2023, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Brazil Day 8: Salvador Saturday September 2, 2023

It was basically the same buffet this morning but it was missing prune yogurt. I forgot to mention it yesterday, but it was right up my alley.

It was a really quick drive to the airport, despite there being only one road. We had been a little worried about that but it turned out, at least today, to not matter.

At the airport, there was a short but very slow line to check-in. It was also the first time in my life I’ve ever been approached by an indigent person within an airport. The way Brazilians treat indigent people, at least that we saw, seems better than we do. They’re less outcast. They’re still outcast, but less outcast.

Somehow we both goth assigned window seats, the woman was not interested in doing anything more but assigning us whatever came up. (Whereas on a previous flight I was given an exit row without asking.)

This flight was also our introduction to GOL’s weird disembarking procedure where they did it by rows. I guess that’s become more and more common with how people try to get off faster than anyone else.

Driving into Salvador (5th largest city in Brazil), it felt so much bigger than São Luís (15th largest city) and Recife (9th largest city). Somewhere I had read that the urban area of Recife was larger but, driving into Salvador, it just felt way bigger (and, in at least some places, a little wealthier). I do wonder if that’s a function of its location on a peninsula, so it’s certainly less spread out than Recife. The drive in is also just a lot more interesting. There’s the metro, all the hills, the lakes, it just feels like a more interesting place.

We realized the hotel we booked was in a rich suburb, rather than downtown or in Barra (the beach area). At first I wondered if this was a bad thing but later I think we came to appreciate it. It’s a little bit like what we did in Bogota, where we stayed in an affluent suburb because you weren’t supposed to walk around the old town at night.

It was later in the afternoon, and Jenn and I had both been experiencing different degrees of traveler’s intestinal issues. (At this point her more than me.) So we went to a coffee shop down the street that advertised itself as “American” food. There I had a rather google lox and cream cheese on a bagel (only missing the capers). It proved to be quite satisfying.

After our extremely late lunch I went for a swim in the pool.

For dinner, we headed down to Barra (by Uber). Still mindful of stomachs, we ate at a burger place. They had problems with their payment system completely independent of our inability to speak Portuguese and the whole thing was a bit of a slog. The burgers were fine but not as good as the burgers in Olinda despite this place looking way fancier (and costing more).

After dinner we walked along the Barra embankment. Even at night, people were still swimming because, you know, it’s pretty warm, even much further south than São Luís and further south than Recife. We walked past the small beach up to the promontory. There’s a church and fort up there, but there was some kind of massive party, at least based on the flights.

Despite our suburb looking pretty safe, we decided to play it safe and Uber back to Vitoria. (Also, Salvador is supposedly dangerous.) However, it was such a short trip we had to upgrade to “Uber Comfort” in order to get someone to drive us back. (If you’re wondering about why we were using Uber in Brazil, it’s extremely cheap Brazil, has an extra level of ease for non-Portuguese speakers and there is the “safety” aspect, as you can see their drives.)

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