Beaches, Boats and Birthdays in Bardot’s Buzios

Sometimes the decisions you make really work out well, today was one of those days (mostly). We decided that an extended 5 day stint in the beach resort of Buzios would be a nicer break rather than 2 days in Salvador and then 3 in Buzios. Turns out that the police force went on strike in Salvador the weekend we had originally planned. Salvador has a reputation for being dangerous even with a police presence so we ducked that one nicely – Phew!

So a short hop on a plane that actually turned on time and we were in Rio for the first time. Of course then things went pear-shaped again! We had booked a transfer north to Buzios with a company called Malizia tour. We ended up sitting in the airport for 5 hours waiting for a bus that they kept telling us was coming and then they disappeared altogether leaving us stranded. Thankfully the lovely tourist information people helped us get on a bus with a tour company going to Buzios but if you are in Rio please don’t use this company as they are unreliable and untrustworthy … anyway, we finally got to our hotel at 1 in the morning (10 hours after landing in Rio) and promptly slept.

Buzios was originally a pretty fishing village but then it was “discovered” by Brigitte Bardot and her then Brazilian boyfriend and it has now evolved into the Brazilian St Tropez. It’s a peninsular with 17 beaches that juts out northward so it also affords amazing sunsets – a rarity on the east coast. It’s still pretty (cobbled streets, palm tree lined beaches, secluded coves etc) but the focus is now more on tourism than fishing with most of the boats acting as taxis to take people to the many beaches. Theres a long windy promenade along the coast filled with statues of Bardot, ex-presidents and fishermen and, bizarrely, at certain times of the day the beaches fill with vultures watching the fishermen clean their catch. We spent most of the week beach-hopping around the area (different beach every day), watching the sunset over the harbour, drinking in the cool bars, eating large quantities of seafood and trying not to shop in the boutiques (I failed ). Thursday was my birthday (21 and a bit?) so we booked ourselves on a boat trip around the islands and beaches. By 10.30am we were on our second caiparinha and singing along to Pitbull so we knew we were in for a good (messy?) day and the fact that the boat was full of Argentinians meant that at least we understood the language for a change – really cant get the hang of Portuguese!

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