Boats from Camamu to Barra Grande, most convenient.
For coastal traveling in the Itacaré area are a few options available. Of course one can use a car – rent one – with or without a driver. Another option is to either use a standard bus – or a vip bus service. As mentioned before in my article about Brazilian bus services, both possibilities offer something nice. Standard service is lively, with so many people moving in and out the bus, while the vip bus offers a high level of comfort and much quicker arrival times. Both deliver the advantage to give a splendid view on the scenery.
We used standard bus service, there was no hurry and the distance to Camamu acceptable. Camamu is build on the shore of a impressive bay. That bay was the starting point of the trip that we wanted to Barra Grande. You have to understand that traveling by car over the Marau Peninsula dirt roads is only acceptable for people in love with rock and roll, if you know what I mean.
About Camamu is not that much to tell. The town is in need of a face lift. Once on the bay one sees that Camamu has beauty to offer. We took a speed boat. Not the nicest way, a bumpy ride. So it was decided there and then that the way back would be in a classic boat, beautiful boats are they, real woodcraft products, typical for this area.
We love boats. Maybe most Dutchmen. We have a lot of experience with being in a boat, sailing the lakes or the sea and utilizing boats for commercial purposes. After driving to Barra Grande in the past, it was clear to us: Take a boat from Camamu and you will enjoy, relax and be revived. When you arrive on Barra Grande pier you are alive and kicking.
We advise you to take a classic boat and you have a trip to never forget, while charges are next to nothing. These classic boats do have just the right speed and the right stability as well. I mean: you are able to take beautiful pictures or to make nice video shots. We did just that and are really happy with the results which we collected in digital format. Part of our collection is visible on our rich content media site, specially designed to show the beauty of this region. Watch images and movies on Itacare-Brazil.org
Barra Grande is a very special place to be. The pier at the edge of the village is its landmark, surrounded with boats, most of them beautiful classics, the majority used to offer tours in this outstanding water-world. One side direction Camamu Bay and the other direction towards the majestic Atlantic Ocean.
Why are Islands so appealing?
I already mentioned the Islands. Often there are shallow waters around them, especially at low tide you have to wade several meters to get ashore. One of the Islands carries the name ‘Ilha da Pedra Furada’, meaning Holed Stone Island. We had to walk over a sandbank just below the water surface for a few hundred meters, while the boat anchored against a sort of satellite island – a dry spot of the same sandbank.
There are pretty islands all around, with here and there a land tong protruding in to the bay, embracing pretty sandy beaches. It is possible to find a restaurant on the waterfront and sometimes partially above the water, with a nice terrace, shaded by palm trees and surrounded by flowering bougainvillea.
Lobster is delicious there. A pity that no chilled white wine was available this time. But, this is Bahia, you know. More tranquil the area, less according to plan. All this is just funny. The weather is fine – as usual, the water temperature is pleasant, the island is beautiful, the brazilian people relaxed, in short: plenty ingredients for a happy day.
Yes, make use of their boat touring services. You won’t regret it. In fact, you will never forget it.
Unforgettable Barra Grande and surrounding
My wife and me love to walk. At home it is almost a daily occupation to take the car, park it in the woods or heather fields and have a walk within what nature has to offer us. Lovely, it never feels like a burden. No it is a delight.
Even more so on the Bahian beaches on this corner of the Marau Peninsula. Exquisite natural beauty drenched by an awesome atmosphere. Seeing the wooden stakes lined up at some distance from the shore, holding up nets of fisherman, slowly disappearing in the changing light of the sunset. Unforgettable it is.
When I sat down in the sand, not far from the Barra Grande pier, watching the sunset and how the clouds were sieving the light I felt extremely happy. Gratitude for being able to live in this splendor. Even only for a few of such days.
Famous for its beaches.
Wrapped in tropical rain forest, here and there with rock formations on the sides of the beaches as if to embrace them, is a typical composition of the many beaches in front – and around Itacare town.
There are fourteen beaches in total. From the light tower until the mouth of the rio Contas are the more quieter beaches whereas in the direction of Ilheus the Atlantic Ocean has direct access to the beaches and does deliver better waves for surfing as well as cleanest beaches.
Across the Rio Contas river the Marau peninsula starts. The beaches simply go onwards from there, right up to Barra Grande, located at the outer point of the peninsula. Almost everything delivers splendid views because of the outstanding natural beauty in the area. It doesn’t stop when one chooses to sail upwards the Rio Contas river, heading to Taboquinhas. A region for those with awe for natural splendor. They will be happy there.
Pousada Casa Zaza
A fine place to stay, a basis to start before – and chill after the beaches. A warm hearted family takes care of you. The place is cozy and drenched by happy laughter and no nonsense service. Dutchman Eddy, his Bahian spouse Rose and her brother Rogerio are responsible for this atmosphere. Several languages are spoken and due to the good ratings of this Pousada there are many foreign visitors. Casa Zaza is located in the Concha at five minutes walking distance from ‘Praia de Concha’, one of the more friendly beaches in Itacaré.
A pretty garden with beautiful plants, attracting many types of birds, has been equipped with pleasant deck chairs with a cover of natural reed. A lovely place to adjust to a new day and unwind in the early evening, just before leaving to one of the many restaurants in the Concha main street. A walk of approx. 10 minutes away from your Pousada.
Palm leaf art
Notable encounters in the city of Itacaré and on nearby beaches are, first of all, those with young people. They are entrepreneurial. No beggars but artists. It seems that they stimulate each other in learning to create palm leaf and wood art. Occasional they are trying to demonstrate what they are able to produce for you, not asking for money though. But when such a youngster does his job for you it is hardly possible to withhold him a reward for what he gives you. Really clever. Inhabitants of Itacaré are happy people in general. Pleasant to be a part of it. This makes you to like the area quickly. And the area is beautiful, green everywhere. It is only logical that measures has been put in place to protect the massive Atlantic rainforest reserve in the district of Itacaré.
Itacaré its beautiful lush coast
Their coast is beautiful. One pleasant beach after another between Itacaré and Ilheus, set in tropical splendor. No wonder that so many people are attracted to the area, from all over the world. The area is clean, ecological tempting and tranquil in almost all cases. One can explore many things, such as surfing, hiking on bush trails, relaxing on one of the beaches, sailing along the shore whilst dining is possible as good as everywhere.
Distances are huge in Brazil.
So says a Dutchman, having a tendency to favor an air journey in such a case in order to close these gaps quickly, to being able to do and experience things without much delay. However, people living in the southern hemisphere clearly have a different view.
One thing is for sure. Anyone who travels with the intention to learn about unknown parts of the world will be happy to see as much as possible of it. Taking a bus or train to accommodate traveling overland just makes sense than. This is very well understood in Brazil.
Bus services in Brazil
Our first bus route ran from the Itaparíca ferry boat terminal to Itacaré, a distance of about 250 kilometer. Not too far for average Brazil mileage, though. There are basically two types of bus tours possible: very cheap traveling with a bus with many stops or a more comfortable and faster transportation by a VIP bus, also known as express bus. The VIP bus does only stop at main bus terminals in bigger towns and not at every bus stop along the road. It is a luxury bus with comfortable adjustable seats with more space than a seat in the economy class of an aeroplane. The seats will be reserved on your name, standing passengers are excluded; buses are air-conditioned and have a toilet unit in the back and underneath quite a large lugage storage trunk.
We traveled with Aquia Branca. The price tag for this VIP tour is merely R$ 35 per person. The time of our journey came to around five hours. It stopped three (or was it four) times? From Itaparica we stopped anyway in Valença, Ituberá, Camamu and Itacaré. Itacaré is not the end of this route, these buses do bridge vast distances. Drivers are therefore regularly swapped. The route is very hilly, passing through an unprecedented green landscape, offering superb views. We found traveling this way a pleasant experience. Leaning back in a comfortable chair, pleasant temperature and freely enjoying the area through which we traveled. It is so relaxing that it takes some effort to stay awake in order not to miss seeing the beauty around you. VIP (express) buses run on asphalt roads, mostly two-lanes. Roads around major cities such as Salvador, in our case, are usually four lane highways.
The stop-bus is obviously a different story. Generally with good seating quality, but it’s not guaranteed that you are able to have a seat the whole trip from the moment you enter the bus. These tours are realy cheap and quite cozy, as we experienced on the short routes we traveled with a bus stopping al the time, like from Itacare to Taboquinhas, about 25 km on clay roads, or Itacare to Camamu, about 65 km. These journeys take approximately twice as much time as traveling with VIP buses.
Itacaré, a very special place
Yes, it is certainly appropriate to write about Itacaré. So look forward to the next article.
Everyone well informed about the world we live in knows it.
All kinds of Brazilian facts, issues and events compete for attention on the world stage. Whether the developments in the Amazon area, the upcoming international sporting events, the continues economic growth, the beautiful and increasingly popular holiday destinations, or the great possibilities to acquire land and real estate in private ownership, to mention a few. Increasing conversation topics among people who have the insight.
Salvador Bahia Brazil
I like to write about Brazil, at least about a small part of Brazil. The focus is on Bahia, one of the states in which this ernormous country is divided. I write especially about experiences and facts in the region from Salvador to Porto Seguro. Salvador is the capital of Bahia and has an international airport. Another international airport is available in Porto Seguro. A third one is in the planning near Ilheus, a coastal town near our Fazenda (farm) in the district of Itacaré (about 75 km away). It would be nice to land this close to our Fazenda.
My wife and I are going to visit this area regularly in the coming years, temporarily flying to Salvador with the Portuguese airline TAP. From Amsterdam, Holland, it is a flight with a stopover in Lisbon, Portugal. A fairly enjoyable journey with less than 12 hours in the air. Lisbon – Salvador is about 9¾ hours. TAP food is moderate in my opinion.
Pelourinho, heart of Salvador
In the afternoon of July 6 the three of us -our grandson was with us this time- arrived at the airport of Salvador, where we took a taxi for an overnight stay as reserved in the Pousada Praça Hotel, opposite the statue of “Alves Castro”, a very familiar place in Salvador, on the upper side of the internationally renowned ancient town of Pelourinho. With a five minutes walk you arrive in the centre of major colonial Portuguese architecture, nowadays with restorations in full swing. There is certainly much to admire, and when we get there, we always take a stroll through the antiques around to see what has changed again. Most of all I enjoy the beautiful views over the bay that gave Bahia its name. It’s a giant and magnificient bay.
There are two view points I like to mention: the first is under the statue of Castro Alves and the second is under the statue of the Cracked Cross in the middle of Pelourinho. Though, they are not the only ones. We shot a number of pictures and you can watch them on our Picasa Web Album. Linked below this article.
The next morning a taxi delivered us at the Salvador ferry boat terminal in order to cross the bay of All Saints, according to plan. A nice trip of about three quarters of an hour to the island Itaparíca, a popular holiday destination for a lot of Brazilians and foreigners. I had an appointment fixed with Joaquim, a retired and pretty good English speaking bank manager who took up real estate brokerage as a hobby, having an officially recognized agency. After the scheduled meeting, which, by the way, did not happen because of an unespected hospital stay of Joaquim, we went to eat in a simple but good seafood restaurant in ItaparÍca, not far from the ferry terminal.
About food in Bahia
The name of the restaurant near the ferry boat terminal is “Restaurante Terra e Mar”. There you can eat per kilo price. A popular system in Brazil. Grab a plate and choose from a buffet what you need, or want . . ?! and collect your cutlery at the end of the buffet; thought is put into this. Your full plate is weighed and recorded. Want more food? No problem. Just do the circle again. You took too much? Your problem. You pay for what is recorded on the bill – kept by you during your dinner. This type of restaurant often has a great price / quality ratio. Locate where the Brazilians eat. Bussy with locals is good. Many tourists is expensive. Another tip for eating in Pelourinho, very touristic, you know enough than. Beware of restaurants with notable dressed people in front, pushing you a menu card under your nose and invite you -urge you- inside. It often looks good inside, but these are generally the most expensive restaurants. Not bad of course, when they are the best, but alas.
Our favorite restaurant is attached to the luxury hotel “Hotel Villa Bahia” in the middle of Pelourinho, in the square near the church “Igreja Sao Francisco”. Nice terraces, outside at the square -praça- and inside at their patio, beautifully decorated in colonial style, fine food, decent service and reasonably affordable when you select the menu of the day – two or three choices. We enjoyed dining several times there and.. eventually met Joaquim who was discharged from the hospital towards the end of our journey.
Brazil means Mileage
From ItaparÍca we took a luxury express bus to Itacare. Excellent traveling method in Bahia and the whole of Brazil. Relaxing and enjoying the green landscape with its exuberant nature.
More about it in the next article, but definitely visit our web photo album on the click here.