Another fabulous day in Praia do Forte. Today, we woke up, went to the little bamboo hut-esque gym in the pousada for a mini workout, showered, ate a decadent breakfast, then slapped on the ol' bikinis and went outside for a HOT bikini photo shoot. Yup, Emily and I posed shamelessly among the plants, under the outdoor shower, in the pool, with the blow-up whale floaty toy, on the deck chairs -- all under the semi-stunned gaze of the cabana boy. I now have a much fuller appreciation for what Tyra was talking about all that time on America's Next Top Model -- it ain't easy to be fierce.
We sat outside for a while, drinking diet cokes and chatting, then went inside when it started to sprinkle rain. Emily watched Mystic River and I fell asleep on our hammock -- how often do I get to say THAT -- and then as dusk was setting in, we got up and went to the Projeto Tamar tortoise reserve at the edge of the vila. It said in my guidebook that the reserve closed at 7 pm, and when we rocked up around 6, it was dark and the place looked deserted. No one stopped us from going in, and when we entered, we found that besides a couple of workers who were cleaning up, we had the entire turtle park to ourselves. The tanks and pools were cast in sort of an eerie green light, and once in a while something would splash out of the water unexpectedly, so the whole thing had a very Abandoned Amusement/Water Park vibe. The scariest thing ever was when we were standing by a pool that appeared to be empty and a creepy manta ray appeared out of nowhere and started flapping itself against the side of the pool as it swam by. Other creepy/wonderful sights included giant tortoises floating at the bottom of pools, oooooh.
After a little wandering in the haunted turtle park, we left and did some shopping. Emily bought a few more Brazilian bikinis -- adorable -- and I broke down and got another one as well -- red with white polka dots -- and some white bermuda shorts. I figured, if I come back to the US from Brazil without at least 2 bikinis, I have truly failed.
Shopping led to a very weird dinner at an Italian place where the owner spoke limited Portuguese, limited English, but was fluent in the language of sweeping hand gestures. One of the many odd things about dinner was that we ordered 2 diet cokes, and the waitress told us they had run out and only had Guaraná left. Then, about 10 minutes later, we saw her sneakily carrying a tray with a diet coke on it over to another table. Liars!!!
Now we are settling in for a nice night of HBO 2. Tomorrow we check out and head back to Salvador, where we're planning on staying at the Hotel Cocoon, Brazil's first spaceship hotel! http://www.hotel-cocoon.com More tomorrow, I hope.