Salvador, Day 3

Reluctantly woke up early again for a bird watching trip I had planned with a local bird guide, Eduardo. Eduardo picked me up at the hotel and, though he didn’t speak English, we managed to converse as best we could in Spanish. As we neared the place where we were going to go birdwatching, Eduardo picked up Cristiane, his friend who would be helping to translate. Eduardo drove to a rural area dotted with houses along a dirt road and this is where we disembarked to go birdwatching.

birdwatching location

This was my first experience birdwatching with a guide who did not speak English and I have to say it was a bit of a challenge. Cristiane translated information he’d provide on the birds we spotted but generally when he spotted the birds, he’d say something in Portuguese which I’d guess the meaning of and I’m not the best at spotting birds even when they’re being pointed out to me. Then there was the identification–he’d generally tell me the Brazilian name and then have Cristiane look up the bird in his guidebook but it wasn’t the same as being told the English scientific name straight away. After spending a fairly short amount of time looking for birds along the side of the road, we started walking along a path in the forest. I appreciated the shade but was pretty tired by the end of our hike and, unfortunately, there were very few birds to be seen along the trail. We stopped off at Cristiane’s boyfriend’s house nearby and then cooled down with some fresh coconut water. The one cool bird we did see which was a first for me was an owl–I believe Brazil’s smallest.

After birdwatching, Eduardo brought us to his friends’ place nearby who raise bees to produce honey. The guy showed us the hives he constructs which looked almost like a work of art, the different hives containing bees he has for the sake of preserving native bee species, and the active hives. He and his wife also grow a large variety of fruits and they were nice enough to share mango juice and caja juice made with fruits grown on their property, cacao mixed with honey, and a few other goodies. While we drank the juice and nibbled on the other food, a small monkey poked his head nearby and the wife brought out some bananas and called out to the monkey which brought out at least 15 other monkeys.

They brought us to the hives to try some of the honey–the bees they use to produce honey actually don’t have stingers but it was still unsettling to have the bees swarm around us as they peeled back the hive covers and withdrew the honey with a syringe. They honey was super sweet–I could only have a few spoonfuls. It was my first experience visiting a beekeeper and it was interesting.

extracting honey

We stopped off at Lagoa do Abete, a fresh water lagoon surrounded by white sand dunes on the way back to Salvador and drove past nearby Itapoa Beach which appeared to be packed with beach goers.

Lagoa do Abete

After a quick lunch, Adam and I jumped in a cab to go to Museu Carlos Costa Pinto only to discover it was closed on Sundays due to a lack of funds. The neighborhood was nice and shaded so we decided to explore the area and discovered a few museums along the way. We relaxed in a large park at the terminus of the neighborhood and then took a cab to the Modern Art Museum of Bahia. While the art collection is somewhat modest, the building and location are really nice and we relaxed in the cafe for a while to watch the sunset.

Modern Art Museum of Bahia sculpture garden

Salvador sunset

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