Arriving at the bus terminal in São Paulo I had only a vague idea of where I was headed. I figured I would just take whatever bus left first heading towards the northern Paulista coast.
So I boarded a bus to IlhaBela, an island known for its natural beauty and loads of mosquitoes.
I arrived at eleven that evening with no idea of where I was going to sleep. I knew the city of Ilhabela was quite expensive and figured I might just head to a beach and the spend night on the sand. Luckily for me I met a friendly Brazilian girl who offered me a room and even better yet her friend offered me dinner which I graciously accepted.
The next day I loaded up my bag with food and supplies and headed over to the other side of the island. I really had no knowledge of the island and figured I would just go where my feet led me. Feeling ambitious (and cheap) I started to the five hour trek to a beach known as Castelhanos. The beach is only accessible by 4X4, but I had no intention of paying the US$50 dollars for the
one and half hour ride. I soon regretted that.
My pack, with over 60lbs of food and gear, was killing me. Once again I had some luck and a jeep driver offered to haul my bag over to the other side for free. Though my pride was saying otherwise I decided that would be just fine. I did however deny the offer of hanging off the back of the jeep for an extra US$6.
After about an hour of walking through the pristine jungle the fatigue started to take its toll. Luckily for me a group of people working for the State Park there motioned me to hop in the back of their truck. Though I did feel the need to actually hike the whole thing I rationalized that it would be rude to turn down a free ride.
Well I probably should have because sitting in the back of that pick up was like being kicked in the backside by horse for an hour.
Castelhanos was rated on of the top ten beaches in Brazil and I could not help but to agree. With no hotels and only a couple simple restaurants, it was an
untouched paradise. Though many attempts have been made to make Castelhanos into a resort the state as well as the original inhabitants has blocked such projects. Not to mention getting there is quite an arduous task.
I had thoughts of taking a seven hour hike to another beach on the island from Castelhanos, but due to the poisonous Jararaca snake it was strongly advised not to do it alone and without radios. Though I would not have minded prolonging my stay, dying alone in the Jungle was not my idea of fun.
And so I spent the next three days bodysurfing, exploring the jungle and swimming at a waterfall. I also managed a few more free meals of fresh fish from some of the locals there.
The beach was devoid of tourist at this time of year as the average Brazilian thinks anything below 85°F is too cold for the beach. So apart from a few others I had all the space I wanted. A day before heading out it rained quite a bit which made the road out impassible. The next day, though not sunny, had no rain and those trapped from the day before jumped
No that is not a leaf, but a wing
in their 4X4 and hit the trail.
I had met a two Brazilians, Leandro and Amadeo, at the campsite and we quickly became friends. They had planned to head out the previous day, but waited out the rain in camp. I have to say if there was anyplace to be stuck that was it. Besides the killer mosquitoes and flies, who could complain about sleeping to the sound of the waves on the soft sand?
Luckily they offered me a ride back to civilization and so we all packed up and hit the muddy trail. The road was not in the best condition, but luckily the river, though it grown much higher, allowed us to barely get by without sweeping us away. But the hard part soon came upon us as we had to push with all our might to get the SUV though some steep muddy inclines. But in the end we succeeded and made back to the city.
Early the next day I headed back to São Paulo. Knowing that this was my last adventure of the year long trip. I was a bit sad, but could not have been happier with how things played
It was dead
out. And so tomorrow, Tuesday the 3rd of June I board a plane bound for California. It came and it went faster than I can comprehend, but it was a year I am sure to play over and over in my head for the rest of my days.
Upon returning I will upload all the videos I have taken throughout the year and few more photos. For those of you back home, I hope to see you soon.
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