Surprised by Salvador
Salvador… I hated the place to begin with but loved it by the time I had to leave. The charm was slow to grow as it was constantly raining and the endless requests for money got to even the most patient traveller. But on my last night in Salvador I met a cool 12 year old kid called Jefferson who after trying to sell me peanuts, decided to stick around and chat. After a while he asked if he could have 1 Real (50c AUD) for a hotdog. Not one to deprive anyone of their mustard or ketchup intake, I obliged. He returned with hotdog in hand and a grin on his cheeky face. After offering me a bite, he sat down to become my tour guide for the rest of the night. Dancing along with the other backpackers at my table, he took us round to show us the best places to dance a little samba and hear some great music… and I left Salvador a musically satisfied man.
One other thing in Salvador that I should explain is the ribbons or ‘fitas’ from the famous ‘Senhor do Bonfim’ church. People buy them at the church as presents of good fortune for others. The different coloured ribbons are then tied around someone’s leg or arm with three reef-knots. As each reef-knot is tied, you have to make a wish. Once tied to your wrist or ankle, you must let the band fall off by natural means. They last anytime from 1 month up to 2 years according to the stories from other travellers. Mine has been on my arm now for almost 2 months and it’s not too stinky yet although it has gone rather stiff and is losing its colour.