The Brits told me that while I was getting water logged in Arraial d’Ajuda, they were experiencing sun, surf, bikinis and local color here in Itacaré. But by the time I met them the next morning, the mist and rain started its on-again/off-again dance. The boys wanted to go fishing. Not a day for beach and bikinis, they said. So why not go fishing? With my very slow going but gradually gaining a grip on speaking Portuguese, I tagged along to provide necessary translation services.
At a small shop toward the end of the main drag we bought a dozen hooks, bamboo poles for rods, some line and a few weights for about $7. At the pexiaeriea we hopped to buy some shrimp as bait, but the grizzly, toothless and fish-stained apron donning owner of the fish market didn’t have any. So we bought 4 fish for about 50 cents. This would have to act as bait.
Climbing on the slippery rocks of the main beach, Praia Concha I made a dramatic fall on my back and but down the slick moss while trying to pass our fishing goods to James. Once settled we spent several hours trying to snag a barracuda, haul a crab out of the water or grab the “big one”. I kidded that if all fails in our fishing endeavors we can always go back to the fish market and buy one of hte large fish I spotted in the cooler when purchasing our bait. This purchase could serve to quell any comments from the choir. Truly, James did catch a fish. A small 6 inch skinny flat fish which after photos were taken was tossed back into the sea.
We continued our conversations about travel, weather, music and plans over the forró beats and a couple beers at a local bar. Then we trudged back to our pousadas in another round of sheeting rain. In Itacaré one could set a watch to the early evening rain. Every night at 8pm for both nights I spent there the sky opened up and drenched the place.
As I slept the rain pounded. Fortunately at Pousada da Paz, just up the road along the bay past the Petrobras station was yet another great deal and perhaps the best breakfast I’ve had in Brasil. Recommended if you end up here some day.
But the next morning I saw a break in the sky and decided to move on. But the break lasted about as long as it took to get to the Petrobras. For the rest of the day I had my most drenching and wet ride perhaps since those long gone days in Ecuador. I was determined to make it to Salvador by nightfall. I was blessed by a tad of sun and rain-free miles from Gandu to Valença on perhaps one of the most fun and desolate roads to date. Winding up and over gentle hills, pass plantation of coffee, rubber, guarana and dende, the blissful ride was interrupted by an accident that happened just 2 minutes before I rounded a “dangerous curve.” A flatbed truck that is typical of this area, hauling bags of concrete took the corner a bit too fast and rolled over. The truck was upside down with the cab crushed into a pancake. The driver was conscious, alive yet it was impossible to get him out of the cab. I’m confident his legs were crushed.
The accident happened along a favela (slum) area. While a steady group of people joined to converse with the driver, others figured away to turn off the engine as the wheels were dangerously spinning. Still others decided that the bags of concrete were for the taking as a steady stream of crooks hauled off the bags to their shacks across the street.
With plenty of Portuguese speaking people offering to help, I moved on only to end up once again riding the dark, scary and dangerous night. This was perhaps the worse as the road outside of Valença north toward the ferry boat that takes cars, busses and trucks to Salvador was in very bad shape. Difficult to see the water filled potholes when streams of bright lights heading my way periodically blinded me. I realized my dream of arriving in Salvador was unrealistic.
So stopping for gas outside Valença this fact was confirmed. One motorcyclist warned me about riding in the dark, and yet another provided me an escort through the maze of streets to the road to the ferry in Valença. Without this escort I surely would have lost much more time and cause my arrival to a another charming Pousada on the Island of Itacarica. Even finding this was a challenging and this time a Brasiliero in a pickup guided me to teh turn off to Zimbo Tropical in Aratuba. The 300 meter drive down the road was a bit unnerving in the night, too. Sand, mud and wet grass, it was hardly a road at all. But at the end of it was Philippe opening the gate to his property and offering Doc and I a safe haven from the wettest and quite possibly one of the most taxing day of riding in Brasil to date.