Thursday, November 08, 2007

Obrigado Brasil

I am back, finally, after taking more than a month off from work, blogging, social responsibilities, and everything else. I took a vacation with some friends to Brazil. The trip was long, very long. And it was studded with its own minor trials and tribulations, starting with airline delays and missed connections.

But finally after more than 30 hours of flying time we finally made it to Salvador in the state of Bahia. We linked up with my buddy Paulo and settled into villa about 40 minutes away from the city in Ipatanga. It was a quiet neighborhood at night but during the day it was buzzing with activity. We were staying across the street from a row of bars on the beach that attracted hundreds of local sun worshipers. When we were not on the sand, we were chilling at the pool in our villa, cooking up a storm on the BBQ. There could not have been a better way to start off the trip.

The city of Salvador also had tons to offer in terms of art and culture. The city boasts over 350 churches and it is believed t be the first colonial settlement in Brazil. The people of Bahia are unique and possess a lust for life that I find it impossible to describe in words. They passion for dance and music insures that the most renowned musicians in Brazil reign from this region. We were fortunate enough to catch a performance of Olodum in the old district of Palengrino. You might recognize them from the Michael Jackson video ‘All I wanna say is that they don’t really care about us’. It was off the hook.

The food in Bahia also has strong African influences. From the grilled seafood we devoured on the beach to the signature Mokeka, I had never tried anything like it before.

After a really relaxing week in Salvador we turned our sights t Rio where once again we had an awesome villa hooked up. It was located about 40 minutes from Ipanema and Copacabana in an area called Niteroi. At first we were concerned that we would miss out on the action in the city but later found that we were way better off away from the Gringos. The beaches were way more secluded, the people friendlier, and the bars even better. Not to mention again that the house was off the hook!!!

Rio was awesome. We saw the Cristo…

We went up to Sugarloaf…

Kicked it on Ipanema beach with all the Carioca’s…

And we even caught a football game at the Maracana! It was the first time the Brazilian International team was playing there in 7 years and they managed a 5-0 win over Ecuador! It was one of the most enlightening experiences in my life.

So all great things must come to an end, which is what people say although I do not really understand why. I am back in China now with hundreds of pictures and movies clips to sift though and organize. I am looking forward to blogging about some of my experiences in detail and relive the experiences and revelations I had at the time.

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