Destination Salvador, Capital of the state of Bahia.
The bus had reduce speed many times, because of thresholds. Many local vendors stood there, keeping hope to sell their merchandise to the passengers.
Friday, July 21 , 10.00 h
We had left the mountainous landscape of Minas and the South of Bahia behind us. Not that this region, deeper in Bahia, is flat now, like the Dutch landscape. On the contrary. The motorway still has many sharp bends along the contours of the hills; occasionally some valleys pass that more resemble a Dutch landscape. With meadows fenced off, cattle at pasture, and desolated farms. The temperature was increasing now, the chill of the morning mist has disappeared; the sun was warming the bus and us inside with her friendly and warm sunrays. Now the travelers were all awake, their stomachs were all calling for some food. Some smart numbers among them had bought a little stock of cream crackers that was on great demand now. Early in the morning or not, some of them already drank some cachaça or gulped from a remaining can of beer. The others restricted themselves with beakers of water.
To kill the travel time, a karaoke was organized. But the sound system in the bus was far from optimal, the majority did not show much interest or seemed too timid to take the microphone and sing his or her version of a popular Brazilian song. One of them was not timid at all and her voice sounded great. For this, Audrey was our bus singer. The others were singing with her and danced in the corridor.
We were traveling eastwards, closer to the Atlantic coast. Now the hills appeared with lush grass. No extensive forests here, but grass hills with some trees spread over them. The cattle were grazing, taking their time. No Frisian or red-and-white cattle, but of a different race with a creamy white fur. The sky was filled with tiny clouds, meek as lambs. No visible threat of rain. Though, the coastal region of Bahia is known with the heavy and frequent rainfall. Still the coast lies a few hundred kilometers ahead from us; probably a distance that is comparable with the distance between Amsterdam and Paris.
Approaching more and more the Bahian coastline, we now are in a more inhabited region. The local inhabitants profit from the presence of this motorway though their villages. They have exhibited their merchandise in self-made stalls, in their attempts to sell them to the speeding travelers. Homegrown fruits and vegetables, homemade food, homemade handiworks. You will find numerous stalls with all kinds of merchandise, each of them manned with a man or girl that tries to attract attention to the travelers, in the hope to sell something. These stalls offer a great opportunity to get bargains with delicious fruits, fresh food and really beautiful handiworks.
Almost five years ago, when I was traveling with a Brazilian family to visit a wonderful waterfall close to Belo Horizonte, the father of the family halted at such a stall. The locals were selling fresh pineapple that they peeled and cut in slices on site. I really enjoyed these fresh and very sweet slices of pineapple. Not one, not two, but three pineapples had filled my stomach by then. You clearly can say it was a real vitamin bomb. Generally the peels of the pineapple are not thrown away immediately but washed intensely with a lot of water. The peels are then kept in water and stored in the fridge for some days. As a result you may obtain a somewhat diluted pineapple juice, an excellent thirst-quencher.
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
Original text in Dutch, translation with help of Google Translator