Tuesday, February 12, 2013

[Life] Belated, 12.9833° S, 38.5167° W: Salvador, Brazil

Between Cuba and Salvador there were a few days of note:

January 27, 2003
First day of classes: "We talked a lot about Cuba...they don't have access to the 'real' internet but instead a Cuban intranet full of sites chosen by the government, to keep outside ideas out. We discussed the medical care {a student} got and how they have well trained doctors but minimal access to good medical supplies. We also discussed the ethics of the party thrown by Castro - most Cubans never see that kind of food - why is money being spent frivolously on Americans?"

January 29, 2003
Lariam Day: the day we had to start taking our Lariam (malaria medication) in preparation for our docking in Africa.

February 1, 2003
Neptune Day: the day we cross the equator! "We didn't have class and instead were awakened by crew members marching up and down the halls with whistles and drums (in costume, of course). We made our way out to the pool deck. The pool was filled with 1.5 feet of water. "King Neptune" was introduced and we went about going from "pollywogs" to "shellbacks". First, you got "fish guts" on your head (flour and water, but still a pretty gross consistency), then you walked through the pool and out the other side to kiss a fish. Then you proceed to King Neptune where you kneel and kiss his ring before you are "knighted" a "shellback". Afterwards, the head shaving began. The Captain did the first 5 shaves while reggae blared on the deck. About 80 people shaved their heads, including Jen!!"

King Neptune

The Dean getting the first hit of "fish guts"

Me kissing the fish
Jen getting her head shaved!!
Shaved heads! Happy Neptune Day!

February 5-9, 2003
Salvador, Brazil

Day One

"Got up for breakfast around 8, just as we began to see Salvador in the distance. It was completely different than I expected - full of skyscrapers. I don't know why but I expected a much squattier city!"

"We did a walking tour of Salvador, going up the Lacerda Elevator to upper Salvador."

"After the tour, we took a cab up to the Pelourinho (or 'Old Town') for dinner. A lady dressed in a huge white dress attached herself to our group and was shouting happily. We thought she was shouting her name - 'Theresa! Theresa!' - We were shouting along with her and eventually she led us to a restaurant called Mama Bahia. We ordered drinks, including caipirinhas, which were like mojitos but with lime. When we left, Theresa was back, shouting at us 'Theresa, Theresa!' We started giggling and pointing at ourselves and yelling our  names. When it was her turn, she pointed at herself and yelled 'Christina! Christina!' - then pointed at all of us and shouted TOURISTAS!!! We then realized she was calling us tourists."

Walking tour


Dinner at Mama Bahia

Us touristas with Christina

Day Two
Rio de Janiero, Brazil

"When I looked out the window of the plane to see a sprawling, mountainous Rio. Again, nothing like I expected."

"We checked into our hotel right on the Copacabana beach, and boarded the buses to Sugarloaf Mountain."

"We went to dinner at a restaurant called Marius's - it reminded me of something medieval, with a large buffet and waiters walking around with huge swords of meat and fish that they'd carve right off it."

"After dinner, a group of us decided to walk back to our hotel. There were tons of people out, and a night market going on along the beach."

Day Three

"Our first stop was a Favela service project with a dance school. We saw the kids dance, and played soccer with some hanging out in the yard."

"Next stop was a samba school with a Carnival museum.Then the Carmen Miranda museum, which was plopped right in the middle of a park in downtown Rio."

"After lunch, we got to shop a bit, then cable car trolleys showed up. We started off, with a Brazilian 3 piece band providing the soundtrack. At the end of our ride, there were open Jeeps waiting for us. The ride up the mountain was incredible - the view, the sun, the wind - perfect. And at the top was  the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue."

"We drove back down, taking an extended ride through the rain forest and stopped at the Chinese Pavilion for one last breath-taking view of Rio de Janiero."

"That night, we started out at the rooftop bar while listening to a one man performer and taking in the amazing view from the open air patio. We then grabbed a cab to Meli Melo - a club that was tropical in decor but American in music."

Day Four
Last day in Rio

"Went to lunch at a quaint little place on the beach, then headed back to the hotel. Spent the afternoon shopping, then grabbed dinner at a place where you paid by how much your plate weighed. After dinner, it was back to the airport and back to the ship."

Day Five
Back in Salvador

" Had lunch and went back out into Salvador. Went to the market and found an internet cafe. We ended up back up at the Pelourinho for dinner, and picked a place with a cute little courtyard in the center. After a delicious dinner, dessert, and a few Kir Royales, we headed back to the ship."

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