Salvador, one of the most dangerous cities of Brazil?

I feel like what I’m about to write sounds a little shady – hop into my car and I’ll drive you exactly where you need to go.

But seriously. Above and beyond. I can not emphasise how nice people are here. I’m currently on the plane after a man offered us a lift to the airport via the bus terminal to pick up our luggage – all free of charge.
But in my defence we were with this man the whole day and had reasonable judgement to assess his trustworthiness. And he really did only want the best for us. He was a practice traveller, which to me already states his friendliness, openness and love towards humans. And I also think I reminded him of his daughter, evoking a protective sense from him. He only wanted the best for us and at the end, all he said was “have a nice life”. [100% genuine]

A little background check on Salvador does claim that in recent years there has been a surge in homicides with about 60 homicides for every 100,000 people. (Kinosian, S. 2015) and it’s ranked about the 17th most dangerous city in the world, in a list of the 50 most dangerous cities of the world. However, from what I’ve seen, the more dangerous cities also have the nicest people in the world. Perhaps it’s a counteraction or the lifestyle or perhaps its just the luck I’ve had with the people I meet..

Our day starts already exhausted with absolutely no plans, no buffet breakfast [which we have been privileged with every day before today] and no accommodation to store our luggage. Returning on the night bus from Lencois, we grab subway for breakfast at the bus terminal and hunt down a place to store our luggage.

We step outside with the plans: “Let’s just catch any bus and get off whenever we feel like it.”

But what do you know, this bus takes us to the only place we know in Salvador – downtown near Pelourinho. We get out and follow a crowd towards the docks.

“¿Las islas señoritas? ¿Quieres un tur? English guide.”

Why not? We take the island tour and our empty plans turn into a full day on a boat exploring the Salvadorean islands just off the coast.

The breeze brushes through our hair, the sun shines on our skin and with no battery left in my phone, we leave reality behind and step into a little bit of paradise.

Imagine an island, what do you think of? Long sandy beaches, palm trees scattered along the shore, clear water and a relatively small land area? Sailling through Baía de Todos os Santos, we stop at two places. The name of the first Island I can’t quite remember and Google is making it hard to find. The second island we stop at is the island of Itaparica. However, both these places match that stereotypical image of an island.

At the first island we swim in the allocated swimming section of the bay, before we’re whisked away to the second island. On the second island we have a buffet lunch right on the sand. Me and Dee squeeze into a single hammock to let the food digest and simply relax. Without my camera access I whip out my pen and draw Dee’s face, which I think adequately sums up our satisfaction and content from the relaxing day:

IMG_0537

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