Praia do Porto da Barra
Praia do Porto da Barra is the closest beach to the centre of town. The beach is really popular among the locals and can be very crowded (especially on Sundays), but is a fun place to hang out.
It not the biggest beach in the world, but it’s sandy and the water is clear and calm - much calmer than on the ocean side beaches.
The beach is loaded with vendors selling anything you can think about and along the waterfront you’ll find many bars and restaurants.
Carnaval: locura total
New info on the last 2005 Salvador Carnaval in my new Travelogue.
Carnaval is Locura Total : for 6 day and 6 night million of people dancing, singing and drinking.
The old carnival consisted of big party with brass band, hornet singer.....dancing all the night.
In the 50’s Dodo e osmar started to play on little truck with simply soundblaster, running through the city, but the music involved too much that the Carnival growned up .
Now the Carnival is divided in 3 circuits. The first,Batatinha in Pelourino, is the most traditional, it’s like a festival with some stage where bands play until 2 o’clock or there are brass and hornet bands accompanied by marching drummer.
“Blocos” are the most important part of the other 2 circuits: in the bloco there is a big Trio Eletrico (THe evolution of the first little truck: the truck/music soundstage with band on top, palying for 6 hours, that slowly parade through the street) all the people of the bloco follow the truck in the circuit, ‘cordeiros’ bring ropes to separete them from the ‘Pipoca’ ( common people watching and dancing in the road).
Campo Grande circuit have much more traditional afro blocos like Ile Aye, Olodum,...Barra Ondina circuit was added in the 80’s and have more tendency bloco, they play the new style music, like Axè.
You can have three solution to enjoy the carnival: you can stay in the ‘pipoca’, such as stay in the road waiting the differents ‘blocos’ to enjoy the different musics. It’s anexpensive, but a little bit dengerouse for the thieves and the crowd, but I like it. Or you can buy an ‘abada’, a special t-shirt that allow you the entrance in a bloco for a day, it’s safe cause you are in the middle of the protected ropes. Third, you can buy a ticket for a ‘camarote’, a carnival viewing stand, often complete with bar, food and relax area.
There are a lot of web site where find info on the next carnival (Centra do Carnaval,...), or buy a abada or a camarote ticket.
If you go to sports games on the beach, you might end up getting a good view like i did in Morro de sao paolo :O)
It´s certainly a place where the spectators is not your usual aggresive guys trying to pick a fight with the fans from the other team as you can see on the picture :O).
CEAO - Centro de Estudos...
CEAO - Centro de Estudos Afro-Orientais (Centre for African and Oriental studies of Federal University of Bahia) :: founded by the outstanding and legendary portuguese anthropologist Agostinho da Silva, this center gathers a lot of good information about the african legacy in Brazil. It's also possible to access its library and take yoruba classes!
Praça 15 de novembro, 17 - Terreiro de Jesus
Picture: cover of the publication 'Brazil: a country of Blacks?', by CEAO. Note that the words 'black' and 'negro' don't have offensive conotation in Brazil.
Taxi to Pelourino
Sundays, and evenings, it can be rather frustrating waiting for a bus to arrive at the Ponto Da Barra busstop. So if you are heading for a location near the center, or Pelourino, Do jump in if a taxidriver offers 3-4 persons a ride for 2 R$ pr person! It is a common practise, the locals do it all the time to save time, and if the car is not full, or somebody gets of on the way, he will just check on the next busstop, or continue to where you agreed. He will not raise the price.