Morro de Sao
April 18, 2007

Just a couple days ago I made a decision. A big decision.

I decided to hang up my traveling shoes. The ‘traveler’ status worked well for me for almost a year. The moment I would arrive in
Brazil, my status would be upgraded to ‘vacationer’.

That being said, I haven’t gone completely soft. The traveler-savvy part of me is still being utilized. To start, I am not going
through some tour agency to plan anything. I’m figuring these things out on my own. For example, many people might book a place
to stay before arriving on an island. But I am going for the ultimate ease – and that does not come with searching all over for some
place I booked online. What I have learned along the way is that it is much easier to arrive at a place and then walk around and see
what strikes my fancy.

But back to that in a little bit…

Now a little bit about my first impressions of Morro de Sao Paulo. There definitely could have been a more ideal day to come out
here (as our ferry braved a couple of storms on our way out here from Salvador). But I don’t do weather-checks prior so how would
I know? And what difference does it make considering I only had enough time out in Bahia to stay here tonight? The rain eased up
when our boat arrived. I now was making a beeline towards the beach so that I could find a place to drop my backpack off (the rest
of my stuff is at my pousada in Salvador).

At first glance, this looks like a great typical beach town. But then you notice a few added touches – horses walking down the middle
of the streets transporting things; no pavement in the street – just sand; guys walking with wheel-barrels that are labeled 'taxi'...
Even without the sun, it is next to impossible to not take an instant liking to this place. Immediately it got stamped with the ‘Jen
Seal of Approval’!

In just minutes I found a place to stay on the water. For $27 I have a room in a pousada that is practically
over the ocean. My
balcony even has the extra touch of a hammock. I can already tell that the sound of the ocean is going to be putting me to sleep

I was initially going to go snorkeling today but was a bit turned off by the weather (it couldn’t make up its mind to be raining or
gray and cloudy). So I just strolled around from the first beach to the fourth (the names of the beaches are actually ‘First Beach’,
‘Second Beach’ and so on). I sat at the beach long enough for yet another bout of rain to come through. This was my cue to go to a
restaurant grab a bite to eat. Perfect timing as dark gray storm clouds were quickly approaching. After they had passed, there was
a sliver of blue in the sky. How come a person can see something like that and get hope? The rest of the sky was nothing but shades
of whites and light grays. Did I
really think there was the chance that the small patch of blue was going to end up dominating the
rest of the sky? (I have to admit that a small part of me thought it was possible). Hope disappeared once the blue vanished from my
line of sight. I took the hint and I am now on my balcony at my pousada. It’s nice to just sit out here and relax and listen to the
sounds of the waves crashing. Snorkeling will wait until tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers for clear skies (not only for snorkeling
purposes, also so that I can that I can see the beauty of this island in its entirety).

I am now going to go read on my hammock.

I love vacationing!


Just had sushi. Damn, I love raw fish.


It is pouring buckets outside right now. Maybe this means the sky will get it all out of its system tonight bringing clear skies

April 19, 2007

Anyway, I got the worst sleep last night. It had nothing to do with the sounds of the rainstorm or the waves crashing. It had to do
with those stupid little things known as mosquitoes. Grrrrr… Nothing can keep a person up at night like itching bug bites can.
Normally I am prepared for their abuse.

And so much for my prayers to the weather gods last night. There
was a glimmer of hope this morning in the form of a large patch
of blue skies. But then that hope disappeared when the gray clouds came along and swallowed any hint of color from the sky. A big
‘boo’ for clouds…

But none of this was going to put a damper on my last day out here! No, it wasn’t…

If anything, the cloud-cover made it very enjoyable to walk all over the island. I did a pre-breakfast walk to the fort. Then a post-
breakfast walk along the beaches.

And then came the rain…

I took this as a cue to enjoy my last hour at my pousada (I had to check out of my room) while lounging on the hammock. Enjoyable,
indeed. And great timing – by noon the sky was dry.

I walked to the top of the hill where the lighthouse was. That wasn’t all that was there. This was also the top of the line for the zip-
line. But it wasn’t just
any zip-line. This one went directly into the ocean! Talk about a genius who came up with such an invention!
Definitely more scary than other zip-lines that tend to go straight across. This one was in a 45-degree angle to the water. Doesn’t
sound that bad…until you are looking down at the top of the hill!

I have to point out that I took it for granted yesterday how wonderful it was to walk through the streets feeling as if I was walking
on a beach. Hell, I didn’t even have to wear shoes! Nothing but soft sand.

But that was before the rainstorms of last night.

It is not so pleasurable any more…that is, unless you get pleasure out of walking through the near-equivalent of mud. Which I don’t.

I spent the rest of my day getting a jazz CD copied for me from one of the stores (I loved it when it was playing so I asked what it
was – the rest is history), sitting in a couple different cafes to shield myself from the different bouts of rainfall and reading my book.

There are few things this year that I would not want to ever encounter again. Wouldn’t it be my luck that this evening I would have
to re-experience a dreaded moment? It came while I was on the ferry. I was having flashbacks of Drake’s Passage from my
Antarctica trip. After experiencing it, you wouldn’t wish flashbacks like these on anyone. But I was having them. Even had to pull
open my supplied barf-bag just for security measures. At the 25-minute mark I was not a happy camper. There was still over 1½
hours left.
Ughhhh. I remembered a technique that helped me when going through Drake’s Passage. Lie down. Amazing that
something so simple can have such positive results. I managed to doze off for a bit. I opened my eyes and we had just arrived back
in Salvador.

And I never had to use the barf-bag…
Back to Brazil.
Walking along the beach.
The local wheel-barrel taxis.
Murals on the street.