two "bambinos" provided hours of laughter as they bickered over their snacks before chubby brother took control|
Understanding that paradise can become monotonous, the locals occupy their time with awesome hobbies such as horse riding, dancing, capuera,crafts and gym.
|Men compete to see who can do the best back flips - Caraiva|
|Tomps's camera work got the testosterone pumping.|
|Brazils next top models..... (4u horse)|
The further south we travelled the more rural it became: tarred roads to paved roads to beach sand thus combi taxi’s to moto taxis (motorbike) to donkey carts. The bus trip was like being in a cyber-scope as the bus driver seemed to believe he was driving an army tanker and could thus go at ridiculous speeds on narrow dirt roads. After carrying heavy backpacks in the blistering heat we soon had our tent set up and could begin to explore the towns.
|One bounce is one bounce in any language - Making Bafana proud!|
Trancoso - A rustic little village nestles in the Jungle overlooking the mangrove estuary and tropical beaches below.We were advised to only visit Trancoso for 2 days, however ended up staying for 4 - We found ourselves wondering deep into the Jungle by foot or mountain bike getting aimlessly lost and losing track of time. On our strenuous missions we spotted endless amounts of bird species such as Black vultures, huge flocks of parrots,paradise birds, humming birds and eagles. The only animals we have seen thus far are 2 black monkeys with little white faces outside our Pousada, cats and T.I.M - tiny indian muts
|home in the forest|
|spot the angel|
|Tomps saved this little guy from hungry birds|
|Tour de Trancoso|
|View from the campsite|
Caraiva has no roads or cars but rather dugout canoes, bikes or just donkey cars and footprints through the tiresome sand.
|Options to keep out mozzies|
On valentines day we commenced our 6 km trek to Espelho (mirror beach - which all the Brazilians refer to as the best beach in Brazil). we left at sparrows fart to avoid the harsh sun, this dedication rewarded us with the most spectacular sunrise over the crystal clear Atlantic. We found the way to Espelho had far more charm and tranquility than the famous mirror beach - our day was filled with perfect snorkeling , awesome little coves, lagoons and a mid day siesta under a mango tree. the forest stretches out over the beach and with not a soul in sight, swimming naked seemed the order of the day. These long relaxing days always ended at the river mouth with a channel swim and ice cold whisky ( duty free) before stargazing at familiar constellations until the orange moon rose over the ocean - Just another day in paradise -
|Elsje staying true to her African roots - Go mamma!|
|Some calendar girl in her new brazilian bikini.....grrrrrrr|
|Smoked fish served by Natives|
Furthermore we decided to go on a tour up river to take a walk into the jungle to visit the native indians. The natives all live in the reserve (Monte Pascol)and only have a few visitors from outside that come in with one of their guides. At the time this seemed to be a distinct priority, although in retrospect we would have just gone up river as the native tour was like going to Lesedi cultural village with the exception of the amazing jungle.
Unfortunately there were no banks or ATM’s in Caraiva and thus we were forced to leave on our fifth day as we only had enough money for a bus ticket (I had to swim across the river to avoid the boat crossing fee, so we could afford water for the trip back to Ariaial. Classic ending.)
Preparation for carnival in Bahia has already begun with drumming and dancing practices in back yards and squares as well as building of floats and pamphlets/ posters advertising parties. We are currently two hats, one pair of sandals and boardshorts poorer and a few tropical worm larvae in Elsje’s foot richer but excitement is starting to pump through our veins as we anticipate infinite colour, banging parties, parades and costumes at RIO CARNIVAL!!