Scary Rocks, Thunder and Lightning in Paradise

Trip Start May 03, 2005
Trip End Oct 31, 2005

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Saturday, September 3, 2005

I think the title says it all. So much for my week of catching rays, sipping pina colada and generally trying to sort my life out. It wasnīt all bad.

Arrived in Honey Island on Monday evening and the hostel that I had decided to go to was closed for refurbishment. Met a Portuguese couple and we went wandering around fo somewhere to stay. Found a real bargain of 10 reals per night (about 2.50). I was the only guest (youīd think this would have told me something) and the place was pretty much deserted. I didnīt mind this as I went there to be on my own and chill out.

The first morning was lovely - went to the grotto and then wandered along one of the many beaches and sat chilling out and thinking. Then decided to head to Brasilia to take a look (about 2 hour walk from Encantadas). Having scaled a hill at the end of the first beach I then came across a second beach and when I got to the end there was no path to Brasilia - only scary rocks. I was wearing flip flops so wasnīt overly keen on the idea. 2 girls were walking passed and we managed to communicate with other and they said that the scary rock route was the way to Brasilia. I was rather relieved that there were with me as it was a bit hairy in places and quite painful at times in bare feet. Aowh!

Had a walk around Brasilia then and the weather started to change and it got really windy. So after lunch I decided to head back to Encantadas incase the heavens opened. You guessed it, the tide was still in and I had to scale the scary rocks again - this time on my own. Was quite pleased (if not far from relaxed) when I made it to the other side and got back just in time before the heavens erupted. Well, that was pretty much it for the next 48 hours (I kid you not). I have never known such persistent thunder, lightning and rain. On wednesday I ventured as far as the beach for a late lunch and stayed in my cabin for pretty much the rest of the day. You could say, enforced isolation. The guys in the restaurant were pretty friendly and, surprisingly, they seemed to understand most of what I was saying in spanish and I understood enough of their Portuguese. It really is an odd language and one that Iīm not in a hurry to learn.

After cabin fever on wednesday I was determined to get out and see the island properly. There was danger of rain later on but I needed to get some fresh air. Headed back to Brasilia - this time better prepared for scary rocks - I was wearing hiking boots. I then headed to the lighthouse and then to the most extreme part of the island, the fortress. By this stage it had started to drizzle and, being unprepared for rain in paradise, I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. Imagine my disappointment when all I could see was a wall with a pretty īturretīon the end jutting into the sea. Yes, you guessed it, the tide was in again. Ah well, it was good exercise. I headed back to Brasilia (which is in the middle of the island) and had lunch by which time the weather wasnīt looking too great so I thought Iīd better head back.

Do you ever wish that you had listened to your instincts? Dympna being Dympna was not going to let the scary rocks get the better of her - nor the sea for that matter! The tide was slightly further in when I reached the rocks and was going to sit and wait for it to go out a little before passing through to the next part. I waited for a while and decided, just go for it. I ran through the first bit just avoiding the waves lapping up against the rocks and then reached a part where you squeeze through a rock to go down and then up. There was no way I could get through at the tide was too far in. So I decided to scale a serious of big rocks to go up and over. I was praying to god that I didnīt have to turn back and go down them again. I was rather pleased with myself that I had outwitted the tide and headed on only to come to a rather high ledge that I was chicken to jump off. Thankfully gravity took itīs course and I slide off (slowly and very controlled - honest!) which I was pleased about as I beginning to think I was stuck. I was so pleased that I even took photos of my achievement. What I didnīt realise was that I really was stuck. I couldnīt tell how deep the water was and then the thunder and lightning started again. I was trying to huddle for shelter among yukka plants cursing myself, why didnīt you just wait and take the boat back? Normally I would use my sense of, why is noone else walking this way but the place was so deserted that the warning sign wasnīt there. I waited for about 20 minutes and the water didnīt seem to be receding and it was almost 5pm (it gets dark at about 6pm). So I bit the bullet and waited for the tide to go a little and waded into the water taking refuge on an occasional rock. Thankfully there probably only about 10 metres to go. I have never been so glad to see a beach in my life, inspite of my squelching boots and wet trousers.

That was my signal that I needed to move on! I had promised myself a stiff drink but ended up running to the shop and buying a smirnoff ice - whooppee doo!

Thankfully my last day on the island was beautiful - blue skies as far as the eye could see. I lapped up as much sun as I could sitting on the rocks by the grotto and then on another beach watching the surfers. Needless to say I didnīt go near the scary rocks and was glad to get onto the boat in one piece. It really is a beautiful place but could easily have been Ireland with the weather. Although I think that is doing Ireland a disservice. If I ever go again I will definately go in the summer!!!

Iīm now in Curitiba again and heading to Foz de Iguazu (Igazu Falls) tonight. They are on the border with Argentina so will be crossing the border probably on Sunday night or monday morning and then off to Buenos Aires. Iīll be trying to catch my last rays of sun before then.

I know I have been very slack with the photos recently. Promise to get some more next week.
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