As it was a while between the first post and our second, we thought we'd give you guys a double dose! Kirsty has filled you in up until the end of Rio, so I’ll let you know about our next destination and the proper start of the travelling – Ilha Grande. The literal translation is "Big Island", so the Brazilians are clearly an imaginative bunch!
Our alarm went off at a sickening 03:30am as we needed to get to the Rio bus terminal to catch our bus, which was at 05:00am to Mangaratiba
. After queuing for ages to exchange our confirmation printout for tickets we boarded our bus. The bus was really nice and comfy, with fully reclining seats and A/C. Nice! I couldn’t manage to sleep as the roads were awful and it felt like trying to sleep in an earthquake! We got to Mangaratiba and boarded our boat pretty quickly. It took about two hours to get to Abraáo and just as we were pulling into the port Kirsty decided she did get sea sick after all and ran to the toilet to be sick. Sexy. We got off the boat and needed to find another boat to get around the island to Palmas beach to get to our hostel. We found tourist information who spoke no English, but pointed us to a tour operator who did boat trips. The friendly guy in there said they had no boats going to Palmas but one leaving soon going to Pouso, which is a 40min trek to Praia Brava, which is where we were staying. It was either this for R$50 or the water taxi for R$150 so we said we’d face the trek. We boarded the boat and had a nice tour of the island but were apprehensive about our stifling trek with all our bags. As we came to Palmas beach the driver of the boat spoke to us and asked if we were the ones staying there. He then said he’d drop us off there to save the trek. Amazeballs!! The trek was still 10-15mins as we were still one beach away, but so much better than 40mins! Our hostel was on its own small private beach and we were shown to our “cabin”, which was more of a wooden frame with a canvas over it and very hot and humid inside
. Still, private beach, can’t complain!! We spent the day on our beach and then that evening had our backup supernoodles as we were priced out of the hostel restaurant. That evening we met four English girls and a guy made up of a couple who had been travelling for 7months and their two friends who had come out for a two week holiday. We were shattered though from our early start so retired to bed in our beach front cabin to fall asleep to the sound of the waves breaking on the beach about 10m away. Hot, but bliss!
Feb – Valentines Day
That morning we woke to the weirdest sound. It can only be described as lots and lots of dogs barking deeply and loudly, but a bit more guttural. We came out of our cabin and spoke to a German guy who told us it was the sound of Howler Monkeys up in the forest. It was an incredible sound! We tried to find breakfast, but nothing was out. Again, Ze German helped us out and told us to order from the bar menu and that it was free. We duly ordered one of everything and had a breakfast of coffee, fruit juice, toast, jam, butter and a cheese and ham toasty. Nom! That day we planned to trek to one of the islands best beaches, Lopes Mendes. We spent the morning on our private beach and planned to walk in the hottest part of the day as we thought that the trails were all under the shade of the trees
. We were wrong. It was so so hot. We got to Lopes Mendes and found a spot to sit, but thought that our beach was better - that was until we went in the water! It was so clear and so shallow. It was really beautiful. Even at waist deep you could still clearly see your feet. The sand too was more like flour than sand and made that funny squeaking noise under your feet like fresh snow it was that fine. We went back to the hostel around 6pm and had a romantic Valentine’s Day meal of supernoodles. I’m a real catch. Still, dinner on our private beach was still really nice and we spent the evening chatting to the four English lot we had met the day before. We arranged to take a taxi boat with them back to the port the following morning to leave the island.
Ilha Grande was really beautiful and I think it would be a perfect place to stay for a relaxing holiday. We really enjoyed it there, but time had come to move on. The next morning we got up early to watch the sunrise before checking out and catching the water taxi to the main port and back to the mainland to then catch a bus to our next destination, Paraty.
Take care all. We’re having an amazing time, but missing you all.
G x x x x