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Salvador de Bahia, Brazil: Strolling Avenida Oceânia

Sunday, May 05, 2013
Wall art on Avenida Oceânia. Photo by @OneBrownGirl

I have been in Porto da Barra (almost sounds like I'm hearing Baha) - a neighborhood beach area in Bahia - for *counting fingers while I try to remember what day it is* four days now.  The first two and a half days were spent resting.  I brought enough food from home that I knew would last a few days because I knew I would want to shake the jet lag, take it easy, and get some work done that I'm behind on. I'm going to be here for 3 weeks, so there's no major rush to explore. Besides, I have quite the view from this rented penthouse condo.  #225degrees

A small portion of a gorgeous 225+ degree view that I wasn't expecting.  Photo credit: @OneBrownGirl
After getting a stomach ache from the pad-thai-in-a-box I brought just for this trip (I don't typically eat food out of boxes...don't judge me), I decided to venture out to the grocery store yesterday.  I used two Portuguese phrases during my 45 minute adventure in the market: Bom Dia! (Hello!) and Obrigada ("Thank You" from a female).  I nodded my head no when asked if I had change and nodded my head yes when asked if I needed a bag.  And always with a smile.  I'm really happy to be here.

Late last night, I watched two movies on my Mac and this morning early afternoon, I got some work done that is pretty important to me.  Then I put down the computer and decided to explore.  And if there's an ocean anywhere nearby, I always start with the beach.  So that I did. #2minutewalkfromthecondo

My first Brazilian beach. =)

The building I'm in is the building between the tallest brown building to your left (under construction) and the wide white building with the yellow stripe below it.

Here is my stroll down the Avenida Oceânia in pictures. Before you look at them, however, I have a few observations:

1. There must be some rule here that everyone has to be beautiful to live in Brazil.  Wow.
2. I feel like I blend in because I'm Brown; although as casual as I am, I don't quite have the casual Brazilian look down yet.  I will though.
3. The older women smile and speak to me. The younger ones don't. Same as anywhere, I guess. They're preoccupied.
4. I notice that I tend to want to blurt out responses in French. That doesn't work here.
5. I haven't seen one person with dreadlocks.  Yet.

When a sidewalk isn't just a sidewalk.  Must be Bahia!!!!

A broader view of the main image above.
Yep. I've got a thing for mermaids.
I love this picture.
I don't know if they were playing dominos or what, but I DO know that they were slamming that table, yelling and having a good ol' time!
There was a time when my body was hot enough to wear this.  And yes, I would have. #noshame

This is the Náutico da Bahia Museum (Maritime Museum of Bahia) and the Forte de Santo Antônio da Barra. There is quite a bit of historical information inside, including...

"About five million Africans were taken to Brazil as slaves between the 16th and 19th centuries.  A shocking number died during the middle passage, although the death toll fell by the early 1800s.  When the slave trade was banned in 1850, in a cruel twist of fate, far more lives were lost because of the inhuman conditions aboard illegal slave ships.  Salvador was Brazil's first and foremost slave port.  This explains the massive African presence and influence in Bahia and their descendants' living contribution to a multiethnic city."

After visiting the museum and soaking in all of the historical info, I had this bright idea that I would climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse.  Do you see how high that is?!?!?! Ended up getting cramps on the top of my thighs on the way down. SMH. Had to walk down the steps backwards. LOL My thighs are still pinging. #outofshape
One view from the tippy top of the lighthouse.
So I bought a bottle of water and had a moment of panic when I realized I didn't know how to say "water" in Portuguese.  I didn't want to whip out my little book, because it seems too touristy of my ego, so I broke out my Spanish and said "agua."  Ends up it's the same in Portuguese. #saved

I have no idea what the image is above, but I saw about 3 or 4 of them while walking down the street.  I removed the paper off of my finished bottle of agua and added it to one of the rows.  I like being a part of things, sometimes even when I don't know why. =)

I went to the market again on my way home from my stroll.  (Notice how I'm saying "home" already?)  This time I bought 3 bags of groceries (watermelon, pineapple, 2 types of beer I've never had before, another bottle of water, a cut of beef I'm not too sure of, seasoning for the beef, toilet paper) and pretended I knew what a nice lady was saying to me while we were shopping.  I just smiled and nodded.
On my way back to the condo home from the market. #Random
More later. I need to stretch out my thighs. Yikes. #stoplaughing #iseeyou


sojourner on: May 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM said...

I have always wanted to visit Bahia. Your pictures are beautiful. I've got to make Brasil happen ASAP! In your opinion is Bahia child friendly?

Bianca on: June 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM said...

Man! I hope to get myself to Brazil or somewhere in that region soon. Beautiful pictures!


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