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I have been living in Bahia 3 weeks already and the whole image of this region was constructed by its capital – Salvador. I used to think that the whole territory is quite dangerous and everywhere people are afraid of others behind them. During my trip to the National Park of Chapada Diamantina I got a chance to be a citizen of Lençóis for one day. The town is small and ripped out from Brazilian reality. It’s safe. What else do we need in the North-Eastern part of Brazil?

We could walk by the small river, we could visit all streets without experiencing the dirty men’s look, we could laugh, talk without being rated by strangers and without getting extra attention from street traders.

Mexican girls who were the majority of our group and always made the party louder, funnier and replete with dancing, quickly got the cheapest and the sweetest wine. The Mexican chica who was my dance mate had a birthday at that day and it simply meant that the night was going to be long. I would never imagine drinking in Salvador at the non-light area in the middle of the night. In Chapada that seemed to be a normal thing.

Lençóisreminded me a Spanish small village where everyone is a friend of a neighbor and shares his pie with the kids on the street in the weekend. That feeling I miss in Salvador.

Despite the fact all Chapada villages impressed me and gave me a long-desired feeling of native Europe, I would never recommend you to visit only such places. It gives you no insight into real Brazil and its problems.

Only such cities as Salvador, Fortaleza, Vitoria, and Natal make you dive into the life of how the social struggles in traffic jams every morning, how the bus ride is inspected by the armed military police, how youth drinks by the ocean on weekends and confesses in its non-traditional sexual orientation. You notice countless differences in a man-woman relationship, in dreams, in youth maturity and level of discrimination. Only traveling to such cities teaches you to cross your limits and open your mind to strangers, to communicate with beach grill cheese sellers and to understand the reasons of high competition in Universities and at the workplaces.

So the question is if you really want to come back home and tell your friends that Brazil is like other resorts with azure water and white sand?

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