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All Is Well That Ends Well

SALVADOR, BAHIA

semi-overcast 35 °C
View Brasil 06/07 on Alex-H's travel map.

Good thing I finally managed to upload my pictures of the Lavagem do Bonfim... I see Travellerspoint have picked this blog entry for their front page today!

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Filhos and Fitas - The Filhos de Ghandy drummers on their way to the Lavagem de Bonfim, and someone selling the ubiquitous fitas - souvenirs of the Lavagem that bring good luck and grant three wishes each. There are more fitas in Salvador than bicycles in Amsterdam.

I'm back in Salvador once again. I arrived just in time for the Lavagem do Bonfim, last Thursday, the biggest religious festival in Salvador's crazy calendar of religious (both Candomblé* and Catholic) events. The Lavagem de Bonfim is the ritual washing of the steps of the church of Bonfim by members of Bahia's Candomblé houses, a tradition which has been continuous since 1754, when black slaves were forced to wash the white people's church. With time, it they turned it into a religious event honouring Oxalá, one of the most important Orixás (deities) in Candomblé. In Candomblé the Orixás became syncretized (mixed) with Catholic saints, and Oxalá is O Senhor do Bonfim, The Lord of the Good End, in other words, Jesus.

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On the way to the church of Bonfim the crowd passes some fabulous graffiti!

So I am back in Salvador. My 7,200km long trip to Brazil left out various parts of this enormous country: the states of the extreme south, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná, which I already know from previous trips to Brazil; the vast interior of Goiás and the Mato Grossos; the rainforests of Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia, Macapá and Pará, and the surprises Maranhão and Piauí would have had in store for me if I had not turned back to avoid the rainy season. But I already know, the soul of Brazil is here, in Salvador, and it could not be anywhere else, because this is where Brazil began.

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No more rodoviárias (bus stations)! This concrete monstrosity is in Fortaleza.

All is well that ends well. This Thursday, I am flying back to Ireland. Time to say goodbye and to say thank you to all the readers of this blog. When I get back, I will probably post one more entry with travel tips and recommendations for those of you who would like to visit Brazil... I hope I inspired at least somebody!!!

*Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian religion.

Posted by Alex-H 06:23 Archived in Brazil Tagged postcards

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Comments

I reckon parting will be such a sweet sorrow for you, but the end of one journey marks the beginning of another. Although I am a latecomer to reading your blog, the chronicle of your odyssey has given me a colourful taste of the
enigma which is Brazil. Coincidentally, I am bound to Brazil on Thursday 18th (for just ten days)and, despite being unsure of my exact itinerary while there, I am now armed with vital nuggets of information, such as the need to swaddle myself in blizzard-proof clothing should I decide to take a long-distance bus journey, as well as the precautionary measure of bringing sweets in lieu of coins (hardly a major sacrifice in my case), among other pointers. So, thank you for sharing your experiences with us and I wish you a safe journey home, where I'm sure you'll start planning your next trip before you've even unpacked.

by meanderer

That is funny, that means our planes will pass each other somewhere above the Atlantic. Thanks for reading the blogs, I hope you have a great time in Brazil.... 0h and the sweets are only given to you in lieu of change, you are not expected to carry sweets!!!!

by Alex-H

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