Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bahia Paradise of Moreré

Salvador is a huge city. It’s got traffic, it’s got Favelas. It’s got stress.

But it’s in Bahia, as Mestre Acordeon says, “The center of the Universe.” (If you are a Capoeira, do yourself a favor and read Mestre's article) Apparently, the center of the universe comes with a shit-ton of beaches and palm trees to drink Caipirinhas under. So, it would be somewhat of a crime against humanity not to GTFO of town every weekend, and you don't even need a worm hole to get there. Which is what we have been doing since I arrived here.

First weekend we went to an island called Ilha de Boipeba (pronounce: elyah Boepaebah) You might as well start picking up some sexy, slovenly Salvadorian Portuguese while reading my blog. Ilha de Boipeba is south of Ilha de Tinharé both of which are two hours south of Salvador. Well, it would be two hours if this was Europe or the USA, countries that give a shit about FoMo, or the stress levels their transportation systems inflict on people. Sexy, slovenly Salvador is a little different.

So, on a lovely Saturday morning, we got up at 5.30AM  and took a taxi (hell no, there ain’t no bus at that hour) to Mercado Modelo where the ferry to Mar Grande leaves. We had to be early because it’s a long weekend and everybody and their dog is trying to GTFO of town. No matter how early it is though, there is still a huge line in front of the tiny, sexy, slovenly Ferry Boate (pronounce: fehi bowchy) but luckily I had a wily Lebanese girl with me who mandinga'd us to the front of the line. Hell no, I won’t tell you how. You don’t have the balls anyway.

Ok, it may have involved an old lady, or her dog, or a big smile and bigger heart. The Fehy Bowchy jetted in record slow time over to Mar Grande where we hopped on a two hour hair raising (you ignore this) mini bus ride to Valenca, then on a local chicken (you ignore this) bus for another two hours to arrive at a lonely jetty to nowhere in the middle of a mangrove swamp. There we fought a bunch of impatient GTFO-of-towners to get on a speed boat which dropped us off thirty minutes (if the tide is up) later at Boipeba.

Boipeba, after a week in Salvador, was my real introduction to Bahia. No cars. No stress. The GTFO-of-town masses dispersed. But lots of calm beaches and palm trees. A few lazy little bars, seafood joints, and daily multi-colored sunsets. A small Spanish Pousada that serves the best Gazpacho west of the Azores. And the best chocolatier (Fernando) south of Vienna. Here I discovered beautiful Bahia on a tractor ride across a sleepy, deserted island.

This beach on the south side of the island, next to Moreré, is where I would have tried to go if I was a run-away slave. Would have called it Quilombo do Paraiso instead of dos Palmaras. Because, fuck if I’d not try to grab my piece of Paradise instead of fighting mosquitoes and anacondas in the jungle while leaving all the coastal pristine beauty to the asshole Portuguese. You can’t get further away and still be in paradise than Moreré,

Here you watch the palm trees grow to drop their fruit in your lap. You build footeball (foodgeeball, yes really) goals in the flats, the gringo tourists will wonder why you have pull up bars in the middle of the bay until the tide goes out and you have a sandy flat to play a soccer tournament on.

A whole new dimension of alluvial lifestyle. Watch out for the Portuguese Man ’o War (good thing the Brits don’t tend to exaggeration at all) though. Here you saunter down a lonely beach and build a little palapa for you and your wily Lebanese.

Here the universe makes love to you. One perfect sand corn at a time, one perfect sunset at a time, one perfect sexy, slovenly samba at a time. Here is a video of us leaving Boipeba. Wish it wasn't so. Isn't Renée (Hené) the cutest though? (Music: Percussao - Giacomo Bondi)

Of course on the return journey from paradise there is that, I-shit-you-not, mile long line of cars, or three hour long wait for pedestrians to the ferry from Itaparica to Salvador. It’s like all of Austria’s peasants return from Hausmasterstrand Pipi-Ohne in Italy at the same time. But it’s Brazil, so it’s worse. But, also, since it’s Brazil nothing is set in stone and you could, if you wanted to, pull out a little mandinga.

You could, if you wanted to, walk up to a car somewhere at the front of that mile long line and ask them in your broken Portuguese if they have you room for you. You smile, you apologize for mangling their sexy, slovenly language, you offer them a little money and pray that you look innocent and foolishly foreign enough not to be mistaken for a violent crackhead. Looking like Jesus also works.

If you do not fit that bill, you may be shit out of luck, or hopefully traveling with a wily Lebanese. Although I wouldn't recommend practicing active queuing at this ferry boate because the three hour pedestrian line, as witnessed twenty minutes later from the comfortable air-conditioned interior of Maria’s hatchback, was close to mob rage. Most people were drunk and it was amazing, and sad, to see how many of them stumbled around while bitching at their confused kids.

We grabbed some food while waiting and saw an iron gate holding people back from getting to the Ferry. As I bit into my, hopefully gluten-free coxinha (coshenya) people in the crowd behind the gate started whistling and hollering semi-good-naturedly. They basically asked to open the poxa (bohah, means semen - don't ask, I'm just the translator) gate. I didn't think it would take much to light a match to that riot a-waiting. Once the gates lifted a literal stampede broke out. I hoped nobody would fall down because nobody could stop the deluge of drunken people.

What an epic little insight into things Brasilero at the end of a fantastically relaxing weekend. You can take this shit in stride, or you can get mad at the world. Not un-obviously, the first one will do you better. I think part of the reason why I keep on moving continents is that it’s easier to take things in stride when it’s all fresh. If this were my fifth long weekend In Salvador I might have lost patience with the impatient FoMo egos who drunk-yell at their kids instead of fixing their inefficient systems.

No comments:

Post a Comment