Apologies, but we are catching up on posts here after a couple of days in Bahia, Salvador. Upon arrival here around mid-day Wednesday we checked into our accommodations at the Monte Pascoal Praia Hotel, situated on the Atlantic Coast side of the peninsula. Finding the room cozy (but adequate for our purposes) we decided to stay. I jest, of course, since our other choices would likely have been outdoors. We do have just what we need here, but nothing more really. The plumbing seems to struggle a bit, and the WiFi works best out in the hallway or down in the lobby, where we are presently stationed, but we are not complaining.
After some in-room down time to recover from the 25-hour, 3-flight odyssey (PHX-MIA-GIG-SSA), we ventured out along the “boardwalk” and strolled down to the Bahia Lighthouse , which forms the backdrop for “FIFA Fan Fest – Salvador”, the free public venue where all matches can be viewed on multiple, enormous video screens (more on this later).
Having thus scoped out where we would enjoy the Opening Match between Brazil and Croatia the next day, we headed back towards the hotel and enjoyed a very nice (and somewhat overdue) meal under the covered patio at Caranguejo do Farol. After ordering the “Muffins w/Queijo” (not muffins as we know them, but round balls like Spanish croquettas filled with cheese), Carlie enjoyed an enormous filet w/onions on a “skillet” of sorts, while I tucked into the Shrimp Risotto (see photos below). Service was painfully slow, but both were delicious and worth the wait.
During our stroll back along the beach to our hotel we came upon a what can only be described as a most spirited “pick-up” game of beach soccer between two local sides. These guys were fast (and ripped), skilled and definitely took the game a bit more seriously than I think we both expected. It seemed like they played to 3 goals (first to 3), and a 3rd team rotated in for the losers of the first game. We watched that one too. It was just as entertaining, but I would not describe it as a “friendly”.
Exhausted, we tucked into our matching full-size beds for some well-earned rest. What actually happened though, was Carlie got to experience my high decibel snoring firsthand, and so she slept fitfully and thought it would help to pelt me with pillows and other soft objects, including “Turtie”. We will attempt to resolve this issue in the future with earplugs, unless anyone has any better ideas.
Tomorrow (Day 2), and only after Carlie’s mandated pre-season Fordham workout in the hotel gym, we plan to visit Centro Historico, see some old churches and take in some of the pre-World Cup vibe before joining the madness at the FIFA Fan Fest for the opening match, pitting Brazil against Croatia, at 5:00 PM local time.