Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Saquarema and Arraial do Cabo Weekend Adventure
Last weekend we went to a beach town about 90min from where we live. It's not a fancy place full of pricey hotels, there's no Club Med there, it's just simple people enjoying the most spectacular beaches known to man. This particular place (above) is called Pontal da Atalaia, in Arraial do Cabo. It's paradise. You have to drive up this steep hill, park at the top, then walk down a precarious path to get to the beach. The water is crystal clear and no matter how deep you go, you can still see your feet. There were schools of fish swimming where we were, fishing boats that had been used earlier to catch fish and shrimp and bring in supplies to the small kiosks that prepare the most amazing fresh seafood and tropical drinks. The sand is perfectly white and super fluffy.
Here's the table we were at when we weren't in the water. The cup with the white milk looking liquid is actually a delicious elixir called Batida de Coco and it's made of coconut milk and cachaça (Brazilian fire water). They were so good we almost lost count of how many we drank.
There's a guy that passes by every half hour or so with fresh shrimp. It's just simply grilled with lemon and salt. So good! Those are my son's fingers in the shot. He couldn't get enough.
We finally left when the sun started going down. The climb back up the hill to get to the car is a bit rough. It's like you're paying a toll for having enjoyed such a terrific beach, but what can you do? This is the shot from the road heading down the mountain back towards the town. It's so beautiful, but it doesn't translate very well in this picture. You had to be there.
Every night we would go into the little town and walk around with the locals and get stuff to eat. The first night we were there Gui (my sister's boyfriend) took us to this very simple, fantastic place to eat Pastel. Pastel is a salty pastry dough that is filled with goodness (shrimp, cheese, bananas, anything you want) and then deep fried so that it puffs up and is very crispy and not at all greasy (the temperature of the oil has to be very high). These things were enormous and so scrumptulescent (that's a made-up word). This is a picture of my oldest son eating a Bobó de Camarão (shrimp and other delicious stuff) one. Yummy!
Sometimes we forget where we live and how great it is. The heat kind of poaches our brain and we have to take a step back, maybe take a 90min trip in order to gain some perspective and remind ourselves of why we live in Rio.