Sea turtles are like, far out man!

Praia do Forte Travel Blog

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Oh how right the lady in the tour agency was too! A taxi to the long distance bus station and a two hour bus journey later I was greeted with glorious sunshine and the beautiful (if slightly touristy) town of Praia do Forte. The reason for heading up there is that Praia do Forte is home to a sea turtle santuary as due to over-fishing and the fact that some local communties eat them they are now in serious decline and it was somewhere that I really wanted to visit as I'm a sucker for animals.
The hostel in Praia do Forte was probably the nicest I've stayed in so far in Brasil (though they are another three weeks to go so who knows where I might end up), the rooms were huge with really comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms...so nice. Its amazing how even after a short space of time in hostels I'm quickly remebering what it's like when you find a good one.

It's Crush!
I met a German girl called Sarah (hi if you're reading this) who I hung out while I was there and acted as my translator (Sarah your Portuguese is amazing) as well as introducing me to some of the staff from the turtle project who she'd met the previous day.
Although Praia do Forte is a little on the small side it has a really cute little church, white sandy plam tree lined beaches and a great vibe, I get the feeling though I will experience quite a few of these picturesque little spots during my time in Brazil.
The sea turtle project is a non-profit organisation which is dedicated to protecting 5 species of turtle, loggerheads, hawksbills, leatherbacks, olive ridleys and green turtles of which we got to see in their pools alond with sharks, otopus', sea urchins and some rather large fish.
Crush Jr.
 Annoyingly I'd missed hatching season by a month but I did get to see some of the baby turtles swimming around in their own little pool. It was a really great project to see however they did need to expand the sizes of some of the enclosures as a few of the animals seemed a little cramped but one of the staff said they were looking to do so so hopefully in the future it'll have bigger tanks/pools but I recommend a visit if you're in Brazil for any length of time.
Sarah and I decided to then head to the Castelo do Garcia d'Avila, which as it happens is the first structure of any great size that the Portuguese constructed after landing here in the 1500's. We couldn't find anything that gave us indication of how far away it was and after an hour and half trekking and being bitten by mosquitos, sand flies and getting sun burnt in my case, we made it and for all my complaing it was worth it.
We were the only two people there and the ruins of the castle/ forte were impressive on their own but the views were just superb with the remains of the windows framing tropical views out to sea.
Friday night saw us partying with staff from the sea turtle project and George (one of the staff who was staying at the hostel) whipped up a few caipirinha's to kick things off, man they were so good, before we headed off to meet a few more of the staff and spend the eveing watching a band play a type of music which I think is called forrango. I really enjoy experiences like that when you travel where you actually spend time with people who live there and get to find out what their day to day lives involve, its part of the thing that makes travelling worthwhile in my eyes.
Dinner!

Sarah left early Saturday but I had no plans to rush back anytime soon as I was rather enjoying relaxing on the beach but knew I would have to head back eventually as I had plans in Salvador in the evening.
I dragged myself away from sun bathing finally and headed back to the hostel before jumping into a Collectivo taxi (basically a minibus) which was rammed to the gunnells with people (thankfully I had a seat), it bought a whole new meaning to sardines in a can. Knowing how unreliable buses can be I decided this was a preferable mode of transport to get back to Salvador, albeit slightly less comfortable. I was it got me to the bus station OK, and quicker than the bus, from there the next step was to take a cab back to the old part of the center, the Pelhourino.

Stigen says:
Looks like a good place !
Posted on: Sep 29, 2010
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Its Crush!
It's Crush!
Crush Jr.
Crush Jr.
Dinner!
Dinner!
Praia do Forte
photo by: joesu