Búzios - the St Tropez of Brazil

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Sat 13 Mar 2010 21:28

Date: 13 March 2010

Position: Búzios 22:44.86S 041:53.02W


We weighed anchor and left Vitoria at first light – 0530 – bound for Búzios 190 miles to the south. It should take about 30 to 36 hours. The wind was very light, not sailable, so we motored –and motored, and motored. In fact apart from just half an hour of bliss in the middle of the night, we had to motor the whole way. Nightmare. We arrived at 1000 the following morning and a small dinghy came out to offer us a mooring belonging to the yacht club, Iate Clube Armação de Búzios which we gladly accepted.


The yacht club has a novel policy about visiting yachts using their moorings and facilities. Unusually, no charge is made, on condition that you spend at least R$25 (£10) per day per head in the restaurant and bar. As the food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) was excellent, and the caipirinhas large and potent, this didn’t represent any great problem.


Búzios is about two hours drive away from Rio de Janeiro and is a popular weekend and holiday beach resort for the smart set of Rio. Once a small but extremely picturesque fishing village, it came to prominence in the 1960’s when it was adopted by Brigitte Bardot and her wealthy Brazilian lover as their holiday location of choice. The village was transformed and so grateful are the locals at her having caused the instant swelling of their coffers, that the whole place is Bardot obsessed. Restaurant Brigitte, Bar BB, Rua Bardot, the shops are full of Bardot T-shirts and shopping baskets. There is even a life-size bronze statue of their divine heroine sitting on a bench where tourists queue up to be photographed snuggling up to her.


After the poverty-stricken subsistence communities which had been our sole visiting places since leaving Salvador a month ago, Vitoria and Búzios certainly were the  little bit of sophistication that the Downstairs Skipper had been yearning for. Pretty as a picture, surrounded by numerous little coves with perfect beaches, it was a delightful change.


Michael had been wonderful company, when we saw him. He’s like a dormouse and was seemingly capable of sleeping about 18 hours a day, waking briefly to entertain us with a succession of incredibly weak, old and corny jokes. Living off a diet of water and dried biscuits he was also very cheap to maintain – a perfect guest really. The DS and I greatly appreciated his company, particularly on the long night passages, and we were very sorry to see him leave after two weeks to return home.


The DS and I stayed on for a further day. Our next great mission was to sail to Rio de Janeiro but in order to avoid a night passage (which the DS is not keen on) we decided to break the journey at a small anchorage 25 miles south at Cabo Frio.