It’s usually the case that it gets harder to find out what happened in the past, the longer ago it happened. But not always.
I’ve been watching quite a lot of World Cup football in Brazil on BBC iplayer, and re-visiting the Rio de Janeiro where my parents lived in the 1960s. We used to regularly drive up the coast to the holiday resort town of Cabo Frio. A little further north up the coast was the Búzios peninsula, where I remembered that Brigitte Bardot once stayed in the 1960s. At the time, this was more or less all I knew, so today I thought I’d see if I could find out a bit more about it online. I was amazed by how much I turned up. Here’s Brigitte Bardot in Búzios in 1964:
Wandering along the beach in a bikini (click for detail of pig and chickens in the background):
Those are wooden dugout canoes beside her. I once got to paddle around in one of them, and spent hours becoming quite expert at it.
Here’s the little pousada at 199, Rua das Pedras, where she stayed for 4 months. These were owned by local fishing families, and rented out in summer. The precise longitude and latitude is -22.755055, -41.887185. That’s probably her standing on the verandah:
And this is the room she stayed in, with a commemorative plaque on the door:
The house is still there, but has become a restaurant. For after Bardot’s visit, Búzios became famous, and turned into Brazil’s St Tropez. In 1964 it didn’t even have a water supply.
It does now. And they have a life-size bronze statue of her a bit further up the beach, wearing the same jeans and T-shirt she’s wearing in the top photo:
I’m astonished. I now know far more about that visit than I did back then.
And back then she was a smoker. I didn’t find any photos of her smoking in Búzios. But there’s video of her smoking at a press conference in Rio before she fled from all the attention to Búzios.