I think I am in love (with a place). It's tough to explain, but this are the symptoms,
- My lover is not perfect, but I take him as he is: Brazil is crazy expensive, and Bahia is no exception, but I just love it here. Really really love it.
- Separation anxiety: I was to leave Bahia on Saturday morning, and I had my ticket booked and all. On Friday I started to get really really nervous and sad. Oh gosh, 16 hours to go, 12 hours to go. Finally after a few drinks, I found myself frantically rushing to the bus station to change my ticket from Saturday to Tuesday. On Monday night, yet again I found myself back at the train station, this time canceling my bus ticket instead of changing the date......
- I can't talk enough about my lover: Bahia is amazing. The people, the culture, the food, the music, the art! Where else can you have a new family in a week, have made loads of friends, feel like you've always been.....even when they speak a completely different language from mine. ...There is something magical about this place.
Yes, yes. I know. You are thinking thekenyanexplorer should be out exploring and not settling. I promise to leave Bahia early next week and go off to Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
So what did my original itinerary look like? I was to stay in Rio for 8 nights, Bahia for 3 nights, 3 nights in Ecuador (Galapagos islands), 8 nights in Peru (mostly close to Machu Pichuu), 11 nights in Bolivia, 4 nights in Santiago (Chile) and 14 nights in Argentina (Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Bariloche). The plan was to get everywhere by bus and then get to Ecuador or Peru by boat on the Amazon river from Brazil.
What does my new itinerary look like? Well, I did spend 8 nights in Rio. I ended up flying to Bahia from Rio because with Carnival season, flights and buses were both equally expensive...and the bus would have taken at least 24 hours. If I leave Bahia next Tuesday, I will have been here exactly 2 weeks. I had originally planned to take buses from here till I got to Amazonia, then take a boat to Peru. I thought the boat to Peru would take 3 days, but it actually takes 9 days. I was able to get a bus to Brasilia from Bahia, but that would only get me quarter way to Amazonia and cost USD 120......and take 28 hours. Yes, Brazil is crazy expensive. I can't imagine bus from Nairobi to anywere costing even close to that....even a bus to Kigali is a fraction of the cost. From Brasilia I would somehow have to get a bus that got me to Amazonia. I anticipate it would cost me at least USD 300 and last 2-3 days. From Amazonia, I would have to get on a 9 day boat ride across the amazon river. I think the price of the boat ticket, the hammock (yes, you sleep on a hammock for 9 days) and rope would cost me another USD 300. It is sad that I won't get the whole Amazon experience, but I know I made the right decision. I will fly into Peru next week and I think it will cost me less than the other bus-boat plan.
My sister always says, "never leave a happening club for another place." Bahia is my "happening" club. I have friends here - family in fact.
Tomorrow I am off to another part Bahia to spend my remaining time here (Arembepe.) While there I will write more and let you know about why Bahia has stolen my heart.
For now, I am almost done sipping on my bottle of Jurubeba, and I hear some amazing music down on the street. Free live music on Tuesdays! Ciao! Ciao! I leave you with some pictures.