Today is walking day. We walked left out of our hotel. At the too of the road is a square. It has the church of St Antonio which we'd seen before, and a children's play area and there's a fort. First of all, they're washing the playground with soap and hose pipes and everything. Smells lovely! The fort was unexpected. It's free and we wander in. Currently it's used to train Bahian fighting which looks a bit like karate...? Or that's what we got from there. Everything's in Portuguese which is ok but we don't understand. In the centre of the fort is what looks like a well but I'm not sure. I feel it's like a dungeon. All around the courtyard are rooms with heavy bars and gates which look like prison cells. After talking with Anna, the receptionist, we've come to the conclusion it was used to imprison black people. It was built in the 1500's it has a really sad feeling to it.
Then after leaving there, we walked down the hill to the bottom. We thought we'd walk along to the right of the 'docks' because there's beaches we can see from our balcony which look lovely. We pass fish markets, cross the road and opposite is a car showroom. Outside are some young women with flags. We guess they're trying to entice people (men) to come in and buy a car. Would a young woman (let alone 4) dress in tight tee shirts and skimpy shorts, wave flags wiggling about to music in the UK? Well I guess so, but not employed by a garage or anywhere else to do so. What's more, they didn't include young men...what about equality? Anyway, different culture I guess.
Followed this road for a bit and came to a fruit and veg and local fish market. Really interesting. Saw the saddest little teeny tiny kitten though. So think and sad. Didn't touch it though. Found the start of the beach and walked along to find there was an obstacle stopping us from continuing so on with the shoes and onto the road again. We were in a vehicular repair sector so a bit grim and industrial but felt safe enough. Kept walking and came to the other beach. This had a 'shelf' to walk along. Found seats on the beach and ordered beer. Then wanted food. Got the menu. Thought we'd ordered 'little bird' and chips. Mmmmm? Perhaps not. The chip part was ok, the little bird looked like cinders. Not really sure what it was. But I'm not sick today so hey ho...! We walked right along to the end of the peninsular and came to another fort. This one was closed but looked in good order. The sea is absolutely perfect. Crystal clear. Got an uber back to the hotel. Well, we had walked 5 + miles. Guy had a nap whilst I listened to music and read on the balcony in the sunshine.
Went to Uleses for dinner. We had a shared meal of rump steak, chips, rice, salad and (yucky) beans. 47Reals and 2 bottles of beer. Total cost around £14. It was ok, not fantastic. Went to the vegan place across from the hotel afterwards for brownie and another beer. Well, pretty unspectacular, dried up and in muffin cases? Weird. There's live music everywhere tonight. Could be that it's Friday? Back to listen to the music from our balcony.
Today's Saturday. We decided to potter down to the town. My flip flop/sandal things are falling apart so we need to buy glue. Instead of when getting to the bottom of the hill, going wraiths up the next hill, we turned left and found local stores. None that we'd really want to go in. Mainly hardware or clothes shops. But we found glue. We found our way back to the Palazio square where the cross was. Paid to go into the palace. 5 Reals. It wasn't as we'd imagined; a palace, but it had inside the ground floor, load so little 'ornamental' crafty looking structures covered over mostly, with domes/glass. See pic. We watched a guy (then noticed there were loads of them) making jewellery using macrame and semi precious stones. It was really effective but would I wear them? Don't think so. It'd be something you bought in holiday and then put in a drawer somewhere. We had an ice cream at the same shop before. Then walking down to the main square we could hear music, drumming. Keep walking and there's a drumming band. They were amazing. Took a couple of videos. Then they started walking up towards the top square. We took the other side road and when we go to the top, found a stall and stopped for a beer. There was another troupe of drummers. Obs someone going on. We think it's a competition maybe?
This evening we plan to go back to Pyro to eat so en route back to the hotel, Guy makes a reservation for later.
Go out for dinner; it's packed! We order the risotto and ravioli again and the bread starter. Well the meals came just before the starter...! They took them back but I suspect they just kept the mail course warm because Guys squid was tough and my ravioli didn't have much sauce. Disappointing.
Have breakfast then uber to the ferry terminal. Off to Morro do São Paulo. Well we'd already bought tickets. So why, when we got there did we have to wait in the damn queue to check in and be given a little sticker (that was taken off me at the turnstile)? Anyway, we wait near the entrance of the terminal so we can have a pick of seats on the boat. We choose ones near the front. When I've looked at reviews of this ferry, everyone state how awful it is, very choppy etc etc. It was fine. Certainly better than the crossing to France by hovercraft some years ago we had. Crossing took around 2 hours, then we had to get off at Morro, and find the other small ferry to Gamboa beach. That was just across the jetty. We didn't have tickets but were told we could pay on board. That was. 10 Reals each. We tried to pay with a 50 note but she said it didn't matter; not sure she had change. Anyway, just a short boat trip and we get off. We expect some porters to help with the luggage and directions. However.....it's Sunday. There isn't anyone but we did have instructions so followed them. Arrived at Pousada Halai. It's across a kids football pitch! Yes, had to drag our small cases over it. Then open the gates and up stairs. By this time were absolutely dripping! It's so hot. Anyway, we're told we've been upgraded.....wish we hadn't been, the bloody stairs to the top of the house are killers. My words to her were, better not get drunk! She roared and said that's her thought too. Lovely large room, great views over the sea. We dump our bags and go to the beach, have a beer and a portion of batata frites. We decided to eat here tonight. All the chairs and tables are put away, all the beachside restaurants and bars close as soon as its sunset, so they start around 4.30pm. We have our beach wraps so have a lay on the beach, then back to our room. We'd been to the little shop already for water and coke. Because we don't have a balcony, what do you do? We sat on a little sun terrace in the garden with our drinkies for a while. There's a little siamese cat in the garden who comes to say hello.
We have dinner early. Guy had prawn risotto and I had fish ravioli. Bruschetta to start and some sort of Italian chocolate nut thing as dessert. The owners Italian. We had an early night.
The island....last time we came to Brazil we went to Ilha do Meil, Honey Island. It was idillyc. No cars, few people, very laid back, no noise, no sun beds, table etc etc.... I'd sorta expected that, at least at this I beach. Everyone's said how lovely Gamboa is. And it is, but just not what I'd expected. There's so many people, so noisy. And busy and there's cars! And there's been a party in the road behind so although I was exhausted and slept well, whenever I woke, you could hear it.
Next day 13 January, it was beach day. I'd been a bit poorly in the night so was given a local herbal tea to help stop it. Not sure if it was that that worked or the diarrhoea pills but something did. We walked all along the beach to the left out of the hotel thinking we'd get to somewhere where there's not any people.....no! We found the times of the ferry to Valenca for tomorrow. It's where we have to go to get the long distance bus to Porto Seguro. We came to an industrial bit where the bricks and stuff were unloaded. Turned and walked back along the beach. Found a couple of sunbeds (free) and dumped our stuff, ordered a beer and went into the sea. The sand incidentally is really fine, white, like talcum powder. We lay on our sunbeds for a while until I got too hot and moved both (much to Guys disgust) into the shade. We've both gotten a little burnt. Back to our room, showered to cool off and watched something on Netflix. We had dinner here again. Maybe we shouldn't...? After last night but Guy was ok? May've it's just a bug I've picked up? Anyway, we have the bruschetta again but share a portion. Guy has steak and I have grilled chicken breast. Both come with grilled veg.
While we were talking to the owner, we said we had to get the ferry late tomorrow a could we leave our bags somewhere. We've got a late checkout! Meaning we can leave our stuff in our room, do whatever for the day and shower and change before the ferry.