If I had known that the previous night was actually the last night of Carnival, I might have partied till 6am. I knew that officially Carnival ended on Tuesday, but I had been told that in Bahia there would still be random Carnival parties happening until Friday. I woke up very energetic on the Wednesday after Carnival, ready to party! I had an amazing breakfast at my hostel - lots of fruits, eggs, fresh juice etc. I then ventured out into the streets and was disappointed to find out that the only people on the streets were the many unconscious people outside....yes, it was around 1pm and yes, there were drunk people sleeping on the streets from the previous night - don't try this in Kenya:-) You will wake up with nothing...the thieves don't sleep.
I decided to do a little bit of sightseeing around the old parts of the town. Almost everything was closed, but it was a nice feeling walking through empty streets in broad daylight. In the evening, I went for dinner down the road to a place I will refer to as "The kissing restaurant." Tables were full of people kissing....instead of eating....Lord knows what that was about. I sat down, read my kindle and enjoyed my quiet meal.
The next day I woke up with a sense of purpose. It was to be my last night in Bahia, and I still had no idea how I was going to leave. I had tried looking online, but couldn't book a bus out of Bahia. I needed to find a physical location that sold bus tickets, but I was not too sure where to go. My plan was to take a bunch of buses to get me to Amazonia in Brazil, then take a boat to Ecuador. On doing further research, I decided to cut out the Ecuador part of my trip. My main reason for going there was to get to the Galapagos Island, but I realized that even once I got to Ecuador, it would cost at least USD 1000 just to get to the island because the only way there was to take a USD 500 flight from Ecuador then accomodation and food in the island for a few days would come up to another USD 500. It was sad, but I had to cut it out because I still needed to survive in South America for another 1.5 months and I could not risk spending all my travel money in the first few weeks. I therefore was looking for a way to get to Peru by bus then boats.
The owner of my hostel was extremely kind. I told him I was having problems getting a bus out of Bahia and he drove me at no cost to the main bus station and played the role of translator with the bus company employees. Me and the hostel owner communicated mostly through google translate - he also did not speak any English, but was very patient. I have no idea how I would have been able to book that bus ticket on my own. No one at the bus company spoke a word of English - and this was the main bus terminal for all of Salvador, Bahia. It makes me wonder how Brazil will manage with the huge influx of tourists who will come in a few months for World Cup. Many people I spoke to told me the main reason for most people not speaking English is because Brazil is so huge and such a developed economy that one can survive easily without ever leaving its borders and also that learning English is extremely expensive. It is generally not offered with the regular school curriculum or even at the university, but only through private courses. One could say it is a luxury to be able to learn English.
After successfully booking my bus ticket to Brasilia, I went out for dinner and drinks with some of my new friends. I drank something called Jurubeba, which was quite tasty, but was said to be an aphrodisiac....actually most of the local drinks are said to be aphrodisiacs, but I think that is just an excuse for bad behaviour:-) The one thing I have to say about Jurubeba is that it seriously raised body temperatures. I was sweating and fanning myself a lot as soon as I drank it. Afterwards we went out to a few places in the area. In the old town of Salvador, one simply follows the music and walks to wherever makes them tap their feet.
Earlier in the day I had the most refreshing drink - it was lime juice with a bit of coconut. It's sold by a guy who is at the square in front of Rue de Pelourinho in old town. That stuff was amazing and so refreshing in the crazy heat.