28 May 2012

Azeda and Azedinha Beaches

I feel I should send letters of apology to all of our guests who visited us before Mark and I "discovered" Azeda Beach, and its little sister, Azedinha. You all really missed out on something, and for that I'm truly sorry. These two out-of-the-way beaches are my favorites in Búzios. Getting there takes a little effort. Start at Ossos Beach and stroll down a cobblestone street lined with quintessential early-Búzios-style cottages. Keep walking, even when the road stops and cars are no longer allowed and the signs announce you've entered an environmentally-protected area. If you stay alert, you'll find the trail that leads down a steep, rocky path to Azeda Beach.

Once you've slip-slided down the path, you'll see a beautiful old 1950s-era seaside house standing squarely in the middle of the beach. The house has most certainly seen better days, but it retains a certain shabby chic. It's unoccupied and boarded up, and occasionally the various courtroom dramas concerning its status surface in the local press. Does the original family still own it? Does the municipal government own it? Or is it owned by the federal government because it sits in an environmentally-protected area? Nobody really knows for sure. All we know is that the dilapidated house serves as a grand backdrop for your own private dreams.

During low season, and particularly during the week, the locals have Azeda all to themselves. Offshore, the fishermen go about the business of casting out their fishing nets, and closer to shore snorkelers paddle happily around the clear waters and coral reefs. Even the one or two beach vendors that bother to come to Azeda are relaxed, never trying too hard to sell you anything. Walk to the end of Azeda and pick up another path that takes you over rocks and through woods. You'll come out at an even tinier beach, Azedinha (Little Azeda). For all intents and purposes, you're alone in the world on a desert island, at least for a little while.

I went to Azeda to take pictures for this post and was astonished at the changes. Progress has come, in the form of a soon-to-be completed stairway down to the beach, with handrail, in place of the rough trail of yesteryear. There were lots more people than I used to see on a weekday morning. Azeda and Azedinha have been found.

Lovely neighborhood of old, renovated fishermen's cottages

It will be very easy - maybe too easy - to get to Azeda now

The beautiful old house, smack dab in the middle

Trail to Azedinha

View of Azedinha from afar, nestled around the bend

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