Golden Reefs, Emerald Sea

Hoy marca 3 años desde que visite Salvador, Bahia. Como vuela el tiempo! Lo magnifico de nuestros cerebros es como guardamos memorias de momentos lindos de nuestras vidas. The amazing thing about our brain is how we have the capability to retain memories of beautiful moments in our lives. Some experiences are so impactful that memories stay vivid to the point where you remember emotions, smells, colors, sights, words, as if it was something that had just happened yesterday. Many moments from my time in Salvador are still very vivid in my memory. While I absolutely loved living in Rio de Janeiro, being able to experience Salvador introduced me to a whole other side of Brazil which could only be experienced in that region. In my short time there (3 weeks total) I learned so much about the African influence in Brazil. From the food, to the music, to the dancing, to the love of Baihan@s, to the unique accents, and the important history.

Agora, tempo para lembrar meus favoritos lugares e memorias do Salvador de Bahia!

Pelourinho

Pelourinho (a.k.a. Pelo) is the historic center of Salvador, Bahia. It was the first colonial capital in Brazil and the first geographical location in South America to open a slave market. Walking around Pelo was like being in a different moment in time. Its colonial structures still stand and the streets are made of cobble stone. It is bright, vibrant, loud, and alive. During the day time there are numerous restaurants, shops, art galleries, and museums that you can check out. The museums are small but hold a lot of historical information which will help you understand the importance of the location you are at. My favorite museum was one which focused on the Orixas. Orixas are African Gods which represent strong points of nature and endeavors of humanity. Just to name a few; Ogun is the God of iron, war, and labor; Shango rules over fire, lightning, thunder and fire; Oya is the ruler of the winds; Oshun rules over the streams, rivers, and embodies love and fertility; and Iemanja (Yemoja) is the ruler of the ocean, waves, and the mother of all Orishas. There are about 400 Orixas in total. As you walk around Pelo, you will notice how important Orixas and Candomblé (religion which workships Orixas) are in this region of Brazil. 

Pelo also offers a great nightlife scene with all types of places playing Samba, Axé, Afrobeat, and Baile Funk. If you are lucky you can catch a live music show! Here is a beautiful version of the popular Samba "Brazil Pandeiro," with the scene in the screen still filmed in Pelo. 

Chapada Diamantina

Chapada, Chapada, minha linda Chapada Diamantina. This beautiful national park is located 8 hours east of Salvador. There are many buses you can take from Salvador's terminal which will take you straight to Chapada. There are absolutely no words to describe the beauty of nature that can be seen at that place. The town of Chapada itself is very small and easy to get around in. We were not there for too long but were able to see different locations through a guided tour. Chapada has it all! Waterfalls, rivers, lagoons, mountains, caves, more waterfalls. It is the first place in Brazil where I experienced feeling deeply connected with mother Earth. It holds a peaceful essence that made me feel like I could live there forever. 

Praia do Forte

Nuestro dia en Praia do Forte fue un dia tan especial y lleno de paz. We woke up one morning and hopped on a bus which took us to the town of Praia do Forte, about an hour and a half north of Salvador, Bahia. It was a gloomy day but there was instances when the sun decided to make its rare appearances. We spent the whole day relaxing on the sand, drinking coconut water, on a part of the beach that felt almost deserted. There were local fishermen fishing in the tide pools that form on the shore and children swimming enjoying the warm, clear water. I was completely mesmerized by the formation of this beach. I had never seen anything like it before. In order to reach the waves you have to walk over the reef for a few minutes but this is only possible if the tide is low. Lucky for us it was. As I walked across the reef to get to the crashing waves I thought "Wow! This is how Jesus must of felt when he was walking across water!" haha! Around 4 p.m. the dark clouds rolled in and the winds started to pick up. The reef gave off a gold shiny color while the waves and the ocean reflected an emerald green. As we started to make our way back to town, a beautiful rainbow formed out in the distance at sea. It is a moment I am so eternally grateful to have witnessed. 

Boa Companhia :)

My experience in Bahia was truly unforgettable but a trip is not only made my the places you see but also by the people you meet. I was fortunate enough to share this experience with three wonderful souls I had met during my first few weeks in Rio. George, Alex, and Geoffrey. Three individuals whom were interested in genuinely learning about Salvador, its people, its culture, its history, its lifestyle. We created a wonderful bond which enabled us to hold meaningful conversations and take care of each other. I hold each one of you close to my heart. Obrigada.