Winter 2013, Jac. van der Laak.
After spending time on Boipeba, we believe that the island people know what to do to keep what they have. They are living and working on a utmost beautiful island and they know it. The beaches are cleaned every day. Motorized traffic is banned on the island. Farming is limited. There is notable respect for the beautiful nature. The people therefore are able to live for a large part on the tourist industry. Clean beaches, clear water and the green lush tropical forests, bordering the sandy beaches of Boipeba attracts the kind of people who value this. They understand how special the splendor of this island really is, enjoy the herbal scents that linger among the trees, spread by flowers, fruits, leafs, attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and other special little creatures.
Boipeba visitors don’t come to this island to seek nightlife, neither alcohol or other man made stimula for finding their thrill. The beauty and tranquility of Boipeba is their thrill. It was our thrill for sure. We fell in love with the island. We think that when the people living and working on Boipeba keep the same mindset as they have today, this island will be a winner in the tourist industry of Bahia.
Practical info about Boipeba island.
Our Bahia, Brazil, explorations this year (winter 2013) were chosen to be low budget oriented. Boipeba was on our list to explore. We searched for good price quality ratio, using the booking.com service. Pousada Cipo came out as best solution facing the beach. After landing in Boipeba village, being the first settlement and largest community on the island, were there plenty porters to offer their services. We first had to figure out which distant we had to cover in order to get to Pousada Cipo. Approximately twenty minutes walking with the wheel barrel, we were told. So, our two suitcases in the wheel barrel and off we went in the lovely late afternoon sunshine (see the picture). Well, we had to walk much less. The earlier mentioned twenty minutes probably was meant to be an incentive to choose for wheel barrel transportation. Good choice however, because pulling the luggage along stretches of sandy beach isn’t a smart idea.
A friendly reception by mister Jai followed. Sylvia, the pousada manager, was called and did show us our pousada room, which was nice and clean. After exchanging some information, we took her advice for a nearby place to dine. It was the neighboring beach pousada restaurant, bearing the romantic name ‘Luar das Aguas’. We choose a fish menu and a well cooked meal was served out to us by -nice surprise- a charming Dutch young lady. During the coffee we had a pretty conversation with her and learned that she loved it to live there. Especially with my dear Joyce ran the conversation well. Joyce asked her many direct questions about family and being homesick, married or not married and so on. Quite personal indeed, but ever so friendly replied by this lady. She also gave us some useful options to choose from where it came to other nice food and beverage opportunities in the neighborhood. One of them we wanted to check out the other day, because that place was owned by two American brothers.
After a lovely night rest and the use of a simple but tasteful ‘café de manha’ (breakfast) we took a seat in the large garden of Cipo on the edge of the beach, enjoying the beautiful scenery around us, further walked to Boipeba village to look around there and do some shopping and returned to the Pousada das Luar Aguas restaurant to have lunch, starting out with a nice suco (fruit juice) and fascinated by the restaurant roof and the ocean view during our lunch.
Santa Clara Pousada Restaurant.
Surrounded by tropical forest at some five minutes from the beach we found the Santa Clara restaurant and Pousada and met the American brothers Charles and Mark. They swapped the Big Apple for Boipeba quite some years ago. A clear case of love at first sight, which we understood of course. They have build a great guest house with a pretty restaurant. After being a successful kitchen chef in New York, Mark couldn’t do without a restaurant. They girded their buildings with beautiful plants, thus creating a unique experience for their guests. Good to be there, tasteful menus for a decent price. Charles is the man on the forefront. A very likeable person and good business man. Later on we discovered that the brothers also have management over Luar das Aguas, the beach pousada restaurant where we already were guests.
A visit to the Pousada Santa Clara website will reveal why this American brothers love the island and what they have to offer to their guests.
Fishermans village Moreré.
This small village with originally native indian inhabitants is situated on the other side of the island, seen from Boipeba village. There are two ways to get there: a two hours walk along the beach or a less than twenty minutes transport with a special carriage, pulled by one of the few tractors on the island. On the outskirt of Boipeba village is the carriage terminal (a simple sand square) towards Moreré where the same situation is available.
We went for a walk over the beach the next day, bumped into Carlos and Graciela, our guardian angels about which I wrote in my earlier post, and did our best to follow their pace on the walk to Morére. So funny to not plan and to discover that we had the same plan and started out on the exact same time the next day. It was the highlight of that day. Very peaceful, yes really a thrill to see the beauty of the scenery along the island’s shore, here and there a hut under the coconut palms, functioning as a micro cafe for the people passing by every now and than. At some point we had to wade through the Atlantic where it had scratched its way into the island. A family of islanders was sitting there in the pleasant warm water, relaxing and eating from fresh coconuts.
The Boipeba people are ever so friendly. Don’t ignore them when they greet you. They like to share with you, whatever they have with them, for instance their thoughts, their smile or even their food. On the picture you see Carlos wading, catching up with us, after some talk with this family and eating their coconut gift. How easy is it there to be happy.
After approximately a walk of two hours from starting point we arrived at a beach restaurant in Morére, where we had lunch (Moqueca) and made fun together. Afterwards we went submerging ourself in the famous natural seawater pools of Morére. People are often submerged for hours in the delicious warm water at low tide.
Pousada Mangueira in Moreré village.
We were in Moreré and I knew that Gary Peyper, an English Pousada owner, had his business there. Nearly two years ago I placed a short article of him on my website, in which he gives 10 reasons to visit Moreré, Boipeba.
This was one of my reasons to visit the island. We had a little (online) misunderstanding before, and I wanted to find out (life) whether or not the air between us was clear. It was a very friendly encounter in his upscale Pousada Mangueira. He showed Carlos, Graciela, Joyce and myself his completely renovated pousada. It is a topper indeed, very elegantly decorated rooms and facilities, set in a most beautiful garden. The pousada atmosphere is more or less comparable with what Pousada Santa Clara radiates.
Gary is a very nice person and owns an outstanding property. Those who like to spend a little bit more than what we did (see our budget listing at the bottom) will surely have the time of their life in Pousada Mangueira. It is situated at the edge of the village at approximately 100 meters from the beach. The surrounding is absolutely picturesque with its variety of beaches in lush nature.
I could not stand the thought to walk back after spending most of the day in Moreré. Therefore I choose to make use of the only available motorized transport on the island, which is the passenger wagon with a farmers tractor as front engine. The wagon capacity is at least twelve passengers plus luggage. We traveled back to Boipeba with four passengers without luggage, meaning a fixed price based on a minimum of ten persons times five Reais. We had fun nevertheless and an outstanding view on the hilly island interior.
Next day we left Boipeba with a bit of a heartache and the Marau Peninsula on our program, to the pretty village named Barra Grande. From that moment onwards we traveled without pousada reservations. Next time more about it.
Expenditure (per person) for three and a half days Boipeba:
- Bus from Bom Despacho to Valenca, R$ 16
- Transfer via Torrinha (bus+boat) to Boipeba, R$ 16
- Three nights stay (for us both) in pousada Cipo, breakfast included, R$ 360
- Speedboat return to Valença, R$ 38
- (Lunch+ dinner+drinks not included)