World Travel

Pelourinho by day

12 February: The alarm went off at 8:30 and I was determined to see Pelourinho on our own today. It was quite an effort to get up, but we made it in the end. We asked Nicky and it turned out that buffet breakfast was included in the room price, what a nice surprise, so we leaped upon the (not really that opulent) buffet consisting of fruit (pineapple, melon, guava), bread, coffee and then caught a taxi to take us to Pra�a de Se, in the centre of Salvador. The driver was talkative fellow from Sao Paulo who said he'd lived in several cities but loved Salvador the most. He should have switched to Bandera 2 (more expensive holiday and night-time Cab Tariff on his meter), but he mistakenly selected 1. So I gave him a 2R$ tip on top of his 7R$ fare, which he somehow reluctantly accepted, knowing it was too much. He'd actually taken us to the elevator below the Pra�a, yes, there really is a large public elevator taking people us the 100m or so height from the bottom of the hill on which Pelourinho is located on, to the top. The Elevador was free today because of Carnival. 

The Elevador Palacio Rio Branco at the top of the Elevador
The Elevador
Palacio Rio Branco at the top of the Elevador
The Cathedral at Pra�a de Se Colonial houses at Pra�a de Se
The Cathedral at Pra�a de Se
Colonial houses at Pra�a de Se
Coconut telephone Bahia dress
Coconut telephone
Bahia dress
Funny cap Hawker pausing for a drink
Funny cap
Hawker pausing for a drink
Igraja de Ordem Terceira de S�o Francisco Taking a picture
Igraja de Ordem Terceira de S�o Francisco
Taking a picture
S�o Francisco Church is full of gold S�o Francisco lamp sticking out of the wall
S�o Francisco Church is full of gold
S�o Francisco lamp sticking out of the wall
Nice S�o Francisco courtyard T shirts for sale
Nice S�o Francisco courtyard
T shirts for sale

At the top we were accosted by some hawkers and beggars but managed to shoo them away (saying 'depois' (later) and then ignoring them). We continued on to the Cathedral Bas�lica, but it was closed, as were all the other churches except the most popular one, S�o Francisco, because of Carnival. S�o Francisco is overwhelming with it's golden baroque altar and opulent carvings. According to LP, there were supposed to be some strange statues once upon a time, but we didn't think we detected anything major. The church has a nice adjacent courtyard lined with Morals illustrated in blue tiles on it's inner walls, quite nice.

Next, we have Igreja do Passo and Igreja da ordem Terceira do Carmo on our list which are several hundred metres away from the main group. The walk through hilly Pelourinho is quite pleasant; on from the last church it's through a residential street lined with real old restored and unrestored colonial houses. At the end of the road there is yet another church (Salvador is said to have 365 churches, one for every day of the year). We had arranged to have lunch with Valerie and Eusinio, but being as far away from them as we were, but we phoned them to say this wasn't that convenient. We have lunch in a Kilo restaurant (pay by weight) called Do Carno, which is quite good. We slowly make our way back. 

 

Local art and crafts You'll find a lot of these typical wonderful naive paintings of Pelourinho in Salvador
Local art and crafts
You'll find a lot of these typical wonderful naive paintings of Pelourinho in Salvador
Bahiana Batman and friend getting ready to pose for snapshot 
Bahiana
Batman and friend getting ready to pose for snapshot 
Colonial windows Steep street on Largo do Pelourinho
Colonial windows
Steep street on Largo do Pelourinho
Igreja do Santissimo Sacramento do Passo Igreja do Santissimo Sacramento do Passo. Plants growing all over
Igreja do Santissimo Sacramento do Passo
Igreja do Santissimo Sacramento do Passo. Plants growing all over
Filho de Gandhy getting his headgear fixed, giving me the Brazilian 'Thumb Up' Pelourinho street
Filho de Gandhy getting his headgear fixed, giving me the Brazilian 'Thumb Up'
Pelourinho street
Pelourinho house with plants growing all over it Colonial houses on Rua Ribeir�o dos Santos
Pelourinho house with plants growing all over it
Colonial houses on Rua Ribeir�o dos Santos
Idyllic church at the end of Rua Ribeir�o dos Santos Coloured houses and tree
Idyllic church at the end of Rua Ribeir�o dos Santos
Coloured houses and tree
Posing On Rua Ribeir�o dos Santos
Posing
On Rua Ribeir�o dos Santos

By now downtown Pelourinho is swarming with revellers in their Carnival costumes. There are lots of Filhos de Gandhy again. We meet up with a group playing furious, powerful drums. Surprisingly enough, Carnival by day turns out to be much more fun during the daytime than last night. There are a lot more dressed up people and kids around. We hang around the Largo do Pelourinho which has an all-lady band setting up to play. There's another group currently play 'I just called to say I love you' by Stevie Wonder and they don't seem to be wanting to stop until being signalled by the lady band that enough is enough. The girls are pretty good and they're eventually caught up by the group playing previously which joins in and then they're covered by a TV crew as well. Eventually we walk back to the Elevador and the Mulheres group joins us on our way, accompanied by so many revellers, so it's slow going. There is so much to see here, it's incredible! 

Getting hair fixed for Carneval Dad taking a snapshot
Getting hair fixed for Carneval
Dad taking a snapshot
Bahaina Mulheres Drummers
Bahaina
Mulheres Drummers
Carnival dancers Colourful hair
Carnival dancers
Colourful hair
Colourful hair Old and young Bahaiana
Colourful hair
Old and young Bahaiana
Struck with awe (hopefully the tooth will stay in) Whole family looking down from the balcony
Struck with awe (hopefully the tooth will stay in)
Whole family looking down from the balcony
Blowing bubbles Ready to groove
Blowing bubbles
Ready to groove

Down by Elevador is speedy, just in front of it's base station is the Mercado Modelo, a large old house which usually sells tourist souvenirs and handicrafts, closed today due to the Carnival. We sit on the pedestal of a fountain in front of it to relax a bit before going on and are joined there by a black toddler who has just learned walking. He seems to have a long of fun by squeezing my arms. I talk Swiss German to him and he 'answers' in Portuguese and I tease him with an empty plastic water bottle. We then take a taxi back to our pousada, the driver has some difficulty finding the place because of all the closed roads. No problem, since we'd fixed a price of 10R$ for the ride. 

This is the craziest drive we had in Brazil, the driver had no problems driving straight through traffic jams, overtaking all other vehicles with his breakneck speed! He beat most everything I've seen! 

I sleep a bit after taking a shower to be woken up saying that V&E will be in our room in 20 minutes. I'm almost ready when they knock on our door. They've invited us for dinned, Eusinio drives in the direction of the Airport, they want to take us to a special restaurant with local food. When we reach there we discover that it's closed. 

He decides to go to a posh place called Boi Preto (Black Bull), which has unique buffet style luxury food. The buffet is overwhelming, with really delicious looking Lobster, Caviar, Shrimps, Asparagus, Octopus, Salmon, Palm Hearts, well, just anything luxurious you could think of. Meat is served directly at the table by waiters walking around every few minutes serving, besides normal fare like steak and such, Quail, Chicken hearts and whatever. I lost track. I go for two helpings from the buffet and am really full. The place is huge and is served by waiters wearing really neat aprons. Eusinio has an Italian Cinnamon liqueur drink Goldschl�ger, which had real 23k gold flakes floating in it. After experiencing the street-side kids eating our leftovers the day before, there's some reluctance to eat at such an upscale restaurant, the opulence of which is not easy to be matched even in Europe. 

Salvador seaside Salvador church
Salvador seaside
Salvador church
Barra Lighthouse starts next night of Carnival Sunset over Barra
Barra Lighthouse starts next night of Carnival
Sunset over Barra
Continue to 13.2 Bus trip to Ilheus