Tips on how to experience it right!
Salvador de Bahia carnaval is spiced with Afro beats. The samba reggae takes you on a spiritual journey for 6 consecutive days of highly energetic dancing behind trio electricos. Which are huge trucks carrying the artists singing live with their groupies moshing around it. You better have a good sports bra on as you bounce along the 6 hour tour. There are 2 circuits one along the waterfront and the other is through the historical part of town. Both have their bewitchment.
The circuito Barra-Ondina route is along the coast and takes 6 hours to complete. The one in town is a little shorter.
It is the most exhilarating experience of being in crowd of excited people, dancing singing, in an elated state of happiness. The crowd is so thick that you are shoulder to shoulder, sometimes your body is not where your feet are as you get swept away in the crowd, carried forward only. You have to be strong, it’s not for sissies. But it promises to be one of the most out worldly experiences that you will ever have, and you will be part of one of the biggest street parties of the world.
During the day you spend time on the beaches or touring the beautiful colonial city. Pelourinho is the historical old town and is brightly colored with old cobbled streets. Here you will see many traditional Bahian women wearing their traditional dress – the Baiana de Acarajé which is this beautiful elaborate layered white full dress that makes them look like Marry poppins. Without the umbrella. They wear headscarves and lots of brightly coloured jewelry. Some will also offer you holy -water, hhhm more about that later.
During the day it’s also time to fill your body with the fresh natural power foods, like the tropical fruits, veges, juices, coconut water all easily sold from street vendors or the markets. Then theres Acaraje, my absolutely favourite but often to spicy to eat. It is made from black eyed peas base fried in palm oil giving that delicious red colour topped with prawns lime juice and coriander and Chilli – be aware Bahians eat hot. This also should not be eaten on the first day that you are there. Your stomach will not handle it.
Before you head out on your wild party night be sure to eat a good plate of food. My favorite is a buffet where you pay per weighted plate. Buffets because they have hot and cold food and loads of vege choices. Black beans, yuca and rice is my favourite, also dishes try try are the moqueca de camarão spicy coconut, prawn stew, cooked with africa ingredients and the Pancake de tapioca which is made from cassava flour.
Then is time to change into your gear – the groups have tshirts for every day for the pipocca, sun cream. – take off all jewelry, have a pouch which you can buy from the street sellers that you strap to your stomach and preferably put it low down under your shorts away from hands. Comfortable trainers and off you go. On the way down to the starting point at the lighthouse you feel the energy and the bands starts booming up as they do sound checks. Have a ast