Archive | South America RSS feed for this section


Heeding prior warnings, we left the ship stripped of all our jewelry, watches, and big cameras, and headed out to discover Salvador on our own.  We wore our blue jeans and hiking boots and tried to keep a low profile, in search of a funicular to get us up the huge hill into Old Town.  MJ, in all her wisdom, decided that we should walk the roadway that the buses were taking up the hill, reasoning that the funicular had to be near by.

We stopped a trio of policemen on the way.  Even with all our articulate sign language, they did not understand what we were trying to ask them. They only spoke Portuguese.  They had vaguely pointed in a direction that we ended up taking. The street was deserted except for the crumbling buildings, but we trudged onward.

All of a sudden a man appeared and whistled at us to get our attention.  He kept gesturing to us to follow him down the street, so we did.  We followed him for about 4 blocks, even though each of us was imagining we might be walking a dangerous path.  In the end, the roadway opened into a large plaza and there was the ELVADOR. We thanked the man, bought a ticket for the elvador and  were whisked up 6 flights to the Old Town Plaza.

The Plaza did not hold much interest for us (just shops, statues, and government buildings), so armed with our new found confidence about our safety, we wandered down a side street, and there we found marvelous examples of graffiti.  Mary Jane has a thing for cool graffiti.  And cool it was!

Every time we met someone on the road, they kept gesturing the way back to the Plaza, but we kept looking for more graffiti.  We finally got the message when an older man stopped us and kept trying different words to communicate with us.  He finally hit on a word we definitely understood, “MAFFIOSO.” We finally got the message, and made our way back to the Plaza.

Sunday morning sleep over

Sunday morning sleep over (male section)

What one dollar buys in Salvador (not the men, just a photo)

When we returned to the ship we learned that 3 people had not been as fortunate as we were.  One woman had multiple necklaces ripped from her neck.  A husband and wife we accosted by a group of 10 to 12 year olds who stole the husband’s camera.  And a second man, who was threatened with a knife at his throat, also lost his camera.