Little Boipeba, away from the flock…

6 Mar

The sun has long since set, we’re weaving through the mangroves in the twilight on the Rio do Inferno, we’re on the last, fast, boat to the Isla Boipeba an hour from the town of Valenca. All up with good connections the journey to the isle from Salvador ought to take about 6 hours – so far it’s taken us 10 hours; it feels like it’s been a long day, and unbeknowst to us it’s just about to get a whole lot longer…


The hissing of the water against the hull very suddenly stops as our speed boat hits a sandbank. We’re stuck fast, our junior captain, who I’m sure shouldn’t be out this late on a school night, then abandons ship. Glances are exchanged as the nipper of a skipper jumps overboard – our fellow passengers, locals in the main, for whom these boats are their link to the outside world (there are no roads in these parts and the islands are thus car-free). The locals look unperturbed as ‘boy Friday’ pushes the boat out into the channel, they look as if this happens all the time… it does, 10 minutes later we’re stuck again and then once more within spitting distance of Boipeba.

Finally disembarking we trudge up cobblestoned streets to our base for the next 4 days; the Abaquar Hostel. We are warmly welcomed by hosts Peter and Fernanda, introduced to our fellow guests and then asked if, once we’ve showered (erm not sure we need to? – then again perhaps we’ve been travelling longer than we thought), whether we would like to accompany them to a friend’s birthday party in the jungle. “Sure,” we say, and within an hour are blindly following a procession of partygoers, carrier bags full, noisily clomping along a dirt track to ward off the snakes.

We arrive at the half-built, isolated cottage of birthday boy Leo – a former Israeli banker turned Mayan spiritual healer and proponent of the Mayan Calender. With the world as we know it apparently set to end this year on December 21 we waste no time downing beers at about the same rate as applying mossie repellant… it’s a fun night and well into the early hours by the time we turn in.

We just about make breakfast at 9.50am (it finishes at 10am) and then set out to explore the coastline of this charming island – its appeal very much borne from its inaccessibility, it keeps the riff raff away (well most of us anyway).

We walk along for kilometer after kilometer on deserted beaches – sighting only a handful of others before spending the afternoon under the shade of a palm tree on Praia do Cuera. It is beautiful, a true desert island paradise and the stuff dreams are made of, we can’t believe how lucky we were to have met Phillip & Marenka in Salvador who pointed us in the direction of little Boipeba…

As the sun sets, the shadows lengthen over the beach – we walk back to the hostel; tonight a party is planned for Peter’s mother, visiting from Belgium, who is turning 67 – we are joined by Leo et al from last night for a barbeque – the party goes ‘til 4am and beyond with Peter’s mum the star turn…

It’s a funny night – a contradiction in terms as Peter, closet DJ, spins techno music shattering the peaceful surrounds. Leo’s tendency as Guru to finish our sentences for us with outlandish and inaccurate suggestions is amusing, as is fellow guest, Ineke’s, inability to listen to the answers of questions she asks – a curious trait for a Psychologist!

Over the next couple of days we explore more of the coast, bags on our head we wade through rivers to reach Praia do Morere – again it seems like we have half the island to ourselves, it’s amazing. I climb palm trees, Kelly steals my boardshorts; you have to make your own fun on deserted islands!


By night we treat ourselves to cheap meals out; we try moqueca, a traditional Brazilian dish similar to a seafood stew, whilst overlooking the harbour…

And indulge in the best massage from friend of our hosts, Alexia, on the hostel lawn. We receive an Indian Ayurvedic treatment that leaves us with eyes rolled back, blissfully curled up in hammocks.

That is until the music starts again! We have a great last night partying with the crew – a fitting sendoff that ends up with the Port being opened – there might be a few sore heads in the morning…


Backpack packed with thick heads – we make it to the harbour just in time for our fast boat, we take one last look back to this little island as we race back to Valenca and on to Salvador. Back in the big city we hurriedly shop for a replacement netbook, finding just the one; small, affordable and predictably with its operating system in Portugese – assuming we can turn the bloody thing on, we’ll post some pics from our next stop Rio de Janeiro….

Cheers for now

Matt x

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3 Responses to “Little Boipeba, away from the flock…”

  1. Father Bear March 20, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Thanks for that.
    Tree climbing is also genetic.
    I still need a holiday, let me know when you find somewhere without mozzies.

    Stay safe.

  2. Leon Radici March 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Hey Kelly & Matt,

    Boipeba looks awsome are your both making me sick 🙂

    Matt you need to shave.

    Enjoy Leon & JIll

    • Matt March 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      Your kind of place Leon, good food, hot and the village square doubles as the local football pitch

      I am economising Leon – don´t worry all savings have been put towards beer, speaking of which….

      Hi to Jill & G´day to Nev

      Cheers

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