I’ve flown 1500 miles to reach Salvador
Exciting. Vibrant. And bloody edgy
Its the centre of African Brazilian culture and music
It’s also the third biggest city in Brazil.
We tourists head mainly for the beautiful Pelourinho district. It has faded colonial architecture and squares all blasting out Brazilian rhythms.
If you are lucky you’ll see Caporeia dancers going through their moves in that curious mixture of martial arts and gymnastic dancing
Women wearing brightly coloured costumes with huge underskirts
But try to take a pic without paying and you’ll know about it.
But what glossy travel mags like National Geographic Traveller (a magazine I’m slowly beginning to loathe) dont tell you is that there is a dark side
I went to two music events last night and was propositioned by hookers at both
The first was pretty unsubtle. Claiming in broken English she “liked me” before grabbing me.
I tried to explain I was married but she wouldn’t leave me alone. Mindful of a huge Brazilian dude who was either her pimp or spurned customer ,I pretended I was going to the Bar before exiting stage left
At the second bar it was a woman who’d lived in Hull of all places
She began a normal conversation til I asked what she did for a living
“I am a night lady”
Cue another hasty exit
I have never seen so many cops in one tiny place. They are all armed and stand on every street corner
Tourism is the life blood of this place. And the police are here to add reassurance.
But there’s quite a bit of street crime. The hotel manager told .me three guys were robbed of their necklaces right under the noses of the military police
A TV reporter I met told me the problem here is crack cocaine. The kids rob tourists to pay for their habit
I’ve got just one more day to stay safe