Ilha Boipeba is a lovely island located at the mouth of the Rio Una in Bahia, just south of Salvador. I had the most fantastic stay on this small deserted paradisiacal island. After a 4-hour boat trip through mangroves, I finally reached the island just as the sun was setting. As with everywhere in Brazil, the second I landed a couple of kids appeared and offered to show me the way to a good hotel, so I followed them happily down the beach. We tried a coupe of pousadas, and the one I eventually settled on, a little more expensive than my usual budget, was fantastic. (Called Santa Clara). The island had several nice inns, good restaurants, one bar, miles of beaches and an Atlantic Ocean full of the most amazing crystal clear water. Unfortunately, being winter, it started to rain just after I had settled in, so, having found out about what there was to see and do from the pousada owner (American) I decided to rent a horse for the following day. I spent the most amazing day riding round the island on sandy tracks, galloping on long deserted white sand coconut lined beaches, winding my way through coconut plantations (and fortunately not having any landing on my head, they make the most incredible thud as they hit the ground!!) and racing the waves along the sea. It was absolutely fantastic and my horse was really sweet. In fact, it was kind of dream like… It just felt really relaxing and free! This part of my trip really comes highly recommended if ever you want a quiet break away from the usual hustle and bustle of modernity or if you want to escape from mod-cons or need to hide away somewhere for a while. I was very sad to leave the place.

Information: Pousada Santa Clara - R$50/night - Phone 75-653-6085, e-mail chasbras@terra.com.br

To get there from Salvador: Take the ferry boat from Salvador to Itapirica (R$3.35). The ferry arrives at a ferry / bus station. Take the bus from Itapirica to Valença (R$20). From Valença get a riverboat (leaves at noon) fnd Photography © Claire Rossiter 2003

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