So what wondrous tales of sybaritic excess have I to tell after my week long stay at Pier Salvador marina in Ribeira?
While still harboring “great expectations” for Bahia, (I know I’ve experienced but a morsel of what the region has to offer) I’ve had to be satisfied with imbibing freely on its visual and auditory splendor (plus several cold beers for good measure).
Unfortunately I leave unsated.
Yes, Salvador is the diverse and interesting metropolis I’d sought, yes, its beaches are spectacularly lively, and yes, music is everywhere, spontaneously encouraging both young and old to dance openly in the street (and wow can they dance!)….
Salvador is also the first place where I’ve actually been made to feel like an intruder. Not at the marina, not at any of the restaurants or main tourist traps, so obviously not when I’m seen as a potential source of income (yes I’m a cynic!).
The “bad vibe” (a cynical wannabe hippie) is apparent when I’m out on the street, amongst the locals, making my habitual photographic rounds. Somehow I doubt it’s just a case of “gringo-photo-phobia” (fear of featuring in some tourist’s holiday snapshots, or heaven forbid… a sailing blog!).
I chose to stay in Ribeira because it’s where the majority of tourists don’t. It’s my way of effectively mingling with the general population. Here the strategy has backfired!
Bahians appear troubled by my presence. It’s as though I’ve bullied my way into their last tourist free oasis. I’ve gatecrashed, an uninvited guest and I’m not sure they’re too thrilled about it.
Given that the city is overflowing with hoards of carnival party pilgrims, I can’t really blame them.
So if you were wondering why there are so few smiling faces in my latest collection of photographic impressions, you now know why.
It’s because the “gringo” with his pocket camera has been noticed!
So, I’ll just wander off to take a few shots without people in them before surreptitiously sneaking a couple in while they’re not looking… 😉
Except it’s harder than you’d imagine…
Ah! The secret is to catch them while they’re distracted…
Yes, operation ice-cream is a success…
and I’m finally able to show you what the locals get up to on the beach…
Don’t ask me… I’m just the photographer…. but apparently this is the way the women work on their tan.
The men on the other hand look for some shade…
But Ribeira is not just beach, bikinis, beer and food stalls.
Some people have to work for a living (present company excluded).
Bahians don’t always get that lean muscular body by going to a gym.
I get mine by going for walks… 😉