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South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Ilha Grande
September 5th 2011
Published: September 8th 2011
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Rob Writes

Before we could set off for Ilha Grande we had a few things to do. Firstly, bring the washing in. Not something I enjoy doing at home but it was made worse by the fact I had to hang out of a window to reach our clothes, which weren’t even dry! So again we went down to the hostel kitchen and stuffed our faces with all you can eat breakfast while waiting for our transfer to Ilha Grande (£28).

The transfer was by a small van, which wasn’t too bad really. Air con and leather seats are more than we were used to. We were then taken to a small town where we would then have to catch a boat, which was a bigger pain in the arse than it should have been. The problem was that there were two boats, a speed boat and a regular boat. After some confusion we had managed to establish through the help of a girl who spoke English that we were to go on the speedboat but our bags were to stay on the other boat. I wasn’t too pleased about this but whatever. Anyway, as we walked down the pier we were all herded onto the regular boat despite what we had previously been told. We knew both boats went to the same place so we just carried on as we were and away we went, full speed ahead to Ilha Grande... or not. After fifteen minutes of our boat trip along came the speedboat flagging us down. They were after us. Tina found this hilarious and we were ordered to get into the speedboat to take us the rest of the way. It’s quite difficult to change boats in the middle of a choppy Atlantic, and I couldn’t watch as Tina went first, net-book in hand. The speedboat was good fun and we made it there a full 45 minutes before the crappy slow boat, which we had to wait for to get out bags off. It was totally worth switching boats.

While I waited for the bags Tina went ahead to find us a hostel for the night. She soon came back and we went to our room. We paid £56 for two nights in a private double room with en-suite. We know we could have got cheaper by staying in a dorm but we fancied a little bit of luxury. After the dorms we had just stayed in, it felt like a temple. The place was called Pousada Alpha which we have no complaints about. It was clean, quiet (for being just off the main beach) and breakfast was of a good quality, varied and plentiful. No immediate internet or wifi but the receptionist was kind enough to give us a loan of her dongle for free. After a good, uninterrupted sleep we were ready for our full day on the island.

We were up early, as we planned to go to a particular beach at the back of the island, only there was a two hour trek in between where we were and the beach in question. The trek was very jungle- like, with steep inclines which really took it out of you. Unfortunately, Tina has the fitness of a 68 year old man with emphysema and a quarter of a lung to breath with :P. She soldiered on with a bit of encouragement and we made it, finally.

I couldn’t believe how empty the beach was. There was literally no one on it barring a small cafe in the middle. It felt like castaway and Tina made a shit-hot Wilson with her big white baw-heed. We went for a dip in the sea after coaxing ourselves in. It was a little chilly at first you see. We
then spent a few hours sun bathing before catching the boat (£4) back to the main beach and headed for our room to have a shower and change, and do another bloody washing! There is a process to the washing. Tina washes the clothes in the sink with the soap and I stand in the shower to rinse them in hot water and ring them out and end up like a prune. There isn’t any hot water in the sink taps which is why we have to do it this pain-in-the-arse way. I’m not as good as a 1600 spin cycle at ringing-out so the likely-hood of them drying for tomorrow morning is quite small.

That brings us up to date. Tina was messing about in the hammock while I wrote this, asking me to take a picture. We are going out now to find something to eat. Tomorrow we head back to the mainland and to the village of Paraty.

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