I wanted to stay in Salvador a few days longer, soak up the ambience, and the sun, and have a few more cocktails. But it was stay and go straight to Rio or see more of the region. We chose the latter and, with Oregon and Germany in tow, we headed off after Super Tuesday to explore Morro de Sāo Paulo, a beautiful island in the bay across from Salvador.
(Geeky Fact #581: Salvador sits in the biggest bay on the Atlantic Ocean, second worldwide only to Vancouver)
We could get a speed boat directly there, spending a whole days budget, or we could take the roundabout route and save more than 60%. So naturally we were off after breakfast, walked to the elevator, took a bus to the port (Where Liam was nearly plowed down by a speeding bus. He was oblivious and unshaken. Myself and Germany on the other hand were balls of screaming nerves!), a boat to Bom Despaco, another bus to Valença, a bus to the slow boat, and eventually a boat to our destination. We never make it easy!
On arrival we were greeted and told information in Hebrew. This was our tip off. We were the minority to what appeared at least 95% Israeli tourist population. Even all the menus were in Portuguese and Hebrew first, then occasionally English. This was a little unexpected but either way, six or seven hours later, we had arrived. And it was so worth it.
I haven’t really been to any beach destinations since Indonesia, and that was months ago. Liam had seen some in Australia, but this beach time had been a long time coming. I even had to ask to stay an extra night as I’d been too busy soaking up the vitamin d (and recovering from the beach party) to even start on all the things I wanted to get done before we headed to Rio.
There was so much to enjoy! From all you eat pizza to watching topless men play volleyball on the beach. I finally grabbed a new book from the book exchange and headed to Second Beach on the first day (the beaches were really imaginatively names). I probably should have eased my way in, instead I burnt my bum and back – the parts of my anatomy that hadn’t seen a ball of fire in too long. That night there was a big beach party, but in true South American style it didn’t begin until after midnight. We enjoyed it all the same, until the heavens opened around 3am anyway.
Still catching up on sleep from Salvador, and before, I wasted most of the next day. I eventually headed to Third Beach, away from the tourists, to rest in the quietness. It was then I told Liam I couldn’t face leaving at 6am the next day, and convinced him he needed to stay so he could skype his dad anyway! We used that last day more productively, we walked through the island to a beach with mud cliffs, back into town to see the lighthouse and lookout, before heading back to the hostel for the afternoon. Far more productive.
Now I felt ready to leave at 6am to get a ferry to Valença and then a bus to Rio. Though when we walked through Morro and saw everyone else still returning from the foam party, I won’t lie, I was a little jealous.