Búzios: Boardwalk, Beaches, Boats and Brigitte Bardot

Day 48, 2023 Grand South America and Antarctica

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023; Armação dos Búzios, Brazil

Some describe Armação dos Búzios as a bit of St. Tropez on the Brazilian coast near Rio de Janeiro, with its cobblestone streets and beach-side restaurants and bars. To me it seems more like the Caribbean.

Perhaps it is the heat and humidity, the turquoise water and the many beaches. In fact, 10 of Trip Advisor’s top 15 things to do in Búzios are beaches.

Regardless, it was a fun break after the hustle and bustle of Rio, and I didn’t even make it to a beach.

In 1964 Brigitte Bardot escaped to Búzios with her Brazilian boyfriend, and celebrities from Mick Jagger to Madonna have followed. Her name is on everything, from the Orla Bardot Boardwalk to an upscale beach restaurant.

Most famous is her life-size bronze statue tucked away on the narrow boardwalk (mostly stone, not wood).

Tourists line up to sit on her knee for photographs.

Further along the walk is a statue of former Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek and – of more interest to me — the Escultura Os Três Pescadores.

These three fishermen are planted in the shallow water, hauling in nets filled with their catch. Like the Bardot sculpture, they were created by Brazilian artist Christina Motta and have been named “one of the 26 most beautiful sculptures in the world.”

Of course, I had to stop and sketch it.

This was a short port call, ending in the early afternoon, with only a couple of tours available. Most passengers tendered in to the center of the village and walked the boardwalk and streets, where the main mode of transportation was a cross between a jeep and a golf cart. And then they retreated to the air conditioning of the ship. How soon we forget about being cold in Antarctica a couple of weeks ago.

Today also is Thanksgiving – for the Americans on the ship. Canadians celebrated last month. Our family tradition was to repeat our Thanksgiving menu at Christmas. In the late 1990s, Mom figured out that by cruising at Thanksgiving, she could avoid fixing one of those multi-dish dinner extravaganzas. So a new tradition was born, and I’ve spent many a Thanksgiving at sea, but seldom ordering the traditional turkey dinner.

Tonight I opted for the turkey, which I do love. The ship’s stuffing (or dressing as we always called it), wasn’t so great, as I’m used to one based on cornbread. I might have been tempted by pecan pie for dessert, but tonight’s pie included chocolate. Of course, I love chocolate. But it wasn’t traditional enough for me, so I settled for my decaf coffee instead.

I’ve learned that some dishes are disappointments – not that they aren’t delicious, but they aren’t the version that reminds me of home. Mom’s meatloaf and Dad’s grilled hamburgers are two prime examples. As are cornbread dressing and pecan pie. I’ll just have to wait until I cook with my sisters to indulge in those memories.

Meanwhile, I ran across two memes on social media that particularly inspire me as I make my home at sea.