Salvador de Bahia

Salvador in the state of Bahia was the first capital city of Brazil, built in an easily defensible locality with a steep escarpment above the bay. Many African slaves were brought here so the area still reflects the traditions, culture and music that they brought with them. We were stationed at Terminal Nautico marina which set in behind the Fort Sao Marcelo and was very pleasant (though there was some swell at times), you were moored stern to the dock with lazy lines at the bow. Marina manager Dominic and Alex spoke good English and were very helpful. They also spoke French and there were a lot of French boats in. We were just below the old town reached by the Elevator Lacerda – basically a lift, there were other funiculars. The place is very busy, vibrant and colourful even though carnival hadn’t started yet. The old town called Pelourinho was all narrow streets with lots of little restaurants, crafts for sale, some of the many churches (apparently there are 365) for which Salvador is famous, including with the whole inside decorated with intricate gold plated carvings, lots of vendors selling tourist stuff, cold beer, cold water etc. All seemed very safe although we were warned not to wear expensive jewellery or watches and to take taxis or Uber’s after dark. Lots of tower blocks – it’s a big city, some very posh bits (gated) close by people sleeping in the street, lots of derelict buildings next to smart ones. There are also some nice beaches, high the Brazilians seem to make full of staying on the sand until well after dark. After a few days we made an excursion to explore the big bay – Baia de Todos os Santos in company with Misto and Emily Morgan. We anchored at Ilha Bom Jesus and with Misto had a wonderful fish stew with accompaniments for lunch at a tiny street cafe – they said one would be enough for 4 – and they were right! Misto had kindly given us a circumnavigation of the island in their dinghy – actually we were looking for somewhere to park it while we explored the sleepy little island. Then we spent a couple of nights at Ilha Itaparica – good swimming to cool off and to clean the bottom of the boat, a night at Salinas de Margarida (shallow), then back to Salvador for a few days before setting off to sail north up the coast to Cabadelo.

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