Today we got up early in order to go to Rio Vermelho and visit what we had been meaning to visit for a while, the actual house of Jorgé Amado and his wife Zélia Gattai. We caught a bus, kept our fingers crossed that it was in the right direction (didn’t fancy another day spent on various incorrect buses!) and alighted just further than we needed to be, also along the coast and with the sea on our right. It was sweltering hot, and after asking a few builders the directions to Amado’s house (notably, everyone knew where it was) we climbed a Sao Paulo-like hill and arrived at an inconspicuously located house, where two students immediately gave us English booklet guides and we were invited to follow the directions and visit every numbered room in the house.
Ollie and I definitely feel as if we are learning about every side there was to Amado! Walking through his lounge, study, bedrooms, kitchens, reading rooms, dark-room, indoor and outdoor terraces and beautiful garden, we felt that this was an author who was extremely successful financially and had spent his earnings on this property. The colours of his wallpaper and clothes were so bright and gaudy and we admired the spectacles of wealth as we engaged in highly modern, visual, interactive activities the museum had installed since.
After watching interactive lectures and round-tables set up in wooden gazebos with plasma television screens surrounding you, we left and headed back in the direction of the sea, discussing our thoughts and itching our fresh insect bites.
It was still too hot to walk around in the sun, so we sat with a bowl of banana acai and watched fishermen and builders across the busy road that snaked along the coast. We then walked back on ourselves, got drinks and acarajé, and then walked to the Yemanja Chapel, which was a small house dedicated to the sea orisha (goddess) that was also a working fishermen’s community house. After peeking in to a room full of statues and offerings, we walked round it on the rocky beach and back up to watch the fishermen descale their catch and pack it up accordingly.
The sun was setting, and after walking around the area (and, I typical OllieRosie style, along a main road for quite a while), we settled in a renowned bar down Rua Franca (quit literally a walk-though/passageway for the significantly younger locals) which had been recommended by another blog called ’24 hours in Salvador’. We bought freshly-caught, cooked fish with vegetables and drinks before discovering that the bar we planned to go to later was closed on Thursdays! After talking and people-watching for a while longer we walked back up the coastal road to another hidden bar which was inviting in it’s fairytale-like, hipster-esque decoration! Another drink each and we walked up to the bus stop to catch a bus back to Campo Grande near Pelhourinho.
We caught a taxi for the last small stretch as it was so dark by now, and still got back to the apartment before midnight!