Edit Blog Post
Published: January 15th 2009
Feeling energised from our rest in Barra Grande, we head off down the cost in search of the perfect place to spend Christmas and New Years Eve.
First stop is Porto Seguro, a town renowned as a party mecca and the birthplace of the lambada. Sounds hot! It's not. The party scene is more Benidorm than Ibiza and we know within hours that this is not the place. Still it's fun and the weather is sweet, so it's no hardship spending some time exploring the (not Top 10 but still nice) beaches. Ritch continues with his inability to say no to any of the beach hustlers and hilariously ends up being painted with a celtic band henna tattoo. I cannot stop laughing as he sulks for as long as the ghost of it remains on his arm.
We discover a street called Passarela do Alcool (Passage of Alcohol!!!)...a quaint cobbled street lined with cocktail stands serving a drink we've never heard of, the Capeta. This White Russian style concoction includes vodka and sweetened condensed milk, and is given a super-charge with powdered guarana, cinnamon and chocolate. Sounds nasty, tastes amazing and with the calorific content equal to your dinner,
which, after a couple of capetas you'll be too full to eat anyway.
Our Miami-esque motel, complete with art deco styling and rooftop pool was super cheap and we wondered why the guy on the check-in desk looked surprised at our arrival. After passing yet more scantily panted men heading for the sauna it clicks that everyone else here is having a gay old time!
Actually, a word on Brazilian boys and their pants...! When dressed for the beach, (or for that matter, walking round the shops, restaurants or anywhere remotely near the beach) nearly all the men, young and old, gay or straight, body beautiful or umm, not, insist on wearing teeny little skin tight hotpants (most popular colour seems to be white) that leave nothing to the imagination. They make me laugh or shudder every single day as they strut about competing with the girls for the 'tiniest beachwear award'.
They don't quite beat the girls though...the bikinis, known as fio dental (dental floss) are so skimpy they're verging on the ridicularse! I'd been thinking that the beach in Brazil was going to be quite an intimidating place as you're always led to believe that
Brazil is an entire country of physical perfection. That's hype of course...sure there are some amazing figures on display but there's just as many wobbly bums, tums and thighs. The great thing is no one cares...the beachwear is always tiny and everyone just lets is all hang out.
After Porto Segura, we catch a quick ferry across the river to Arrial d'Ajuda. The pace is slower here in this small tourist town. It's a beautiful little place...there's a small plaza and winding streets lined with shops, bars and restaurants lead steeply down to the gorgeous beaches. At night the trees are filled with fairy lights and we know this is where we want to spend Christmas, which is now just 2 weeks away.
After sleeping in a little chalet at the Pousada La Na Magia for a couple of nights we decide to book a week with them from the 21st December. Alan, the Englishman who runs it with his Brazilian wife Maria, brilliantly offers us the chalet at the low season rate which is amazing as most places are doubling their rates for Christmas before doubling them again for New Years Eve. What an absolute gent! The
pousada is set in a tranquil garden on banana plants and palms, they have a lovely dog called Rex and a brand new kitten we can pretend is ours for Christmas! With the promise of bacon for breakfast and a BBQ for dinner on the 25th we happily leave our main packs with them as we head further down the cost on a reccy to find the perfect spot for NYE.
We suspect this will be the next village, Trancoso. Even smaller and prettier than Arrial, but with the added attraction of being the location of NYE beach parties.
Trancoso is really, really pretty. Set high up on a bluff overlooking yet more expansive Atlantic beaches, it's set around a wide, car-free grassy square called the Quadrado, where horses graze. The square is surrounded with small multi-coloured buildings housing pousadas and restaurants under huge mango trees. When lit up at night it really is magical looking and we're completely enchanted.
We wander the streets looking for somewhere to stay that will only be ripping us off a little bit. Some of the pousadas, even quite basic ones, are quoting R$3000-4000 for the week over Reveillon*, that's about a grand...ouch. It seems the cheapest we're going to get is R$1000, still completely overpriced but that's just the way it is here...every bed will be filled as the entire country goes on holiday. After passing on some mosquito-filled shacks we get lucky at Ze e Zilda's, a new place just off the Quadrado that's being painted and readied as we turn up. Pretty basic but with a big bed, private bathroom, fan and mosquito net it's about as good as it's going to get for the money.
So, all accommodation sorted! It's such a relief as so many places had booked up months in advance, but we've done well...we've got 2 lovely spots to enjoy a week in each and the discounted rate in Arrial makes the NYE price hike easier to swallow.
In anticipation of the coming celebrations we decide to go put our feet up at the next beach south, Caraiva.
* Reveillon - the Brazilians, being the party animals that they are, celebrate the new year over an entire week which is known as Reveillon. The partying begins the day after Boxing Day and continues for 7 days. This year, because there is a weekend at the end of this period, the partying goes on for 9 days. The nutters.
Tot: 0.511s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 11; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0155s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb