We did not have far to go today at only 230 km to Porto Seguro, but it still took almost 4 hours due to rain and long lines of trucks to pass. We did get lucky a few times with road repairs and were able to get to the front of the long lines before the traffic was allowed to go in our direction.
The traffic in this busy beach town is incredible. We did spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach hiding under an umbrella and enjoying some Itiapava.
When it finally cooled off at about 6 we could ride up to the historic center. In 1500 Pedro Cabral landed just 16km north of Porto Seguro at Coroa Vermelha and this is said to be the first Portuguese landfall in “Brazil”. They just stocked up on supplies and left. Three years later Gonçalvo Coelho arrived and his men planted a marker in what is now Porto Seguro’s Cidade Histórica.
Jesuits on the same expedition built a church, which is now in ruins.
In 1526, a naval outpost, convent and chapel were built. We stayed just north of the historic center, but drove thru Vermelha on our way north.
Today it was 374 km to Itacare, but on the back route. You know those days when your GPS says go right, but the map says there is a road north to the left, sometimes it does work out. We headed left and north despite the “make a U turn” on the GPS and the guy at the gas station telling us to go right.
The road on the map was north and west from Santa Cruz, but when we got to the edge of the town there were no route signs at the round about. The GPS was no help and neither was the English-speaking guy who stopped to ask us if we needed help. There were 3 roads bricked coming off the round about. The left looked like an alley, the middle looked major and went up the hill to the city hall or so the sign said, and the last looked major, but seemed to head more north than we wanted to go. Picking the middle we drove around the dirt roads in what looked to be a subdivision, and then backtracked to the “alley”, which it turns out actually becomes the “highway” BA 683. This is bricked initially, and then paved for a few KM before it is packed sand and for us raining, but you are soon back on the pavement.
You then connect to the BA 275, which has short dirt sections at both ends and a bit of a maze of dirt roads in the middle section. Here we just stuck to what looked like the most main dirt road and finally we came to a roundabout with a sign and headed for Itapebi and the 101.
We had some intermittent showers to cool us down, but when we got to the coast it was sunny. We left the 101 traffic and went east on the 251 to Ilheus and then north on the 001 to Itacare.
This was once a small fishing village, but since the road was paved it is mobbed with tourists. There are however many pristine beaches if you get off the beaten track. This was just a reasonable stopping spot for us on the way to Salvador. To really enjoy it here you would need to stay 4 or 5 day. Many of the nice beaches are 70 plus km off the road.