Big Shrimp

Don’t take my word for it, but Tarituba seems to be one of the last worthy stops before the final drive up to Rio de Janiero.

It’s a small fishing town. One road, a few restaurants, and probably more boats than people.

Not that it’s a such great place (I do like it), but we’re starting to see lot’s of gated communities as we get closer to Rio. Inaccessible private beaches and condos. This town stands out as being ‘unspoiled’… and an actual town. Not a a development.

It’s the real deal – not in any guidebook. Fisherman live here. Kids go to school here. No tourists. Generously served shrimp.

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4 thoughts on “Big Shrimp

  • January 23, 2013 at 6:58 AM
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    Hey guys- I hope you are loving Brasil!

    Kacey and I used to live there, in Porto Bracui (just a little up the road from where you are in Tarituba). You might have moved on already, but I just thought I’d pass along some recommendations if you are still in the area.

    Heading north to Rio…

    First, if you like Tarituba, I think you’ll love Mombucabina- it’s a little beachside town with a tall white church that you can’t miss, just past the bigger town of Mambucaba. (The sign might call it Villa Historico de Mambucaba- but the locals know it as “little Mambucaba”). We get a table on the beach and order a plate of calamari with hot sauce and a styrofoam cooler of tall boys.

    Second- just past the power plant, on a hard left hand curve, right before the villaducto, there is a guard rail on the right hand side of the curve, and right before the guardrail there is a turnoff to a small road. If you turn off and go down this road, there will be a really, REALLY steep cement section, and at the bottom of the hill, hang a left, park in the bushes, and you’ll have your own private beach. I think you would be pretty safe camping here if you wanted to. Don’t go to the right at the bottom of the hill, it will take you to a guard house for the power plant’s water intake pump station. You might look at the hill first and don’t go down unless you are sure ol’ Red Beard will make it back up.

    Third- A bit further down the road, past the town of Frade, you’ll come to the small community of Porto Bracui on the right (not Bracui the village which is on the left). It’s a gated affair, but if you tell them you are going to Pier 33 restaurant, they’ll let you in. Through the community all the way at the end in the marina there are a few restaurants with some delicious food. At Pier 33 I would highly recommend the pepper steak (steak au pov), with a bowl of fijou (black bean soup) and a capivodka maracuja. We used to split this meal, except for the capivodka of course, but it probably isn’t enough for three. The other good restaurant is the first one in the row, I think it was called La Estancia, and there I would recommend the baked palm heart (of a baby palm tree), and the steak board which comes with these amazing baked potatoes and grilled onions. Just a warning, these aren’t the cheapest restaurants around, but if you are looking for special meal they might be a good choice.

    And finally, fourth, heading north of Bracui about a mile, on the left hand side, there is a restaurant called something like Chuveiro (the shower) and there is a big red shower fountain thing out front. They serve a variety of little fried pasties (like empanadas), some savory, some sweet, and its pretty cheap. Get the nutella and banana combo for dessert!

    I’m so jealous that you are still on the road and that you are in Brasil!! Every time I check in on your blog it makes me want to kick this day job and head back out there immediately! Soon enough though- we are saving for the next big adventure which will include a lot of sun, our own version of Bode, and a sailboat.

    Travel safe- tchau , Dave and Kacey from 95 Degrees South

  • January 23, 2013 at 9:21 AM
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    Thanks for the tips, Dave! I have to ask… how did you end up living here? And, more tips north of Rio, please ?!

  • January 24, 2013 at 8:17 AM
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    I actually was working on a project at the Angra powerplant in 2008 and 2009. We loved it there, it was like working in paradise! Sadly they ruined the view with the powerplant- but hey, if it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have gotten to go, so…

    Anyways, sorry, I don’t have too much on anything North of Rio- I didn’t have many chances to get up that way. My wife said she liked Cabo Frio and Buzios, but those are probably in your guide book anyways. If you have the chance, I really enjoyed the mountain town of Ouro Preto which is about 5hrs north of Rio, but inland.

    Way north, up by Salvador, I really loved this small island-town Morro de Sao Paulo- no cars, wheelbarrows for taxis and such- you have to take a boat from Salvador to get there. Its kind of touristy, but we were there in 2004, and loved it, so hopefully things haven’t changed.

  • January 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM
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    Oh, I just thought of one more thing you guys might appreciate… a favela tour in Rio- we did one with a group called http://www.bealocal.com I don’t know if the other tours in town are better or worse, but these guys did a pretty good job- the guide we were with was born in the favelas, and as we walked through the maze of streets, he seemed to know everyone and people really warmed up to us because they knew we were with him. It was a really enlightening experience, and it seems like one of the only safe ways to get a glimpse into lives of the “other half” in Rio.

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