Bonito is a town famous for its natural beauty; waterfalls, caves, crystal clear waters for snorkeling and diving. It is on the other hand fairly expensive and you have to pay for pretty much anything you want to do here, all the parks and natural attractions charge entrance fees and aren’t really accessable through local buses. However it was the next logical stop for us after the pantanal and before heading to Iguaçu Falls, and after the stress of the pantanal trip (read previous post!) we needed some R&R. As we had spent a bit more money than we had budgeted for on our pantanal trip we didn’t want to go crazy here, even though some of the trips looked incredible; canyoning, rafting, tubing, diving – an adventurers dream! So we opted for a slightly less adrenalin pumping (and less expensive) option and hired bikes. So much for that rest and relaxation!
We cycled to the municipal park where there is a lagoon with perfectly clear water you can swim in with loads of fish. I’m a little bit scared of fish swimming around me and these ones were pretty big (yes I know they aren’t going to do anything to me!) but once I finally stopped being a big girls blouse and got in it was nice and refreshing on a lovely hot day. It was meant to be a 20 minute cycle but took us about double that since I needed to get off half way up each hill and walk with my bike as I thought I was going to either pass out or fall off. I can’t remember the last time I rode a bike outside of the gym and Jesus Christ it hurts! Especially after horse riding the day before, as my bum was already slightly tender. After we had cycled about 15km I couldn’t even sit on the seat anymore and had to do stand up cycling the rest of the way home! It was actually really fun, I felt like a kid again cutting around town on my bike, but I think I’ll stick to taking the bus for the foreseeable!
After all that exercise we decided we had earned a big feed. We found out there was a Churrascaria in town, which had good ratings so we decided to go there. For anyone that doesn’t know, a Churrascaria is a typical Brazilian BBQ restaurant where the waiters come around to the table with all different types of meat which they carve directly on to your plate. We had been hoping to find a good one for a while so we were really looking forward to it. We arrived at 7:30pm all pumped for our big meat feast – to find the restaurant was closed. Even though it said online it opened at 6:30. That was that out the window then. We were starving by then and seriously disappointed, so we went onto trip advisor, found the number one rated restaurant in town and headed there. And thank god we did! Its called Juanita’s and it’s PHENOMENAL. It’s an unassuming little place; authentic, family owned type restaurant, but it was packed full – which was a stark comparison to most other places in town that had only one or 2 tables seated. As we were led to our table we were trying to catch a look at everyone’s plates that were piled high with meat and fish. The waiter told us the paco fish was there speciality, but as we’d had out heart set on some good Brazilian meat we opted for the slow cooked ribs. It was a dish to share, but as our eyes are way bigger than our belly’s we decided to get a starter of the Jacarè (crocodile) which is a popular choice of cuisine in Bonito. The crocodile was delicious and lightly coated in crispy, perfectly seasoned batter. However when the ribs came we immediately regretted having the starter. There was just so much meat! And when I say it fell off the bone I mean it literally melted off the bone. Oh my holy cow, thank you for being so bloody delicious. Endorphin levels went through the roof. Im salivating even thinking of it now! It was by far the best meat I’ve tasted in my life so far – but I haven’t been to Argentina yet!
Of course we couldn’t finish it, so we took it away with us and had it for lunch the next day. The service was spot on, the owner even came out from the kitchen and went round every table to ask how it was, and it was extremely reasonably priced- the ribs cost us R$80 (which is about £20!). I can certainly see why its the number one place to eat in Bonito and I highly recommend it.
The following day we took a day out from adventuring and did nothing but lay in the sun by the pool. Well does it still count as a pool if there is no water in it? After the exertion of yesterday and the absolute aching pain in my buttocks and legs it was well needed and also allowed us to do some tanning – not that Scott needed it! It was so nice feel like we were on holiday, relaxing and drinking beer in the sunshine. PERFECT.