THE SOUTHERN AMERICAN SERIES PT1
MORRO DE SAO PAULO, SALVADOR, BRAZIL
I arrived in Salvador after a long 48 hours of traveling from Guyana and was looking forward to the island life of Morro de Sao Paulo
THIS GUY WAS SHOT AND STABBED IN THE SAME HOSTEL
I wasn’t fully aware of the safety issues in Salvador so I took the bus and arrived into the old town where there was a festival in full flow.
WHERE IS MORRO DE SAO PAULO?
Quiet beaches in Morro De Sao Paulo
I couldn’t look like more of a tourist if I tried. A white male with a large backpack on my back and a smaller one to my front. Açai Hostel was only 10 minutes walk and I made it without a problem however things soon changed.
There was a frantic knock at the door and the ringing of the bell before 4 backpackers came running up to the communal/reception area.
“There’s a guy chasing us.”
In hindsight and after a little more research I soon found out Salvador is one of the most dangerous places in Brazil. How did I not run into problems when I was walking here, I was prime for a mugging. Anyway they were clearly scared by what had happened.
“He asked if we wanted some drugs and we said no. We then decided to walk to the other end of the festival and turned around to find he was behind us.”
Then the doorbell rang and we all had a look at the monitor to see who was there.
“That’s him!! Don’t let him in!”
It was hard to know what this guy’s problem was and considering a group of 4 had came into trouble, I knew I was lucky to get here.
When I was looking up the hostel recently I came across this article of the hostel getting broken into and a backpacker getting stabbed and shot at.
Here is another which happened outside the hostel but the backpackers were lucky enough to have their valuables handed back to them by the robber! All these stories are rare and the hostel has ramped up it’s security since but if you were planning on visiting, I would make sure to have your own transfer straight to the boat terminal.
MORRO DE SAO PAULO
The next morning I got the not so steady boat across to Morro de Sao Paulo, one of Brazil’s best islands. I stayed at Che Lagarto which is a great hostel and a million miles from anywhere like Salvador.
I straight away signed up for a speedboat tour around some of the islands and was one of only 2 people who spoke any English. English isn’t as common as I imagined but you can get by no problem – one of the first things I learned during my travels – speech is not the only way of communicating. After they heard I was Irish they were keen to know if I enjoyed the the Brazilian beer….
“mi desayuno normal (my normal breakfast)” I replied while pointing to the tin.
Needless to say from that point we knew we all had plenty in common and the rest of the day was fantastic!
The following day I took a walk down the beach to see what I could find. It’s amazing after only 15 minutes walk, how quiet it is. Apart from the odd passing donkey I had the entire beach to myself, something that is becoming more and more uncommon!
- PEOPLE – 7.5/10
- BACKPACKING – 7.5/10
- WEATHER – 8/10
- THINGS TO DO – 7/10
- VALUE – 8/10
- HIGHLIGHT – The quiet beaches.
- LOWLIGHT – Realising how dangerous Salvador is and how lucky I was walking through it at night.
- VISIT AGAIN – Yes but better places.
- RATING – 7.5/10
I always do a fair bit of research but when you are always on the road, visiting new places you somethings struggle to find the time. I for sure will be doing my research regardless of where I go from now on.
A little detour to Argentina for a few days so I can experience the best derby in the world, River Plate v Boca Juniors! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This is episode 1 of The Southern American Series, click to explore.
- Have you visited Salvador or Morro do Sao Paulo
- What was your experience like?
- What were your highlights?
- Would you recommend any other beaches in Brazil?
Let me know in the comments below . . .