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Ihla de pagode... and capoeira

BRAZIL | Thursday, 19 January 2012 | Views [1076]

Mestre Boca Rica

Mestre Boca Rica

Leaving Lencois was a bit tough. It's a really beautiful place with so much to do that you can easily spend a month there.

I was also dreading the overnight bus journey to Salvador followed by capoeira training later on that day. Luckily I managed to sleep through it and it was smooth (if, as always, ever so slightly delayed) sailing to Salvador.

The plan from there was simple - get a bus to the ferry, and get to Itaparica. What we did not predict was that it was the day of Lavagem de Bonfim (Washing of the Steps)festa which after the carnival is the biggest party in Salvador.

What it means for the regular traveller is that all buses terminate in the middle of town and you need to make it to the ferry on foot (the festa takes places right in front of the ferry terminal).

So there we were, two chicks in the middle of nowhere, with no clue in which direction to even start walking (lovely and helpful Brazilians kept pointing us into contradicting directions :)) Luckily we met a guy that works at the ferry terminal and he walked us over there - massive thanks :)

And so we finally got to Itaparica, and with the help of some friendly locals found the home of Mestre Marcelo.

Once we got there we were surrounded by the amazing hospitality of Mestre, his family and the capoeira family of Angoleiros do Mar. They all made us feel really at home.

We just had enough time to have a little swim in the sea, chill out a bit and it was time for the first training and the welcome roda of the Festival.

I was terrified  - have not done any capoeira for a month and was just about to step into the Angola roda... But it all went awesome. As Baris says you just need to trust your training and believe in your capoeira :)

The whole event was superb - there wasn't that many participants (about 50), with most staying at the Mester's pousada we made it into a real capoeria house.

There was lots of training, lots of playing and lots of samba.

The most challenging bit was training at the beach in a noon sun with no escape to shade  - the only way I can describe it is: brutal. The upside is that straight after the class you can just jump in to the sea and be supplied with agua de coco for recovery :)

The unquestionable highlight was the last day with Mestre Boca Rica leading the roda and then jumping in to play - amazing!!!

After 4 days of hard training it was time to celebrate so we paraded through the town singing and playing music and then danced samba on the beach until the sun went down...

It was a very special event and it was mostly due to the beautiful hospitality of Mestre Marcelo Angola...

Another very special thing about Itaparica is that it's THE holiday destination of Salvador bay. And that means the ever present Pagode... Seriously, never in my life have I seen so many cars with massive speakers blasting out pagode. The result is that every 5 meters you hear another tune and as much as pagode is great in small doses the constant cacophony makes you go a little crazy...

So the only way to block it out is to play your own which in the capoeira house filled with berimbaus is easy :)

Being absolutely exhausted we decided it was time to head for the beach so after changing 3 buses and quick boat trip (there is an easier 'tourist' way but since we were travelling with a Brazilian we decided to go for the 'local' way)we arrived at the Morro de Sao Paulo.

It is beautiful here as well as very manicured and very touristy but you can't deny that it is in fact a bit of paradise. The beaches are amazing, with cristal clear water and powder sand.

There is nothing else to do here but kick back and enjoy. As a result it's very much a case of a little bit of swimming, a little bit of reading, a little bit of eating and long nights of partying.

We ended up staying in a hostel with our lovely friend from capoeria - Frederico, and two nice Argentinians and we spent the first night partying hard on the beach. As Morro seems to be invaded by both Israeli and Argentinian crowd the DJ sets here are limited to Shakira and cumbia but its nonetheless awesome fun...

So its been two days of total relaxation in a kind of tropical paradise...

Next stop - Kilombo Tenonde :)

New photos in the gallery :)

Tags: angolerios do mar, beach, brazil, capoeira, itaparica, morro de sao paulo, salvador

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