The 5 other female bunkmates rolled in at 6:30 a.m. after a night of partying, so I got up, packed, and stashed my bags in a locker near the check-in desk. I would be heading back to Salvador on an evening bus, but meanwhile I had the whole day at the beach to enjoy.
On the way to the beach a rain-shower suddenly drenched everyone, and I headed for cover under an overhanging roof. A young Bahian man came walking by and joined me. He was all of 17, yet he proceeded to try to pick me up! I never saw anything like it! After the rain let up he kept following me all over town on my way to the beach, talking in Portuguese but making himself perfectly clear! It was one of the most curious situations I’d ever found myself in – and though I kept letting him understand the word “no”, he kept responding with “Por que no?” – why not? I was finally able to impress upon him that he needed to cease and desist, and he left. I’m pretty sure he planned to steal whatever he could, had I let him into my life! Sheesh!
Junior, the man renting snorkel gear on the beach, was all set up with his stand as I walked by in the early morning. I questioned him how much the snorkel gear would cost to rent for 2-3 hours, and learned it would be $R15, which is about US $10. Then I told him what his friend had charged me for the Pina Colada yesterday. Junior was astonished at how the young man – his friend – had skunked me, and headed right up the beach to his place, with me coming along right behind. The young man defended himself saying it was a normal price and that he wasn’t going to refund me any money, even though I told him I had been all up and down the beach yesterday and discovered everyone else is selling them for $R8 and 10. Junior became disgusted with his “friend” for doing that to me, and told me I could have the snorkel gear today for free, which was very kind of him.
The beach is incredibly beautiful, as are the reefs underneath. When the low tide is happening, there are tide pools all alongside the beach, with marvelously colored fish, sea snakes, coral and shells. It was an incredibly peaceful, gorgeous day at the beach. As the sun headed down, I strolled back into the town of Praia do Forte, and had dinner on the street at one of the traditional Bahian food vendors. It was superb!
At 6:30 p.m. I headed out to the bus stop….and the scheduled bus didn’t come. It was the end of a very long holiday weekend, so possibly it was arriving late. Nonetheless, some of the locals decided to catch one of the littler buses, so I joined them. Not nearly as nice a ride, yet just as expensive, and it took more stops, but finally we arrived at the Rodoviario (bus terminal) in Salvador.
It took me some searching to find the right booth to buy my overnight bus ticket to the town of Lencois in the Chapada Diamentina (Diamond District), which is a large incredibly stunning National Park about 8 hours drive to the interior. Once again, Lady Luck was with me – I got the VERY LAST SEAT on the overnight bus. A lovely couple who were right behind me in line had to take a hotel in Salvador that night, and catch the morning bus…I felt extremely fortunate to be on my way that night!
I had to wait 3.5 hours in the Rodoviario for my night bus, and it was 30 minutes late, but it finally came at 11:30 p.m. While waiting, I met a lovely family of 7 from Holland that used to live in Brazil a long time ago, so they spoke Portuguese real well. I checked with them what the written announcement on my bus ticket said – I had tried to decipher the Portuguese and thought it said “Everyone will be arrested who are camping illegally.” They told me it really meant “Fill out form in capital letters only.” We all nearly died laughing at my insanely incorrect interpretation. Made for a great beginning to the night time journey to Lancois, full of smiles and mirth.