Boats Bites and Bobs

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostel Holandes

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Monday, February 8, 2010


Finally had a chance to write this... as most of you know we are now in Rio and it is a teeny tiny bit crazy with carnavale... more on that later!

Soooo where i left we had headed off from Paraty and were heading to Ilha Grande... after the 28 hr bus ride to paraty 2 hrs and a 1 hr boat ride was dreamy to Ilha grande. Mind you it was, and still is, sooo hot... boiling, so by the time we got to Ilha Grande off the boat (yes even with cool sea breeze) we looked liked we'd been swimming and just chucked our clothes on over.. no sireee no swim swims since that morning!

We'd asked an Aussie girl at our Paraty hostel, called Bella who was a legend and working to extend her travels, what she thought of our upcoming hostel in Ilha Grande... she said, hesitantly, after much pressuring... "Well, it IS in the rainforest, so its quite cool compared to the rest of the island". Hmmm. Bella not sounding too enthused, plus scrapping the barrel with "its nice and cool" although i know some certain ladies back home who would think that the most important of all! anyway so we were a little apprehensive as naturally rainforest does not equal beach and given all of our hostels have been seaside we were worried we would have to walk 5 or 6 extra minutes to the beach in the morning (i know all of you sitting at your work computers hate me right now but this is a serious travellers concern)

We got off the boat in ilha grande after all day in the sweatbox bus and on the boat sin air (sin = without in spanish) so we once again loaded up the purple people eater and friend (backpacks) and began following bellas directions to the hostel

"walk down the dock, turn left, walk down the street, turn right, walk up the street, turn left, turn right at a blue building, follow the signs"

the above is amazing for many reasons:
1. i can remember it (she told us this at 3am the night before. she is the bar tender. read: bar tender does not mean she was working, it means responsible for the bar. different.
2. even em remembered some of it... amazing
3. Bella remembered it
4. it actually made sense
5. we found the blue building.. it was a church. bright blue church? random

so anyway we found this brightly coloured church (think they are trying to make the tin shed more interesting by painting it blue) and started following the signs. remember we are carrying purple people eater and friends. and its 40 degrees. and we have already been carrying and walking and running between bus and boat for 4 ish hrs. and its 4pm which is equivalent of midday sun. just making sure you are all feeling some sympathy...

so we walk up a cobble stone hill. then turn the corner and up some stairs, following the signs. now in a brazillian ladies garden stepping on her chickens. she gets mad and chases with broom. then we step on nice plants as obviously cant see feet with purple people eater on back and small purple people eater on front. then she points at the sign. we are going "si si si si hostel hostel hostel" and she is annoyed as obviously that is spanish. then she moves the sign to the right position its supposed to be in. well really how are we supposed to know left arrows mean right. anyhoo we start dowwwnn a cobble stone hill and then proceed back uuuup another hill. by now birds are chirping and i~ve been bitten 30 times so we must be in the rainforest. then i hear a stream. oh great im going to have to cross the stream in my havianas which are bound to fall off once i topple over and die from purple people eater throwing me off balance. death by stream accident. excellent. anyway we get to the stream and there is a nice wooden bridge so all the above thoughts are now irrelevant and over dramatic. lucky this is a blog and not newspaper fact article otherwise i would have been fired long ago

so THEN we walk up more stairs and it says "hostel". excellent. another lady with a broom comes out and i step out of this garden with quite a guilty face. she doesnt get it but em thinks its funny. turns out not our hostel. this creates great disappointment and i think em and i look like we have swallowed a lemon as she was like "next hostel not far not far not far". on we go. more stairs. more hostels not our hostels. finally we get to the correct hostel and pass out and day on the welcoming hammocks. after we rise from the dead the receptionist comes over and laughs and gives us some water and gts us to fill in all the forms etc. as we are doing this i look around and observe that it is actually very breezy and refreshing up in the himalayas up here and although i feel like i~ve climbed everest (i think ilha grande must be 10 m above sea level max) it is definately worth it as there are hammocks swinging, birds chirping, everything is made of beautiful carved and polished wood and when we are shown to our room, low and behold it is spotless, with ensuite, no other people in it, and em and i both get the bottom bunk so we can stare lovingly at each other just before sleep. as we need to see more of each other you see. 23 hrs and 55 mins of the day is not quite enough (i think we are morphing into one person, we now eat and drink in sync. like a gross couple. lucky we havent reached matching outfit stage yet.. granted this is probably because we only wear bikinis and sarongs but anyway)

so after we cooled off we settled into life in ilha grande. it was so nice knowing we had almost a week here as it was so relaxing and chilled out without any bars really so we knew we would be able to rest and catch up on sleep before carnavale madness.... and that we did

We spent the 5 days sleeping, eating, sleeping, drinking, swimming, and just pottering around. we didnt cook that much as we pretty much avoided the mountain climb as much as possible and it was relatively cheap to eat there... they had a buffet which they charge per kilo. we discovered lettuce is in fact deceivingly heavy and despite what you may think it is cheaper to get spaghetti, chicken and rice instead of lettuce. quite the reverse once it gets to your waist but hey. plenty of time to eat lettuce in future

we had a couple of notably lazy days and a couple of notably fun and active days. obviously the lazy days will be SUPER boring to describe so i will pretty much just say we woke up, found breakfast, lay on the beach, went and had lunch, lay on the beach, had caprioskas, went to dinner, had caprioskas, and went to bed. the end. short and sweet.

Our two notably active days were great!

The first one took place as we had run into Kate Blatch's good friends little brother Dom (wooooahhhh six degrees of seperation) in Paraty and had organised to meet up with him and his travel partners (about 5 guys and 5 girls, big group), who are from sydney, in Ilha grande. we ran into them on the second day and they invited us to go to the most beautiful beach on the island, Lopes Mendes, for the day with them as it was one of the boys' birthdays. we all brought eskies and alcohol and partied on the beach all day and then got back to the island for a party at their pousada (like an apartment) so we had a ball. Photos show what a great day we had. the beach was AMAZING with maybe the whitest sand and the bluest clearest water i have ever seen. and i count myself as quite the beach expert these days. it was literally breathtaking... the beach stretches for 2.5kms and it is so hot no one can sit on the sand, so everyone has to setup camp under the trees and then do a baywatch run down to the sea to cool off. luckily our tans have got to such a stage it is not worrysome to have a day or two out of the sun (probably a good thing)

The second day, our last day, was fun as we rented a boat with some people we have been inadvertently travelling with since uruguay who arrived on ilha grande the day before. we havent actually been travelling with them but we have been doing the same route so bumping into each other at more or less every hostel. They are 3 boys from melbourne and great fun, and as they  are two or three days behind us at every stop we meet loads of new people and then have a reunion dinner or two before we all move on. So we all put in to rent a boat (heaps cheaper and more flexible than getting on a boat with 100 people and doing the standard route) and we rented snorkels and got drinks and a boat driver took us allll over the island to jump off rocks and to the best snorkel spots, and to lopes mendes so the boys could see it (no harship for us as its amazing as said before) and then back to the town at about 5 for afternoon drinks. Very successful active day and fitting end to our time on ilha grande

The next morning we arose super early at 8am.. OMG.. not happy girls.... but we were excited as we were heading to RIO

And here we are!!!!

So this brings me up to date... we are going for a samba lesson now as we are parading tomorrow so more updates soon!

Lots of love to everyone, we miss you WAY MUCHO


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