Ilha Grande

Trip Start Jan 17, 2008
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146
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Trip End Jun 30, 2009


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We made our way down the coast for another 2 hours till we reached the port town of Angra Dos Reis, where we would get the ferry out across to the island of Ilha Grande (Big Island). As we arrived, surprise surprise it was still raining, we started the mad dash to take out money from the cashpoint before our boat left from the pier, there are now ATM's on the island, so you need to take out as much money as you think you will need before you leave Angra. A visit to HSBC done, and we were sailing out into the ocean, struggling to see anything through the grey clouds and incessant rain. We had not booked anything, and it was good that we hadnt as a tout ( from Germany?) met us and took us to the cheapest hostel that she had on her books. It was less a proper hostel than a homestay in the house of the welcoming and friendly Juan and his wife Maria. There were already lots of people staying in the house, including a group of boys from England and some Brazilians,  and there was a great atmosphere there, people playing music on the guitar, and the owners making food for everyone to share.

The island is completly covered by rainforest, there are no paved roads on the islands and the interior is only accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles on dirt tracks. We stayed in the major settlement of the island, and our day to day existence was mostly governed by the weather, and the fact that it was terrible during our stay. At least once every day, it would bucket it down, so guaranteeing a soaking to anyone unlucky enough to be out and about at that particular moment. We spent a lot of time sitting under the tarpulin sheet that protected the table in the garden from downpours, the boys introduced us to 2 reais bottle of cachaca, (60p) that together with cheap limes available by the bag load from the supermarket or even free, picked from the tree in the garden, together with an industrial sized bag of sugar, go to create the most disgusting caiprinhas ever made!! The trick is not to put too much cachaca in, their cairpinhas were like drinking a pint of vodka with a dash of coke!

When we were not sitting under the tarpualin, Daniella and I attempted to walk to the other side of the island and back one afternoon, we set off (without rain jackets) along the rising path through the wooded interior, passing jackfruit trees and flowing streams, after about 1 hour and a half, we reached the crest of the hill and from them on it was downhill, unfortunately a light drizzle turned into a heavy downpour and by the time we reached the small village on the other side, we were quite wet. We had time to check out the now fallen into disrepair prison that had up until a few years ago been the focal point of the village, and then the beautiful (in the sun) beach , before taking shelter. There we had our lunch , traditionallly Brazilian: chips, salad, rice, beans and barbecued fish. It was really good. Then we made our way back in the reverse, this time we took a signed shortcut, that cout our journey by 30 mins, still when we made it backed we were completly soaked, part of us thinking was it really worth it!

We also went on a boat trip, on our final day in Ilha Grande, we woke up to see that it was finally sunny, so decided to make the most of it, and visit the nearby islands, lagoons and beaches. We just had time to run down to the pier and catch one of the boats as it was leaving, We had not had any time to eat any breakfast, so instead we had to enjoy 2 packs of tasty ruffles crisps. mmm healthy brekky.Then we set sail for the furthest lagoon, the scenery was lovely, all those forested mountains and the turquoise green sea, unfortunately Daniella had an argument with one of the crew and the water at the first stop was not very clean, ( I saw crisp packets floating in the water), on top of that, the water was very cold, and there was not much marine life to see. On the plus side, the crew did cook some good kebabs and sausages for our lunch, though they were not free.....By the late afternoon the overcast weather had returned and we both felt it was too cold to swim, and the boat headed back to port. Overall, it was not the best boat trip that we have done, the ones in Asia were better, and we were able to see more exotic fish.
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