Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vacations in Brazil pt. 2

AOG, Praia do Forte

After a 9 hour flight we arrived in Bahia. We discovered that the back of the plane was not too crowded and although we had chosen window and isle, we actually flew separately most of the way, across the isle, with at least one spare seat next to us for extra comfort.

It took about an hour to cross through customs and immigration. All the passengers were quite shocked at the slow speed of the process and complained from the start. Me included.

We left the baggage hall and were greeted by representatives from our tour operator. There was a girl dressed in full Bahiaiana gear smiling and waving at people. Too bad we were all tired, hungry, and fed up with waiting to reciprocate her niceness.

We got on the bus and were told that because there were two groups, we would be unloading the first group at their hotel first. This meant that the journey would take even longer. And it did.

The drive from the outskirts of Bahia airport to Praia do Forte was slow, although our driver did swerve about 3 times to avoid an accident, and uneventful. The Tour rep tried his best to be nice and friendly, but failed miserably.

He offered to exchange our euros for reales explaining that he would give us a better rate than the hotel would: 2.50 to the hotel’s 2.40.

My partner changed some money and told me when he got back that the guy’s niceness disappeared as soon as he turned the mic off. The mask has fallen off, were the words used.

Not an easy job to do, I agreed, but then, why not hire someone who is actually nice, and not just pretending to be nice? My partner agreed.

The first surprise of the day was the fact that it is Winter in Brazil, which means it gets dark around 5pm.

We finally got to the hotel after being on the bus long enough to snooze for a while, tired, depleted of energy, and hungry.

They told us to leave the luggage, tag it with our room number, and scoot over asap to the restaurant before it closes.

Second surprise of the journey. Surely this happens with enough regularity that the restaurant should stay open a bit longer?

Regardless, we get to the restaurant where the remnants of the evening’s dinner were awaiting our hungry mouths.

Afterwards, and yes, we overate, we walked to our rooms, passing by the hotel’s disco, blasting as it was, dance music and drunken guests. We hoped our room was nowhere near that racket, and swore to demand a different room if it was.

Luckily for us, it wasn’t. it was on a the first floor, and we could hear the sea from the balcony. I think for me the vacation started that moment, looking out into the palm-strewn golf park outside our balcony, with the moon shining over a slightly overcast sky.

Since we could hear the sea, we wanted to see how close to it we were. We left the room and went on a mini evening excursion of the hotel’s grounds.

The beach was a two minute walk from the room. As we got closer, the sea got louder.

There is something very romantic about the sound of the sea at night. Also dangerous. Who knows what sea creatures are out in force at night. I really liked our first experience of Brazil.

We went to sleep as soon as we got back to the room. We had an appointment with the Tour rep at 10 AM the next day, and we needed to have breakfast first.


Timbo said...

God...I HATE YOU!!! (not really....just envious!!)Sounds wonderful!!!

Ynot said...

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful ;)