26 April 2012

João Fernandes Beach

There's something very peculiar about João Fernandes Beach here in Búzios. If you're a visitor from abroad the stamp in your passport says Brazil, but for all intents and purposes you've just walked into Punta del Este Norte. João Fernandes has for some unexplained reason developed a cozy, if not incestuous, relationship with sun-seeking Argentines and Uruguayans. You'll hear Spanish to the left of you, Spanish to the right of you. Most fascinating of all is that no matter how hot it is, even if it's 104º F in the shade (40º C), João Fernandes Beach is the place to watch people drinking steaming hot yerba mate from equipment they brought from home for this purpose. It's a mystery.

João Fernandes, a fairly short beach with a narrow strip of sand, is chockablock with bars and restaurants, and we've tried them all. Over the years, though, Mark and I have taken almost all of our guests to Pomba, the one we like best, for a brochete de peixe (brochette of grilled fish). And we wouldn't think of going to another restaurant on João Fernandes ever since a Pomba waiter sat down and wrote this poem for us back in 2004. The poem ends, "It's enough that I'm your man, and you're my woman." A bit much at lunch, but then again, this is Brazil — and though the clients hail from the Spanish-speaking neighbor countries, the waiters at João Fernandes are still Brazilian.  

Our brochete de peixe . . . delish!

***NOTE TO MY READERS: Starting next week I'll be posting once a week, on Mondays only.

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