Destination Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia.
‘Viagra do Rasta’ and ‘Peasant girls’ on Itapuã Beach, near Salvador.
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Monday, July 24. 13 h.
Viagra do Rasta
We walked closer to the beach, and we observed a beach bar with a striking banner: “Venha tomar o viagra do rasta”, which can be translated as “come here for your rasta viagra”. It soon became clear to us, that this bar offers an alcoholic drink made on the base of clove: cravinho. This drink indeed has a sharp taste of clove. Since the basic alcoholic is a brandy, this viagra do rasta burns your throat immediately.
Itapuã Beach offers a splendid view on the skyline of Salvador. The numerous skyscrapers are clearly visible, like piles of toy blocks. Later that afternoon, during sunset, the electrically illuminated skyline, combined with a sunlit horizon, and colored clouds, generated a breathtaking, an enchanting sunset. More on that later.
We walked northward, towards a beach bar where the others of our group would gather. There was much to be seen, underway. Beach vendors carrying their sometimes heavy merchandise on their shoulders. They crisscrossed the beach, like drunk ants, in search of shopping-eager tourists. A lonesome saxophone player who played quite well, in the shade of another beach bar. But there was no audience to admire his play. Most tourists preferred the calmness, and took their rest on the beach. Also Itapuã Beach has large, plain sand areas, and some reefs. The ocean was calm here, we only observed little waves. A statue of a mermaid was mounted on a rock, like a Brazilian Lorelei. Hopefully she will not draw too much attention from Brazilian fishermen, who might await a gruesome fate. As it had happened, according the legend about her German cousin on the strategically located rock in the Rhine River.
Numerous objects were deposited on the beach, by the rolling waves. Witnesses of the recent high tide were spread on the yellowish white sand. Seaweed, tiny dead fish, dying lobsters and crabs, and sea urchins. Vicious spines of those sea urchins had badly wounded some of our travel companions. Those spines penetrated the skin, and had to be removed with much caution. Poor Joyce was one of the victims. Her deeply tanned heel showed marks of a dozen spines. Only later that night, when we arrived at the pousada, these spines could be removed. Beautiful Joyce had to keep herself very calm that day, and had to limp back to the pousada..
Itapuã is located near another light tower. This tower is a bit smaller and less prominent, compared to the Farol in Barra. I did not visit this light tower, since the neighborhood was not very safe, according to some of the friends. It is therefore recommended, in general, to obtain such information about the safety beforehand; for example at the hotel, tourist information center, or hotel. They can tell your which beaches, districts, or other locations are considered as safe or not. It is always better to prevent problems… Some beaches are considered as a bit dangerous, when they are located near favelas (slums). Most of the inhabitants of those slums are harmless and will do no evil. However, a small percentage among them might have some criminal actions in mind, and will not hesitate to use force in order to get what they want.
We really enjoyed that day on Itapuã Beach. We had chosen a beach bar with nice music (very important for many Brazilian tourists!) and low prices of the alcoholic drinks. Carol was an experienced negotiator, and she managed to obtain a lower price for the beers and caiprinhas, lower than it was indicated on the menu card. Caipirinhas (literally: peasant girl) were offered for three reais. They were prepared with fresh lemon, and offered in a tall glass. We also enjoyed very much the roasted shrimps, which we bought from a beach vendor. A dish of sliced roasted beef, with onion rings and fried manioc, was a very tasty snack.
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
Original text in Dutch, translation with help of Google Translator