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Sheltered Gringa Travels Back to Real World

“Ew, big city! Itacaré was such a paradise,” a fellow ferry traveller sighed when Salvador’s skyline appeared on the horizon.

I gave a noncommittal nod.

Yes, Itacaré was a paradise, much like the Morro do São Paulo—quiet town, gorgeous scenery, invariably hot weather, and amazing beaches. But frankly, I like big cities as well. I’ve been exploring “remote” Bahia for a few weeks now and I’m looking forward to wandering in various neighbourhoods instead of walking the single main street up and down after sunset, among other things.

I get it. Small town, middle of nowhere, is a perfect shelter in this crazy world.

I feel sheltered in Brazil as well, in a way. Brazilians don’t always have an easy life and it’s not a perfect country but things work, it’s safer than you’d think, people are friendly and many Northern Hemisphere problems are far, far away, including a couple of wars going on, political battles, terrorism, and more.

I haven’t been a big fan of the world since the pandemic. Everything changed, often not in a positive way. Life has become unnecessarily complicated. Common sense is gone. Problems aren’t solved but used to further various agendas. It’s exhausting.

I feel like a complete misfit in North America these days. I feel powerless to change things and I’m not into drugs so this is not an escape option.

So I just run away. But still, I wouldn’t hide in Itacaré for ages, I’d feel too disconnected from the rest of the world. I kind of like the world—when it behaves, of course.

It’s time to go back to Salvador for me. And just like when I was in the Morro do São Paulo, the first challenge was to find a way out and get to the bus terminal.

I found the way out easily enough—a 5.5-hour bus ride to Bom Despacho, on Itacaré Island, then the ferry to Salvador. This is a shortcut because the only other option was to bus back to Ilhéus and take the long 10-hour bus around the Bay of All Saints to Salvador.

Now, Itacaré’s bus terminal was just down the road, a one-kilometre walk, but a tough walk downhill with a backpack at 8 a.m.—no Uber around here.

I got there on time, drenched in sweat.

For mysterious Brazilian reasons, the bus driver proudly announced we wouldn’t stop for lunch but that instead, we’d stop four times—I slept through a couple of stops but the driver made a point of getting a café com leite at every ten-minute stop.

We arrived in Bom Despacho at 2:30 p.m. as planned.

I was wondering how to get from the bus terminal to the ferry terminal but it turned out that both are linked. I bought my ticket and got on the 3 p.m. boat.

It arrived in Salvador an hour later—not at the Terminal Turístico Náutico da Bahia where I took the boat to the Morro but at the Terminal Marítimo de São Joaquim.

Almost a month ago, I thought I’d arrive early and easily when I flew to Salvador from Belo Horizontenot quite. And this time, I was expecting to be in Salvador around 6 p.m. and here I was, arriving at 4 p.m. The less straightforward way to travel is sometimes the most reliable one!

Terminal Rodoviário de Itacaré
Terminal Rodoviário de Itacaré
All sweaty at the Terminal Rodoviário de Itacaré
All sweaty at the Terminal Rodoviário de Itacaré
Arriving in Bom Despacho
Arriving in Bom Despacho, Terminal Rodoviário Bom Despacho
Terminal Marítimo Bom Despacho, R. do Quebra-Mar, 1 - Lot. Outero dos Galroes, Itaparica - BA, 44460-000
Terminal Marítimo Bom Despacho, R. do Quebra-Mar, 1 – Lot. Outero dos Galroes, Itaparica – BA, 44460-000
Terminal Marítimo Bom Despacho, R. do Quebra-Mar, 1 - Lot. Outero dos Galroes, Itaparica - BA, 44460-000
Terminal Marítimo Bom Despacho, R. do Quebra-Mar, 1 – Lot. Outero dos Galroes, Itaparica – BA, 44460-000
Leaving Bom Despacho
Leaving Bom Despacho
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Arriving in Salvador
Av. Eng. Oscar Pontes, 1051 - Água de Meninos, Salvador - BA, 40301-155
Av. Eng. Oscar Pontes, 1051 – Água de Meninos, Salvador – BA, 40301-155
Barra, Salvador
Barra, Salvador
Itacaré to Salvador
Itacaré to Salvador
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Zhu

French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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