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Published: June 17th 2016
With my continued descent south here in Brazil I figured I would get some final time visiting the beautiful beaches and islands before I head inland and further south where the temperatures are certain to quickly plummet. So the past several days I've split my time between Ilha Grande off of Brazil's mainland and an old colonial village Paraty back on the mainland. Both have outstanding beaches and the weather has been absolutely perfect.
Getting to Ilha Grande was an easy task and simple travel. Gotta love when things go this smooth. Erique was nice enough to drive me to the bus terminal in Rio where I booked a bus to Angra dos Reis (2 hours, $R21). Once here I walked to the main dock looking for a boat to the island. I saw a few "backpackers" getting onto a private boat for the transport at a cost of $R20. I asked around and found out the public ferry was to leave in an hours time for a cost of $R4.50. I opted to wait. A trip of this magnitude you need to save money any chance you get. The ferry ride was a relaxing 1.5 hours and I really
enjoyed looking at the island scenery and sailboats on the ocean.
Once I got to the island I decided to try and find a good deal on a private room at one of the many pousadas in the village. Normally I would go to a hostel to meet some people, but after Rio I really needed to re-charge as I was exhausted. I was able to negotiate a good price of R$40 (down from $R60) per night including breakfast at a quiet pousada just off the beach. This was only $R10 more than a dorm at a hostel so I was quite pleased. Not really a whole lot to write about. My days were spent hiking around the island jungles to the various beaches. All of them and the island itself are absolutely gorgeous. Ilha Grande truly is a tropical paradise and I was lucky to have perfect weather as well. The most notable beach on the island is Lopes Mendes - a huge expanse of powder soft white sand and emerald green crystal clear water. It was fantastic. After a few days of this I was to move onto Paraty. PARATY
Getting to Paraty was again
an easy task. Up early on Ilha Grande I hopped onto the local ferry for transport back to the mainland. Once there I was able to simply hop onto a local transport bus for the two hour ride west to Paraty at a cost of $R9.50. Paraty is an old colonial town with cobblestone streets in the historic city centre. As it happened, I showed up during the annual festival celebrating the city's inauguration some 500 years ago. So I was treated to a proper festival with live music, good food, and a nice jovial atmosphere. My days here in Paraty were spent hopping on the local bus and going to the beach. Sounds very redundant I know, but this is really all I've been doing since Rio. Tomorrow I go on yet another bus for the 6 hour journey to Sao Paulo where I am to meet with a friend who lives there and whom I met back on the Amazon River boat adventure. Maria is gracious enough to host me and promises me a good time for celebrating my 32nd year on this Earth. Should be epic.
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