Managed to get out of Rio without much damage: having left in 31 degree heat to arrive in torrential rain in Joao de Pessoa, the forecast was ominous another week of clouds and more rain. The taxi charged us R$130 to the pousada with the driver suggesting it would be cheaper not to use the taximetro (meter); Unsure if we’d been Gringoed; a journey I expected to be about an hour, turned out to be 40 minutes as the pousada was very isolated. The driver had to ring for directions: Sat nav is obviously an alien technology in dem dere parts. The beauty of the plantation like pousada compensated us for our troubles. As well as our the isolation we also had to cope with the fact that after three hours flight on GOL (Brazil’s Easyjet) we had to settle for a couple of sandwiches (no bauru).

Malfunciona da Guarda-Roupa ?
The other major problem soon became apparent: our couldn’t swing a cat room accommodated two tiny beds but nowhere to put our clothes n ting. The invention of the wardrobe had obviously bypassed this neck of the woods.To top it all the familiar mosquito buzzing kicked after about an hour. Luckily I had taken my own medicine in the form of Boots insect repellent, which proved to be the napalm of repellents inducing us into class A coughing fits .

Let dem eat bolo

However the next day the Sun made a welcome appearance and our complaints had an effect as we were offered a double bedroomed chale at about only R$40 {a day} more. We quickly moved our stuff, sadly into another wardrobe free zone; we headed for the beach after a fulsome Brazilian breakfast including granola, fruit, decent coffee and … cake? We were the only occupants. The beach proved to be was a little more than the described hundred metres ( a good 15min walk) along a dirt track followed by a steeped descent down a handsome Dickensian cobbled twisting road (Mirante Tambaba).

Arca do Bilou

Almoço Policia Militar

However at the end of the track we found both a restaurant and a pousada called Arca de Bilou. As we were starving from the previous night’s farce and the Bilou shut at 3pm, we decided to take an early lunch. Turns out that despite its gin-shack appearance the Bilou’s food was quite good the swordfish like Carvala fish being the undoubted highlight.

A Cerbera da Tambaba
At the end of the windy road there was a rudimentary parking, a few cabins selling food, beach stuff and a lady selling hats and homemade clothes literally from the back of her old banger.

nilda batem papo com a Cerbera

batem papo com a Cerbera

As the Sun caned down I decide a cowboy hat would be a wise investment; turns out it cost R$10 which was R$39 less than then one offered me on Copacabana beach. Tambaba is accessed from a textile beach which has a restaurant, and a couple of natural swimming lagoons. To get to the naturist section you must get past the Cerberus keeper and small shop, at the bottom of a set of well-appointed steps taking you up and over the set of rocks that otherwise seal off the naturist section.You have to pass the scrutiny of the gate/shop keeper but the feet high banners explain in no uncertain terms that nudity is.compulsory.

Tambaba praia

Bottlin it skol beats

As you finish your descent onto the beach there’s a little shelter where you can strip off. The beach is about a quarter of a mile long with a rather pricey restaurant at the end which is overlooked by Tambaba pousada. our original plan was to stay there; it was cheaper than Estalagem dos Ventos, but they couldn’t be arsed to answer the phone or answer email. One look at the mosquito net shrouded bedroom, in an otherwise slightly ramshackle infrastructure, made us decide that we had had a lucky escape.

The beach wasn’t particularly busy as we settled down to explore it. At the end were a set of rocks which led off into a huge two-kilometre beach complete with Planet of the Apes stylee Redstone cliff landscape; ideal for a jog or run or spaceship landing …so I thought.

Camping beach

Lost in Space

We quit the beach as sundown approached and we got back to the parking whereupon Anilda decided to explore the set of beaches that the road overlooked. Sure enough, we discovered an inexhaustible set of hidden coves and small bays. We just made it back to the cobbled road at dusk and by the time we got to the dirt track it was pitch black … inevitably we took the wrong turn and ended up on the road to nowhere. 1st day in Tambaba and we were lost, no mobile phone either. Luckily we backtracked finding the huge puddle we’d encountered in the morning though it’s size had been somewhat diminished by the scorching heat.

When we got back to the Pousada we got in some beers and hey the toasted sandwiches weren’t too bad!