Yesterday we visited The Pelourinho, Salvador's city center during the Portuguese Colonial Period named for the whipping post in the central plaza where African slaves were punished. As well as having gorgeous pastel coloured buildings The Pelourinho is home to many shops, restaurants and street performers.
While we were visiting, the old city center was preparing for a festival. Banners and ribbons were decorating the already colourful houses and workers were busy building stages and filling hundreds of coolers full of beer. We walked around for quite a while enjoying our surroundings, stopping occasionally to watch Capoeira dancers or to sample acarajé, a black-eyed pea fritter fried in palm oil stuffed with a shrimp paste made with cashews, shrimp, a small chopped salad and hot sauce. Vendors of acarajé are usually women and dressed in white cotton dress, head scarf and cap - they are called Baianas.
We've rented a car, a very basic (not even a radio!) Fiat Palio and plan on visiting the beaches and turtles at Praia do Forte. We don't have a GPS and our cell phone data connection is shotty so I will have to do some tricky navigation - wish me luck!