Monday, July 13, 2009

Roca Sao Joao

Saturday we went south and visited Roca Sao Joao, a plantation owned by the televised chef, Joao Carlos Silva. Ashley and Danielle went with the intentions of teaching a short English class while Chika and I planned to fix the computers dropped off last year by Paul. Paul, Andy, Judy and Corey were along for the ride and along for the gourmet meal.

The drive to the plantation took about 90 minutes because the roads were horrible. There were times driving down the road where I thought it was going to turn into a gravel road; instead, the road had a 40 foot long pothole the width of the entire road. Winding dangerously close to 30 foot falls to the sea we made it to the plantation safe.

The bed and breakfast of Roca Sao Joao

Danielle and Ashley started their English lesson while Chika and I worked on the computers. There were two at the site and both were out of service. We switched a hard drive, memory and a video card to get one computer working and the other is completely shot. The site does not have internet but the students at the plantation and school create jewelry and other crafts to sell; the computers could be used to keep track of inventory and sales.

Part of the plantation has been converted into a bed and breakfast including an African fine dining restaurant. We were asked to dine by the owner and chef for repairing the computers and teaching English. The meal is 40 Euros for guests and tourists and the 15 course meal was the best I’ve ever had. All of the food that was served is from the island and before Carlos begins preparing the meal he arranges all of the fruits and vegetables he will use on a long table for viewing next to his ancient wood burning stove.

The display of fruits and vegetables in the restaurant.

Classic wood burning oven used to prepare our meal.

While waiting for the food there are comfortable reclined chairs and hammocks to relax in while browsing visually appealing wine and food books. The restaurant is entirely open air overlooking the coast and surrounding jungle.

Carlos Silva and myself.

On our return trip we stopped at Boca de Inferno, the mouth of hell. This naturally formed rock structure forces the waves into an increasingly smaller channel before reaching a wall when the water shoots up towards the sky. James and Paul wanted to head back after only a few minutes but Judy and I have plans to return later this week.

Corey near the boca de inferno.

Myself overlooking the ocean near the boca de inferno.

-XO Mike


  1. Sounds amazing. What exactly did you get to eat? I'm assuming fruits and vegetables from nearby. Meat?

  2. Started with homemade peanut butter and bread, moved onto more appetizers: fried fish with some kind of olive oil sauce with fresh guacamole, some kind of rice balls, baked eggplant with fresh cheese, grilled fish, sweet potatoes with cinnamon, some of the most delicious pumpkin I've ever had, omelet, the best combination of bananas, ham and chocolate (sounds weird but the best thing I've had this trip), finally (for the appetizers) some okra sauce.

    For the main course we had beans (good beans), pineapple rice and grilled fish. There was a small side of bananas de oro (golden bananas): the sweetest banana I've ever had.

    For desert we started with a super sweet sauce of papaya and passion fruit followed by sugar cane sticks; to "eat" the sticks you just chew and taste the sugar drip out. This was followed by Jack's fruit and finally coffee/tea with Sao Tomean chocolate on top of a biscuit.