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Old Aug 30, 13, 11:14 pm
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,667
Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post

I've previously rented a car in Salvador (unsurprisingly it is not that uncommon a thing for a tourist to do) and had no real problems except for occasionally getting lost in the suburbs of the city as I do in pretty much any new city that I rent a car in. My first experience on a road trip with a GPS through rural Louisiana and Arizona last month convinced me not to change the settings to Avoid Major Roads.Doing the same in Bahia would result in some interesting diversions I'm sure..

Outside Salvador we enjoyed Chapada Diamantina National Park although in the middle of a drought the waterfalls weren't falling! We also liked Mangue Seco on the border with Sergipe to the north.

I have rented in Brasil 3 or 4 times and driven several thousand miles travel companion (a Carioca) ......
It's all good....until it isn't. And the turnabout can happen suddenly. Gringos driving in Brazil are like sight-impaired Mr. Magoo of the cartoon, stumbling through danger after danger without being aware.
Suburbs can be dangerous, as your Carioca can explain. Carjacks in the area you mention are "not that uncommon". Don't think you are in Kansas...or Arizona...where you can safely pull over to the side of the road. On and on. Incidents make the back pages of the local papers in Portuguese that we locals may see; publicity's not good for tourism.
There is an uncommon advantage having a native with her learned sense of danger and Portuguese language ability sitting next to you as well.
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