The little town of Buzios turned out to be a delightful, unexpected bonus.
We wanted to go North. We NEEDED to go North. Having spent so long around Rio de Janeiro we were itching to do the next looooong leg to Devil’s Island. (Okay, to be honest, it was probably more apprehension than itch and mostly wanting to have it over and done with).
We planned to leave Ilha Grande, wave at Rio in passing and then hover around Cape Frio waiting for the cold front to take us further.
Buzios didn’t really interfere with our plans. It was more as if it became part of what we’ve always wanted to do. We ended up sailing past Cape Frio and anchoring in the Praia do Osso at Buzios. Here we spent a delightful few days exploring yet another side of Brazil…….the Holiday Town.
Buzios’ biggest claim to fame is that Bridgitte Bardot loved to spend time in this town. (This was in the 1960’s –for those too young to remember). Apparently she had a Brazilian boyfriend and this was where they went to relax. There is a famous bronze sculpture of her along the Orla Bardot. Or rather, there is supposed to be. We never got to see it. In its place there is a large suitcase with some Portuguese writing and a picture of the statue on it. It seems that she went touring! Oh well!
Fortunately for us, all the other bronze statues in Buzios were not of famous people and it is still possible to see them. They are all done beautifully and in great detail. Each time we found a new figurine we were so excited. The statue of the Three Fishermen is by far the most lifelike. It is a little distance away in the water and to add to the very good sculpting, they hold real rope in their hands that move around in the seawater.
During the day, Buzios has a really sleepy feel to it. Shops were open, but very few people were on the streets.
We were sightseeing as a family and on the spur of the moment decided to have lunch in town. It ended up being the best value for money that we have found in all of our time in Brazil. The food was an eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet for a set price and even included caramel desserts ….And….if you’ve read Karin Joan’s blog, you will know that we even had live entertainment …….the heavily armed policemen that also chose to eat there.
We had a lovely view of the bay and it was here that we noticed two Party Boats with an ingenious extension. At the back of the boat they each had a “super tube” ride attached. What a perfect way to get from the boat into the water. Beats walking the plank any day!
Buzios on the Friday night was not sleepy! There was a beat to the air that we could feel even on the boat. The waves were choppy which made for an exciting ride in Sjampoe, but we were very glad we braved the elements. It is amazing how a really stiff wind at sea can seem like nothing at all when on land.
Not only were the shops AND restaurants open, but the roads were closed to traffic and people were thronging in the streets and lining up in front of the eating places. Each restaurant seemed to have a display outside before which the people were crowding. We were even more puzzled when we encountered a HUGE, and I mean huge (1m radius) wok in which many cooks were busily preparing Paella.
It smelled wonderful! When we noticed that there was a queue of people waiting to buy some, we easily decided to join in. We didn’t at first see that there were two lines. One for paying and one for collecting, but eventually we could share our booty on the pavement. It was not cheap, but it WAS good.
Walking further, we soon saw that each display had some speciality for sale. The name of the restaurant was clearly displayed and this was an advertisement of some sorts. Only halfway down the street did we encounter the sign saying :”XIV Festival Gastronômicõ de Buzios”.
We bought a Nutella Pancake, a special Banana Torté and a sumptuous Shrimp-something from different displays. Each “vendor” served up their item in a professional way, just like you would expect inside an upmarket restaurant. The only difference being, that it was served on a plastic plate with plastic utensils and you ate it in the street!
To add to the atmosphere there was a man who painted scenery onto tiles. Expertly dabbing the colours on and then manipulating it all into a perfect picture. It was fascinating to watch. While standing there a woman came up to me to tell me that my daughters were all very “Linda” – Portuguese for beautiful. We thanked her for the lovely compliment with smiles and our smattering of her language. Here was yet another confirmation that we still did not blend into the Brazilian Scenery.
Maybe if we could have spent just a little more time in Brazil, we could have passed for natives. But… it was time to leave. The Cold Front was upon us and we set sails once again.