Ilha Grande

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End Oct 19, 2010

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Where I stayed
Yes Pousada

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Friday, May 7, 2010

After a 3 hour bus journey from Rio, we arrived in Angra dos Reis, the port town where we planned to get the ferry to Ilha Grande. For the 5 minutes we spent in a taxi from bus station to ferry port, the taxi driver jabbered (and gestured) constantly in Portuguese while we just nodded and laughed along with absolutely no idea what he was going on about.

Ilha Grande is a remote island about an hour and a half ferry journey from the mainland. We hadn't booked any sort of accommodation so had decided to just wander around once we arrived. It turned out that there was a lot more accommodation than there was people to fill them, so as soon as we stepped off the boat we were collared by the owner of the "Yes Pousada" who instantly launched into her sales pitch. We were skeptical at first but after looking around it appeared we'd got ourselves a bargain as it was more of a hotel than a hostel...and we got a flat screen tv included!

That night we went out for the standard cheap(ish) Brazilian meal of chicken, rice, chips and kidney beans. After the meal, with such a beautiful island setting, we decided the only logical thing to do was to find a bar for a cerveja....or in tron's case, a Caipri Maxi - a stronger version of the already pretty potent Caiprinha. What was originally going to be a couple of drinks turned into a 7 hour stint sitting in exactly the same seats at exactly the same bar. It was during this time that a running theme for the trip began - stray dogs are attracted to us like flies round ****! As the drinks kept refilling we saw it all.....dogs fighting other dogs....dogs pissing on tables. We adopted one of the strays as our temporary guard dog, who protected our table for the duration of our stay and warned off rival dogs whenever they approached. The same dog even found us two days later and guarded our luggage as we waited to board the ferry back.

As we had a full day on the island the next day, we decided to Ray Mears it up and explore the jungle. What started out as a 1km stroll through the light jungle in search of a secluded beach, turned into a  5km long, 4 hour trek through dense jungle and steep hills. We had begun to seriously doubt whether we'd made the right decision in putting our bodies through this ordeal (sweating constantly for 4 hours, wearing what can only be described as "beach wear"), when we eventually discovered a deserted waterfalll in the middle of the jungle. This on its own made the journey more than worthwhile. On the way back from our moment of bliss we caught our first glimpse of wildlife in the jungle.....monkeys!!!!

Next up.....Paraty

See you in Hanoi!!

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