One thing Brazilians know how to do is party. They work hard, play hard and party even harder. And if they are sleep deprived, you would never know it. Salvador is Brazil’s second largest Carnaval city. It is different to Rio in that there is more of a street party atmosphere than the official sambadrome parade that everyone associates with Rio’s Carnaval. But here in Salvador they also take Carnaval very seriously. We are a few days out before the official celebration kicks off and already the vibe is electric. There has been constant construction of stages and street stalls since we arrived... and the tourist prices of food, beer and everything else are also going up.
The beaches are ridiculously crowded and, to be honest, a bit disappointing. You forget how spoiled we are in Australia. The wealthier Salvadorians anchor boats off the beach and blast loud house music, which, after hearing so much samba and drumming, sounds a bit odd.
Today we left the city and went island hopping on a boat tour. Even the boat had a trio of drummers, who had the Brazilians wiggling their cellulite-free backsides (damn it!) within minutes of boarding.
We met a couple of other travellers – another Brit, an Aussie and two Americans – who we got along really well with. There was some serious male bonding on the bow of the boat and some silly photos. Many ‘cervezas’ and rums later, we were also joining in with the drumming and singing even though we had no idea what we were singing about.
The people here are so friendly. The atmosphere is fantastic. The sea water is warmer than a bath. The weather is stinking hot. And we are loving it.