Oct 14, 2010

Caraívas, the melting pot of the south of Bahia.

by Antonella Kann

The first time I heard about this fishermen´s village was in 1995. It was the right place to go if you were the hippie-minded traveler. Whatever was left from the Aquarius era was still there.

But I wasn´t the hippie type anymore, did care about a good shower after spending a whole day on the beach, didn´t want to sleep surrounded by mosquitoes and had an issue about mobile connections. So I just acknowledged its existence.

It took me another decade to get personally acquainted with Caraívas.

By then, the small community, with simple houses, only 40 kms away from trendy Trancoso , still had no electricity, mobiles didn´t work, and the few rustic pousadas did not offer private bathroom or hot water. And, of course, none of the tourist business was there to make your stay more comfy. Nevertheless, you would have a remarkable and intimate relationship with the natives and connect with their way-of-life very easily.

Now, oh, well…Caraívas became fashionable, though. Mobile phones still remain disconnected but there´s electricity power. And now it´s really cool to say that you´re going there instead of spending a fortune in the neighboring high end beach of Praia do Espelho or even Trancoso.

But the village hasn´t changed much, due to its geographical attributes: it´s a river apart from the main dust road, so, naturally, it´s car free. Or almost, as you´ve got the buggies to move around as a mean of way of transportation. Or do as the locals, use the donkeys ( just kidding…).

Though it´s more than fun to go for a ride on this 4-wheeled-kind-of-jeep, very much in use in the northeast as it can easily stroll through thick sandy roads, dunes and the beaches.

Sandy alleys melt into the sandy beach as there´s no road or pavement in Caraívas. The village is framed by the sea and the river, and fishermen carry on their chores as in the past. The tourists come in flocks, some even carrying their own pillows and sleeping bags, and everyone crosses from one border to another by hand driven canoes, provided by the locals. You´ll pay a (negotiable) fee for each person, one way. I remember last time it was a mere R$ 2. On the other side, everyone walks to his pousada – which, fortunately, have been revamped. You do find cozy accommodations with a touch of amenities such as the Pousada Vila do Mar (www.pousadaviladomar.com.br ) Rest assure : it´s not a five-star, but you´ll be comfy enough. And, guess what – you are spending most of your time lying down on the beach, sipping coconut water.

I´ll introduce these last lines from now on, in every post. Hope you´ll take full advantage of these Insiders´tips:
Do´s : take only one duffel, pack as light as you can, because you´ll be wearing nothing else than shorts, swimming suits and t-shirts. As for walking on sand all the time, no other shoes than brazilian flip-flops, please! ( and don´t forget your sunscreen…)
Don´t: Carnival ( March 3-13th 2011) is the busiest and noisiest time ever. Not a jolly season to pick up for those looking forward to a relaxing holiday.

No comments:

Post a Comment