(Note there are more photos on Facebook.)
I hope no one gets the wrong impression of this blog but I had to post this image which is what I saw when I awoke this morning. Two rainbows in three days is not the usual fare here and I promise no more this trip. I might take a picture of a unicorn but only if she purifies some water for me on a thirsty walk.
This morning I took a walk along the Atlantic coast and watched some guys try to surf. There were some signs up which I think indicated that this area would be off limits to vehicles starting tomorrow. The street that runs along the beach is typically touristy except there was a lot of construction going on. As I approached the Lighthouse of Salvador I recognized the cause for all the disruption. They are going to have FanFest just a couple of blocks from my apartment! Tomorrow evening I’ll be able to watch the sunset over All Saints Bay at the same time I’m watching Brazil-Croatia in the World Cup opening match on a huge screen with a couple thousand of my newest best friends.
The Lighthouse of Salvador was first a fort the Portuguese built to guard the large bay. It was built in the late 1500s, the lighthouse added in the late 1600s. Now it serves as a nautical museum. Tourists are allowed to go all the way to the top of the lighthouse, which I did, of course. Near the top, the stairs are so steep they’re practically a ladder but the view is worth it.
Next I walked along the bay coast, a steady climb that became less touristy and more residential as I rose. My target was the British Cemetery because it’s not a vacation without a cemetery. I had only a vague location from the guidebook so I stopped to ask a guy with my very limited Portuguese. He directed me precisely without any words at all.
So far, I have rarely encountered anyone with English. This is encouraging me to continue my unfinished Rosetta Stone course.
In the brush just off the street I saw a strange animal. It looked like a really sick squirrel at first but then I realized he was a fellow primate. He had a long ringed tail, not quite as bushy as a squirrel’s and a nearly hairless face with these great white ear whiskers. He chittered at me but I couldn’t tell if it was a warning not to come any closer or a request for food. Still need to track down that Rosetta Stone course.
I found the British Cemetery but it was behind a locked gate. Luckily there was a guy in a uniform walking around and I was able to get his attention. Apparently the cemetery doesn’t open until 1pm and it closes at 2pm. I guess they’ve had some trouble with vandalism but, being a good guest, I decided to kill an hour having lunch.
Wandering through nicely shaded residential apartments I finally came upon a little diner. Like most places here, the seats are lawn furniture scattered on the sidewalk or even in the road. The waiter didn’t speak English nor did he offer me a menu. I pointed to what one of my fellow diners had just been given and asked for that. It was phenomenal! I got three little bowls of rice, lightly spiced noodles and a soup of beans and sausage and then the primary plate of lettuce, tomato and two pieces of chicken which had been cooked in some sauce that gave it nice paprika-ish kick without being overwhelming. Fortunately, I watched my fellow diners so I knew how I was suppose to consume this delightful meal and it cost less than I would’ve pay at The Dog House for my usual Wednesday lunch.
Back to the cemetery, I was a little early, but he let me in anyway. It’s small, walled off from the street on one side with a cliff to the bay on the other. Most of the stones had been reconstructed after years of neglect but there were still some wonders. I was especially drawn to Edward Pellew Wilson’s tomb with the statue of the mourning woman and his face apparently looking at her. Wilson was the founder of Wilson Sons, a shipping agent and operator of port terminals and tugboats. He died in 1887, apparently quite wealthy.