4th - June (Salvador, Brazil)
After an itchy night, I woke up with a lot of mozzie bites which swelled to the size of two pence pieces so looked really good for the beach! The beach is very busy and there are guys coming along every two minutes trying to sell you stuff so it's not exatly the most relaxing beach ever. There are other beaches a short bus ride away but as I am feeling lazy this is the only beach I went to during my stay here. One guy came along with a watering can and watered my feet which took me by surprise. By 14.00 I decided I should probably get indoors as I didn't want to burn and I had plenty more days to toast myself, however, it rained for the next two days and I began to regret that decision. I had eight days in Salvador with the main objective of relaxing and getting a tan, the weather was always hot but raining or overcast at least half of the time. When the sun did come out it was scorching and I did manage to get a bit darker but nowhere near as dark as some of the natives...... Salvador is 'Africa in exile', where the African slaves settled making Salvador a very interesting cultural experience. The historical centre has lots of churches and colonial buildings, the sound of the drumming bands echo along the narrow cobbled streets, there are women dressed like those terrible toilet roll holders that old women have in their bathroom, there are some very nice local dishes such as the fish moqueca and calbresa, bright, vivid, colourful art and there are of course beggers, thieves and people trying to sell you stuff you don't want. Salvador is a busy tourist spot but mostly it seems with Brazilian tourists.
There were a load of 20ish year old Brazilian students over here on some kind of project/holiday staying at the hostel which meant it all got a bit noisy at times but was also good for a few drinks so my time here was mostly speant relaxing, reading, laying on the beach whenever possible, drinking, and watching football, tennis and films; really just winding down before returning to Blighty.
I had to get from Salvador to Rio as my flight home was from there, managed to find a cheap flight the day before the flight home but couldn't book online without a brazilian credit card so got the hostel owner to book it over the phone. However, what I thought was an 11.00 flight turned out to be an 08.00 flight so when I arrived at the airport I had missed it which could have been terrible if I hadn't managed to get on a later flight but that was delayed and I ended up spending ten hours at the airport and arrived at my hostel in Rio just before midnight. I had planned to do some gift shopping in Rio but only managed to buy a few pairs of havianas before leaving for the airport where I stocked up on Brazil t-shirts.
The British Airways flight home took thirteen hours and was very disapointing from an entertainment perspective and I found it very difficult to sleep. I was expecting a huge 'welcome home' banner at the airport but instead Carly was there holding baby Casey who was wearing a 'welcome home uncle Adam' t-shirt, and behind them was Mum, Dad and Daniel. We had some food before heading to Lambourn to see my Nan and uncle Jim, we popped into the pub where Dada and Dan let me beat them at pool. Later that evening we had a good curry which I had been looking forward to for a while.
On the Saturday, Carly and Dan had a barbecue and as a surprise a load of my mates turned up which was very nice. Later, Dan and I went into town where we met up with some of Dan's mates and I got hit over the head with a bottle - it's good to be back.
Thank you everyone for reading the blog.