Goooooooaaaaaallllll!!!!! Okay, I just wanted to get that out as we all know, we are in the midst of the 2014 World Cup and U.S.A is still in! I have been keeping up with all of the games and action (as well as the controversial 'biter') and as I watch report after report on beautiful Brazil, it makes me think of my time in Brazil with the boy a few years back.
As much as I would love to talk about Rio, and the stunning Copacabana Palace where we stayed for some of our trip, it has been done and you probably just turned off your TV watching something about said hotel.
I will say, Rio is lovely. There is so much energy, the Copacabana was one of the most beautiful hotels we have been to and the beaches were spectacular. Not to mention, the Christo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue, which was an experience I will never forget.
However, I am going to talk about the place where we stayed before we headed to Rio...Trancoso, which is a little fishing village packed with a lot of charm.
Trancoso is in the state of Bahia on the Northeast coast of Brazil. When we arrived in the town, we were surprised to see how it was laid out. Our hotel was in the middle of a split of the local area full of every day living and happenings to the right and to the left, the beautiful Quadrado, which is a pedestrian only area filled with amazing little restaurants, and boutiques. At the end of the Quadrado sat the stunning whitewashed church of São João Batista and behind it, a lookout point to the beautiful Bahian beaches. It was our go-to place every evening and we always ended up at the perfect restaurant for that night, followed by an evening stroll to the end of the Quadrado to watch the sun set.
Our hotel, Etnia Pousada & Boutique was set back in a lush oasis full of overgrown trees, peaceful sounds and exotic flowers everywhere you turned. There were a total of eight bungalows...all different and decorated with natural Brazilian wood fixtures and a soft neutral pallet.
The second day we were there, we met who are now two of our very good friends, Shivon and Georgia, who were from the London area. They were just a bungalow away, and we bonded with our shared zest for travel, adventure and our newfound love of the Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail!
That travel and adventure that we so loved was tested our second day together as we set out on a road trip an hour away from Trancoso to find a world famous yet not well known two table restaurant called Silvinha's in Praia Espelho. So, the four of us, the boy driving (a stick shift...for the first time in years) set out with no cell service and only a road map hand drawn by our lovely concierge, full of pictures of buffalo with smily faces for landmarks and her verbal directions of telling us to go, go, go.
So I'm sure you are wondering if we found the place...which we did! We drove through some beautiful off the grid places, and some very small towns full of little huts and vivacious kids chasing your car and hitting on the windows...it was an adventure and a bonding moment for us all to say the least! This was not only the start of a beautiful friendship between us all, but this little journey took us to the best authentic Brazilian food I have ever had!
Sylviha's was owned and operated by the one and only Sylviha, who cooks for you out of her kitchen off the outdoor dining area. The best advice I can give you is to go hungry and to be prepared that there is no menu. She just keeps cooking and bringing you food! It was delightful and so good! You also need to make a reservation a few days (if not weeks depending on the time of year) in advance).
This and making new friends (who actually came all the way from London to our wedding last year) was the highlight of our entire trip. It's the things that are off the beaten path (a path drawn with smiling buffalo and unrecognizable landmarks) that make some of the best memories that last a lifetime!