I didn't mention in my last post that on the way back from Imbassai, we stopped at Praia do Forte. Now I've been to Praia do Forte a number of times, and it has to be my absolute favorite place within an hour's drive from Salvador. It's so beautiful and peaceful there, you can really relax without all the stress of the city.
Some people think it's really "resort-y", and it kind of is I guess (higher prices, everything geared towards tourists), but I love it there. And there were 2 things that made this visit different than previous visits. First of all, I visited a new sandwich shop there and ate an actual bagel and cream cheese! The shop just opened a month ago and is owned by a couple- an American man and a Brazilian woman. The American used to be an executive chef in Germany, São Paulo, and then at one of the fancy-shmancy hotels in the Praia do Forte area. He and his wife decided to open up their own place (the owner told me that there are only like 3 places in Brazil that sell bagels, including his place), and apparently it's already doing very well! The guys makes everything from scratch, including the bagels, and has a frappucini-like frozen coffee drink that is just to die for. I had one, along with a plain bagel with sundried tomato cream cheese and felt like I was in a bagel shop in the US...well food-wise at least. It was incredible!
The other unusual event was some kind of pre-Carnaval kid activities that involved this parade.
And I didn't get a photo of the kids doing the other activity...but it basically consisted of them dressed up in costumes that included a mask, a black garbage bag worn as a kind of cloak, and palm leaves stuck up underneath the garbage bag. They then run around, scaring people and asking for money. They are called "Caretas" and it's a kind of Carnaval tradition.
I'm not sure if I'll get back up to Praia do Forte again before I leave, but I will always have fond memories of this lovely beach town.