12.10.2008 - 12.12.2008 82 °F
Enough complaining (for now). What does it get you anyways? I’ll tell you what - it gets you three gorgeous days in a row at a small hidden gem on the Brazilian coast, that’s what! I didn’t know God had issued us a “rain check” for the dingy-dog-days in Rio, the torrential t-storms of Teixeira and the swampy summer semana in Salvador. “Thanks Big Guy!” We’ll take it…
The bus stops in Porto Seguro, Brazil and we repeat the now familiar routine: wipe the sleep boogers from eyes, put shoes back on, stumble to the restroom in the back (because it’s free and bus station bathrooms are NOT – save $$$ every chance I get), find the book I fell asleep reading (most likely on the floor or stuffed in the crease of the seat), wrap up headphones from my ZUNE (a music playing device with all kinds of bells and whistles), stuff my day-pack with whatever article of clothing I was using as a pillow and/or blanket, make sure Marisa is good to go (she usually feels a little nauseous from long bus rides), double check to make sure nothing was left behind and then gracefully exit the bus (most likely, we are now the only ones left). It had ONLY been 13 hours, no biggie these days. We are bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed (like mom use to say) and it’s only 8:30am, reaping the benefits of yet another night bus. But we still have to: find a map of the area, talk to the bus agencies and figure out the needed information for when we will leave this city (prices, departure times, length of ride and if there are any essential bus bonuses available, such as: AC, seats that recline far enough back that you don’t have to support your head all night, movies, snacks, etc.), figure out if it is worth taking a taxi VS. navigating the transport system, determine where we will sleep (always important) and last, but not least, check to see if we have enough money to do any of the previous mentioned items. I need Tylenol and a swig of water. But this time it was easier. While getting focused on the task at hand, a fellow traveler, who had been on the same over night bus, struck up a conversation. The Swiss-man, Bernard, soon after had us on-and-off a local bus, floating on a ferry boat across the river, back on-and-off another local bus and walking towards a hostel across the square. Done and done. Scratch the earlier mentioned Tylenol, no need now – “Thanks Bernard!”
I deemed the next two days in Arraial d’Ajuda (I will use AdA as code for the city from hence forth) “Vacation Days.” This is where and when we cashed in the rain check. AdA, a quaint little resort town that was once a playground for the rich and famous, has now opened its streets and beaches to a more artistic/hippie audience, providing a laid back atmosphere and reasonable prices. So like anyone else on vacation, we walked on beautiful beaches, lounged in the unobstructed sunshine, back-stroked through the mild Atlantic waves, sipped carbonated beverages under the cover of an umbrella (used differently in this situation compared to prior blogs) and sampled new and exotic foods. Now by “we”, I mean “I” when it comes to the sampling of exotic food(s). In this case, I downed four to five spit-roasted, Brazilian-fancied chicken hearts straight from the skewer, each one getting an individual chance to WOW and amaze me. Tasted like chicken. No, not really – I just thought it would be sarcastically ironic to write that. They tasted more like iron/zinc enriched bacon, but with less grease. The texture was chewy and rubber-like, relating to undercooked bacon, but with more mass, like a heart. Marisa would not look at me while I experimented. All-in-all, I’d try them again, but I’m not going out of my way to do so.
On day two of our AdA vacation, while quietly relaxing under another strategically placed umbrella, we were shocked to see our old friends Cass and Wellington walking toward us. This had not been planned and was truly a welcomed act of fate. Cass knew that we were in the AdA area, but we had never mentioned our hostel or agenda and… they happened to be in the area, on there way to Wellington’s home town of Ilheus (another four hours or so up the coast) and stopped by for a break. Crazy-weird, but awesome. We spent the remainder of the afternoon catching up, telling more stories, contemplating life paths, learning about the Brazilian hybrid animal called “Shaggy”, laughing extremely hard and devouring delicious pizza – after which, they hopped on their motorcycle and literally rode off into the sunset. Vacation over.
For more vacation pictures, you know what to do: