Brazil:  Amazon and Salvador da Bahia, July 2009
The Pelourinho, Northern Beaches of Praia do Forte, Bonfim
Page 8 of 17


The sun meeting the horizon at the Praça da Sé in the historic center of Salvador da Bahia.

Later, back in Barra, near the tip of Salvador where we were staying, Lisa and I ate some delicious food, trying the moqueca de peixe, a tropical Brazilian fish stew with coconut milk, which the region is known for.  Two delicious fish stew meals in one day.  People played night football on the beach as we ate.

9 July Thursday - Lisa and I went to the main bus terminal, the Rodoviaria, to catch a long-distance express bus to a very nice beach to the north, Praia do Forte, which we were told was very safe by Alex.  However, we had to wait two hours for the bus, so we spent time in the various stores, where we could catch up with the latest issues of Plástica & Beleza, featuring the latest in plastic surgery.

After an almost two hour bus ride, we arrived in the middle of the afternoon at Praia do Forte, a gorgeous upscale resort with plentiful tourist shops and restaurants,  fishing boats in the bay, a charming church, and Projeto TAMAR, dedicated to preserving endangered sea turtles.

Praia do Forte showed its roots as a former rustic fishing village.  However, it had been developed into an upscale, ecologically sensitive beach resort.

Sea turtle hopscotch at Projeto TAMAR.

Projeto TAMAR.  Although initially concerned solely with sea turtles, the project grew to include other sealife, as they are part of the environment where the sea turtles live.

One of the flourishing sea turtles at Projeto TAMAR.

The beautiful coastline of Praia do Forte, just to the north of Projeto TAMAR.  Later in the trip, I would return to Praia do Forte, and walk 14 km (about 8.7 miles) to the next village along a virgin beach.

Fishing boats at Praia do Forte, recalling its roots as a small fishing village until its transformation into an upscale eco-resort.

These monkeys were all around Praia do Forte, and are a Black-tufted Marmoset, and only live in Brazil. 

Shopping in Praia do Forte before catching the last bus back to Salvador, where guests Alex, Jaqueline, and guests Ken and Gillian were making caipirinhas, the refreshing Brazilian drink made from cachaça, lime, ice, and liberal amounts of sugar.

10 July Friday - Lisa and I visited Igreja do Bonfim, built in 1745.  The shrine is famous for its miraculous power to cure.  Here on the ceiling of the Sala de Milagres, we saw offerings, plastic replicas of feet, arms, heads, hearts, representing the parts of the body that devotees claim were healed.  I hoped to return someday and hang a plastic representation of my lower back here as an offering.

This photo was taken by placing the Leica camera in the middle of the floor, pointing straight up at the ceiling.  There's another photo similar to this taken when I returned for Sunday services nine days later.

For Afro-Brazilians who participate in Candomblé ceremonies, Bonfim is the church of Oxala, the king of the orishas, whose name refers to spiritual purity and light, and thus their most important church.  But infused with this is the Catholicism that the Portuguese imported to Brazil.

A chandelier in Igreja do Bonfim.

Brazil:  Amazon and Salvador da Bahia, July 2009
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