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it's a long way from whitley bay... Hi everyone and welcome to our journal where you can see and read what we've been up to and where we're going next. We hope you enjoy it, and would love you to keep in touch with your news, and send us your comments! Lots of love, Sarah and Phil x ;)


BRAZIL | Tuesday, 24 June 2008 | Views [3226]

Bonjourno everyone from Salvador,

Sorry it has been a while. We haven´t been doing much!

Since we arrived in Salvador last Tuesday we have fallen into a very comfortable, if predictable, pattern of spending the day on the beach, the late afternoon watching Euro 2008, and the evening drinking beer and eating prawns...

The beach we´ve been going to (Praia Barra) is really gorgeous - it is sandwiched between two old fortresses, and has loads going on from music and dancing to massages and the inevitable hawkers selling tarot readings, coconuts, and suncream. 

The main drama is provided by a constant letting off of firecrackers, and a noisy cannon at one end of the beach, which keeps us unnerved all morning by going off in a slightly volatile way every lunchtime. Yesterday it actually completley misfired and appeared to go off in someone´s car parked nearby. Hmm. Today we are moving to the other end of the beach...


Click here to see a video of the cannon misfiring (wait for the second puff of smoke in front of the white building...) 

Oh and there is also the excitement of whether or not we´ll get a soaking! The tide comes in very quickly at seemingly unpredictable times of day - resulting in increasingly panicked movements up the beach to the point where everyone is giggling and huddled together at the back with their bags on their laps. It is truly a daily battle of man versus nature and nature always seems to win!

Ready for battle

And if we don´t get soaked by the waves, there are always the people who come by at regular intervals with watering cans to water your feet with. Some are trying to advertise their foot massages, others seem to be just doing it for your pleasure - but it can be a bit of a surprise when you´ve just nodded off!

Two trainee foot sprinklers

There is no trouble drying off though as the weather has been absolutely perfect - approaching 30 degrees and glorious sunshine from mid-morning until sunset. So that trip stat about % of days sunning ourselves on the beach will need some adjustment next time around as even Phil´s Geordie legs have been protruding more than usual from beneath the safety of the ´sombrero´ and have started to turn a distinctly cafe latte colour*.

*It is unclear just how much this has been spurred on by the imminent arrival of Louise and Vanessa and the threat of being the palest person in their facebook pics, versus the presence of a remarkable number of well-oiled and buffed muscle-men types doing their excercises and performing impressive feats of acrobatics on the beach. Either way it is all very entertaining for Sarah!

NOT one of the muscle men! (have you ever seen such a big shadow?!)

Meanwhile Sarah has worked her way through 930 pages of David Copperfield at record speed and is now a fully competent magician.

Haha, not really, she has acually been reading the Dickens book. This perhaps unlikely Brazilian beach read has also got us the attention of a friendly chap named Thalis on the beach who came over to remark "My my, Charlie´s Dickens on our beach. That is wonderful!" - and invited us to a party he is holding at his family home tonight!

We are hoping to go along, and also have plans to drag ourselves into the old part of town later on, as there is a street party going on which is supposed to be well worth seeing. So this afternoon´s chore is to find some sequined bermuda shorts or something to turn up in - the clothes around here being at the glamorous (and skimpy) end of our wardrobes!!

Meanwhile our attempts to amuse the entire Brazilian restaurant community also continue as our shameful grasp of Portuguese menus has seen next to no improvement. We did manage one really good meal last week, on the recommendation of Russell from our guest house. It´s name was Camarou Macqueque (spicy prawn stew with rice and beans) - and it was so tasty that we made a special effort to remember Camarou = prawns.

And so we have been eating our way through every dish with the word camarou in it at the local restaurant ever since, to the point where on Saturday night we went for the unprecedented combination of prawn balls, prawn kebabs, prawn patties, prawn stew and prawn soup - much to the bafflement of the waiters!

The relentless prawn feast had to pause sadly last night however as, little did we know, but Monday is Off night around here and everything was shut.

Luckily, earlier we had (trying to get into the Wimbledon spirit!), bought ourselves a punnet of juicy strawberries. And we managed to find a pharmacy open, which was selling crisps. So that was dinner :( Yes, we know, it really is a wonder that we´ve got this far around the world without becoming malnutritioned!

Right, the beach is calling again before we drag ourselves up to the bar to watch Andy Murray at Wimbledon later on to see if he can cope with the inevitable `will he be the next Fred Perry´ media pressure... it is amazing how the sport headlines change so little from year to year isn´t it?!

Love to all, enjoy your sunshine too,

Sarah and Phil x x


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