The Salvador Free Walking Tour is not your average run-of-the-mill, staple-tourist-spots-checklist kind of tour. No, siree.
SFWT, or as I like to call it – The Salvador Movement – is the brainchild of Pedro and Stephanie (and a handful of friends), who decided that to showcase a city as unique and complex as Salvador, with its government-sanctioned, immaculately maintained facades and the forgotten, scaffold-supported underbelly, one would need to throw away the concept of the traditional walking tour and start from scratch.
Pedro, originally a Carioca, has a lover’s quarrel with the city. He’s openly mesmerised by the beauty of the rotting historical structures and unapologetically passionate about the issues that plague it. He loves people, especially the people of Salvador. He understands their pain and is itching to do more for them. Pedro expertly guides you through the ‘forbidden’ back streets while pointing out seemingly-random yet extremely significant spots around central Salvador.
Stephanie, a beautiful Canadian documentary photographer who fell in love with Brazil (and Pedro), expertly moves around the tour taking hundreds of captivating and candid photos while you are busy ogling the sights. Her favourite photos are the ones with people looking up at buildings with their jaws dropped – which happens a lot, by the way. The brochures for the tour tell you not to bring a camera so you can focus on what you’re looking at – and really, with the brilliant photos that Stephanie takes, why bother.
These are two of the finest humans I have met in my travels. If you happen to be lucky enough to get a tour with them, be sure to tip them generously.
This picture is #7 in my #365k photo series