Watch the sunset!
One of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen was in Buzios. You can view it from Orla Bardot. The sun setting on the horizon with the small boats in the sea and the glinting waters of the ocean with the last sun rays is an amazing view!
Just the perfect way to end a day, even more if you sit on a restaurant terrace having a drink at that time. It's so relaxing!
July in Buzios
We arrived in Rio this morning after 9 AM and rented a car. The drive to Buzios was interesting and adventurous. We crossed the Niteroi Bridge which was very high and very long. It was longer than the 7 mile bridge in the Keys! The people, here, drive very fast! We took one wrong turn and discovered it right away. However, the only way you can turn around is by “retorno” so we had to drive about 15 minutes out of our way to turn around and go back. The total drive took us about 4 hours to reach Buzios although the guide books say 2 ½ hours. (Driving like a local I guess it would be just 2 ½ hours.) Driving through the countryside after leaving Rio was beautiful with rolling hills and pastureland. Well, we made it to Buzios!
The real “shocker” was seeing the road we had to take to our resort! It was about 2 miles of dirt/clay/sand/mud and full of potholes. We had to use that road daily to get in and out of our resort to go anywhere.
The resort where we stayed, Praia das Caravelas (Buzios Mega Resort), is quite huge. We were in a 3 bedroom chalet! It had two full bathrooms and full kitchen. The house can sleep 8. The furnishings were sparse and a bit rustic but spacious and adequate. It´s like an upscale campground with cottages and various types of buildings located in a forest. I guess that’s why they call it an EcoResort. There are several walking paths through the forest which consist of steps and take you to various parts of the resort. The views are beautiful, especially on the beach. There are also several pools and areas for beach volleyball and soccer (football). The resort personnel were friendly and helpful even though no one spoke English. We communicated in Spanish, listened for Portuguese words that sounded like Spanish, and used sign language. The resort has two restaurants, one on the beach. We ate dinner at the main restaurant (after a looooong nap after we arrived). The food was adequate but nothing to write home about. Glad we didn’t get the all inclusive! This is indeed an adventure!
We began the day eating breakfast at the restaurant. Then we drove into downtown Buzios (Centro). (Yes, over that road again!) It was interesting, and a bit intimidating going through the police roadblocks, however, after a few days we got used to them. We found an Internet Café and proceeded to let friends/family know that we arrived safely. We then walked around and looked for noted areas especially the Rua das Pedras which was supposed to be the happening street with all of the shops and restaurants. Rua das Pedras means street of stones. We had difficulty finding it because the entire town has cobblestones! This town was made famous by Bridget Bardot back in the ´60´s when she came with her Portuguese boyfriend. She let the world know how beautiful it was and after that it became a tourist haven. Naturally, there are places named after her and a monument in the town. Prior to it being a tourist area, as it is now, it was a fishing village.
We found a wonderful restaurant called Boom’s which we frequented often. They serve the food buffet style but also have a churrascaria. The food is sold by the kilo and is delicious!
This is the dry season....it has rained every day and night! However, the sun does come out and it’s beautiful. The weather is wonderful...chilly at night and in the morning that you need a sweater or light jacket. The temperature is about 70…their winter. Love it!
Yesterday we went to the supermarket on the way back from the Centro and purchased some breakfast goods; so in the mornings we’d have toast and jelly or a pastry, apple tea, and mango juice.
We went to church today in Manguinhas which is the isthmus section of Buzios. The priest was very charismatic. He had us clapping and singing over the entrance song. He also had us doing exercises after the entrance song to wake us up. Wish I could understand what he was saying. There was even a group that put on a skit. We followed the mass on a flyer they gave out and pretended we could read Portuguese.
This day we went on a beach boat cruise. It stopped at three different beaches but passed many. They served us drinks and fruit. We jumped in the water from the boat to swim. The water was deliciously brisk. They then left us at Tartaruga Beach for 1 1/2 hours and we had lunch. Tartaruga means turtle. The beach used to be a haven for them but since it’s become so popular the turtles don’t come around. The photographer that grew up on the beach said that sometimes you can see them there at night. There were a lot of vendors on the beach selling everything but the kitchen sink…blankets, jewelry, clothes, tablecloths. We ended up buying a bag of cashews. In all, they said the trip was 2 1/2 hours, but it actually was 4 hours. We had a wonderful time! We almost got the beach cruise free. I wanted to pay by credit card so the girl that recruited us made out a receipt, sent us on the boat and told us to pay on our return. Well, on our return no-one was there to receive/ask for money. We had to hunt down the main office, explain to the man in Spanish what happened and paid him. This would never happen in the U.S.!
July 12th Miguel’s Birthday!
We are having such a wonderful time, here! Miguel is so happy and super relaxed. We started the day going horseback riding on trails on our resort (only $10 per hour per person!). It was just Miguel and I and the guide. He took us to this beach which was at the back of the beyond and it had a restaurant on it. I don’t know how people get there as I didn’t see any road…just the path we took.. He said it was very popular. We also climbed the rocks and he showed us a view of other beaches and Cabo Frio. (This area is a beach wonderland!)
After our ride we went to Cabo Frio. It’s a more built up town than Buzios. It has this long wonderful beach with white sand called Praia Do Forte. We didn’t swim but just looked around. It’s very popular with little restaurants, rentals of beach equipment, cabanas, etc. We drove to the dunes and through the nearby neighborhood, visited the fort (Forte Sao Mateus). It’s so tiny; I don’t know how it protected anything. We also visited a tiny church in the Centro called Igreja N.S. d’Assumpcao with two small but ornate altars, and a museum called Charitas with about 8 pictures on the walls and the rest of the walls were bare. I like Cabo Frio. Wouldn’t mind staying there on the beach. Returning from Cabo Frio we got lost although we thought we were following the signs. We ended up in Rasa which was north of where we wanted to go. We stopped several people to ask for directions and they kept saying “Just go straight.” Well, we ended up at this tiny bridge that had a traffic light and warned you to observe it and only one car could go over the bridge at a time. The bridge was very narrow and steep so that you couldn’t see on the other side. We had to wait for all of the pedestrians and bikers to come across. When it was our turn we went on in trepidation, but made it. After going over the bridge, thankfully, I recognized where we were as we passed that way on our first visit to Buzios. We arrived back down our very bumpy road safely.
"July 13 Last day in Buzios"
After breakfast we headed to the beach for some relaxation. We didn’t go in the water but had a pleasant time reading and watching the other guests. We drove into Buzios Centro for lunch (Boom’s again). After returning to our resort we took a nap and I got all dressed up for an evening in Buzios. Well, after we got into town I realized my mistake. I was the only one dressed up (except for those attending the 7th Day Adventist evening service). Everyone else was sporting jeans or shorts. Well, we ate at David’s which is a restaurant with a 33 year history and was recommended by our neighbors. The service was excellent, however, the food couldn’t match (You guessed it…) Booms! Buzios looks very different at night…very inviting.