During our trip so far, we’ve met some beautiful, lovely people. Sometimes a reunion with a friend we haven’t seen in a long time, sometimes people who happen to cross our path at a campsite or a bar
One of the things I like traveling is meeting new people, faces, colors, religions, cultures … Try to understand a little more of each other. The best chance is to talk to people along the way. Show interest in the other, the unknown, leave your prejudices and fears behind and get closer when you take a picture or just when you’re watching someone else’s conversation.
The first reunion was in Recife, in the land of the best carnaval in the world, (in my opinion!)
Kilian Glasner, a great friend and artist. We first met in Berlin, while he lived there a few years ago. We were hosted in his beautiful apartment, which even looks like an art gallery, in the Espinheiro neighborhood. We spent the carnival there dancing between the winding streets of Olinda, the old colonial town, and catching up with some more old friends who lived in Recife. It was a delight! I Love Recife!
The second was near Maceió, in the Riacho Doce neighborhood. Marcela Tenório, friend and classmate from fashion studies in college. She has a really cool accessory brand called La Gaveta (The Drawer), with fantastic beautiful necklaces. She received us very well, as if we had met yesterday, 5 years and an ocean apart hasn’t changed a thing. It’s so good to feel love that does not change with distance. And I had chance to meet again Iana Tenório. For sure Maceió was more than special.
The third was in Salvador, with Sara Fernandes, a childhood friend of my sister. Now, she’s a violinist of the UFBA orchestra. (Federal University of Bahia). Even though our message to her was left to the last minute, she welcomed us into her home. We saw the sights, and she took us out for a delicious acarajé. A famous Bahia delicacy, it’s a kind of deep fried patty filled with spicy dried shrimp.
That, and the very generously provided homemade food, was the best thing we could ask for after a few days “camping” in the car!
And then, the hitchhikers.
With some guests in the car, the trips are always fun and more adventurous. On the way from Penedo-AL to Salvador-BA, we decided to camp at Condé (Praia dos Coqueiros) and from there we heard about the beach at Imbassaí. Camping next to us were Marcela and Rafael, a great, easygoing Brazilian couple who were going to Salvador as well. So we offered a lift. And they agreed! First lift! (A lift is carona, in Portuguese). Of course we were happy to have someone with us in the car, but splitting the petrol cost is a handy side benefit! Those three seats in the back needn’t stay empty!
From Salvador, the plan was always to go next to Chapada Diamantina, a famous national park in Bahia. Since it’s a popular destination, we expected we could find someone to join us for the trip. We used the Couchsurfing website to contact people in the Salvador group, to see if we had any takers. We found Carlos, who was interested. We arranged a meeting in Campo Grande, a big square in Salvador city centre, to check him out (he’s single, ladies!) and make sure everything was suitable. Early the next morning we left towards Lençóis. The trip was long, but a bit of a chat along the way kept us in a good mood.
When we talk to others about picking people up for lifts in Brazil, most here think that we are crazy. “It’s very dangerous” etc. But, but, but if you don’t trust others, whom can we trust. I’m sure many bad people exist in this crazy world, sometimes by their nature, sometimes to protect, or to fight against society. But I think we can not let these people stop us from doing what we think is right. Sustainability and sharing are things that I think can help our society to evolve.
So share! Open your home for a friend, neighbor’s cousin’s friend or even a stranger if you feel comfortable. If you can help someone out along the way, your good deed might come back to save you one day!