Jaco van der Laak, October, 23-2013.
At half past three in the morning a Landrover Defender parked in our little street. The door bell rang. Rob, Joyce her brother, came in. A couple of days earlier he offered to deliver us at the airport and so he did. A smooth and undisturbed ride at the empty Dutch motorways followed. A farewell hug and Rob returned home, leaving us at the airport to go our own way.
Air Europe, the Spanish airline we chose to travel to Salvador Bahia, brought us there at long last. A long stopover in Madrid in wet white jeans was rather difficult to bare and a kind of embarrassing as well. Unwanted dozing off on the first leg of our two leg journey, made that I knocked a cup of coffee over that had been served out so attentively by a KLM stewardess. Not nice, a bit of agitation was hard to suppress as you can imaging.
Our plan was to use a bus from the airport to Barra, which is next to Pelourinho – the old city- the most interesting district of Salvador. We Skipped this plan, due to again a long time waiting on transport, the darkness -from 6.30 pm onwards-, the questions to ask in my feeble Portuguese in order to get out of the bus near the Pousada where we reserved room for the night. It happened that near the bus station a young Bahian taxi driver wanted to serve us. Of course he understood that standing there ment competing with bus ticket prices, which are very low. It forced him to grant us a real bargain. He drove us straight away to our address for about half of the normal taxi fee. During the ride it became apparent that this was his last one for the day and Barra wasn’t that far out of his direction to home. A nice chap he was, wanted to deliver us right into the Pousada which came in very useful because Wolfgang, the German owner, didn’t answer the door bell.
The taxi driver, acquainted to this situations, started banging the door, more bell ringing and calling loudly -many things are loud in Bahia- for attention. We heard some noise, a key pushed in the lock, the turning around, the gate opening and.. a big German skinhead showed up. What we wanted? he asked. We explained. He mentioned that Wolfgang wasn’t at home but he allowed us indoors. A heavy weight pushed on my shoulder, you know, because my dear wife Joyce follows me almost everywhere without many questions, but when things turn out wrong I am the one to blame, a simple but smart bit of tactics, though, and very biblical. God didn’t call Eve but Adam when Eve fell for temptation. The man holds end-responsibility, as simple as that.
The skinhead was as nice as a baby, managed to get Wolfgang on the phone and things fell in place smoothly. A very nice room waited for us, the skinhead offered us a drink which we accepted. A lot of fun on the surprisingly cozy Pousada terrace with him, another German friend, and Wolfgang.
Wolfgang is a very special person. After finishing university in Germany, he went on a world wide exploration for a couple of years. There isn’t much unseen by him, remarkable. Thereafter he took up a job as marketing director of Phillips, Hilversum, Netherlands, in order to market an AT&T product line among others. On a certain point head quarters had to be moved to England and a dull city was selected. He left the company, went to Salvador to follow a language study on location and never left Bahia again. An interesting story it was, with many humorous details which are too much to mention.
Pousada Villa Verde is basically renting out self catering apartments. Therefore we had (a nice) breakfast in the neighboring Pousada, went for a walk along the beach to take some photographs and returned to Wolfgang because he offered assistance to get us a prepaid mobile phone chip card solution and brought us to his favorite buffet restaurant, where meals are composed in a do it yourself way, by loading the food components of choice on ones plate. This has to pass a scale for weighing the selected food. An interesting and affordable possibility to dine, mostly available at lunchtime only.
From Wolfgang’s Pousada guesthouse villa Verde we went on to the car-ferry where we would cross the famous Bay of All Saints, as it was called by the Portuguese explorers when they discovered this immense bay. Our next destination is a meeting with our friend Joaquim in Pousada Beija Flores, where a lobster meal awaited us, a thank you gift for internet services rendered to him. The Pousada belongs to a French seniors couple and Joaquim renders services to them as their trusted real estate broker on the Itaparica Island. So, we will see what it will be.
Those who want to read more about our experience with guesthouse Pousada Villa Verde should click this link or the guesthouse experiences section on the right hand side of the web pages.