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Monday, 28 April 2008

Arraial d’Ajuda

23rd April – 28th April

After two weeks, it was a while since we’d had to load our packs onto our backs, so a 6.30am start wasn’t the most pleasant start to the day. Neither was the thought of an 8 hour bus ride, a 15 minute bus ride, a 30 minute ferry and then another bus!

We won’t bore you with the journey, needless to say when we arrived in Arraial, we were pretty knackered! The hostel was quiet, but we did bump into Claire from Bristol. We heard about a Comida a Kilo (pay for what you eat by weight) restaurant up the road and headed there for our first experience of this Brazilian feasting tradition.

The following day, we headed down to the beach for some well deserved R&R! Claire ended up having a free all over body massage, expertly given by Jose… some additional entertainment was provided when a TV film crew turned up and began filming a piece for the Belgian version of Temptation Island. It must have been pretty low budget as they were trying to film a couple in a sea kayak from a tiny little boat. They disappeared off into the distance and returned a hour later with a very wet camera and crew and a very bemused director.

On Friday, Martha, Thomas and Felix arrived in Arraial. We’d met these guys previously in Itacaré. We headed out in the evening together for dinner and stumbled upon a Sushi restaurant doing an all you can eat sushi… how could we resist? The food was OK, but a little too much heavy stuff – surprising that! We were soon full!

Afterwards, we heard that the WRAP Party was occurring in the club above the restaurant. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to mix with the beautiful stars of Temptation Island (Belgian, Low Budget), we promised to the waitress that we would be back. We’re sure they just wanted to up the quality of the talent in there…! We went for a drink at another bar, Sam had a yummy iced chocolate milk and vodka drink made by a very lovely bar man, then headed to the Party. The pictures tell the story! Click the link at the top right of the page.

A late start to Saturday, more beaches and preparation for the hostel BBQ! Led by Chef Ady (who else of course?!) we scourged the supermarket for as many fresh ingredients as we could lay our hands on. Agreed by all, this was said to be the best home cooked meal we’d had since arriving in Brazil. I shouldn’t mention that a member of our group was ill shortly afterwards…the ice of course, not the meat!

On Sunday, we headed south to nearby Trancoso for the day. Our Footprint guide to Brazil had us believe this would be another Praia do Forte – upmarket tourist haven featuring chic boutiques and pricey restaurants. What we found was a really delightful village featuring a pretty church and yes, a village green! The local teens were kicking a football around on the green and the atmosphere was really laid back, almost as a friend described, like a small village in the English countryside!

A path from the far end of the green takes you steeply down towards the beach, with amazing views across the surrounding jungle and mangroves. The beach here merges with the beautiful Pitinga beach of Arraial; you can in fact walk between the two. There were of course a number of really amazing Pousadas in Trancoso, but very tasteful and low-key, blending in with the surrounding village. We struck a bargain deal with one of the Pousadas (thank God for low season!) and arranged to travel down the following day to spend a few more days in this peaceful corner of Bahia.

Back in Arraial d’Ajuda Sushi followed by Forro dancing (similar to Salsa)…well, that is to say we watched the dancing rather than participated, a certain someone has two left feet! Claire and Martha however provided us with more than enough entertainment!

Anyway…Monday morning on to Trancoso, to recover from parties, Forro and excessive sushi eating!

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