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Published: December 8th 2012
Apart from being incredibly hungry the trip from Foz back up to Sao Paolo was quite uneventful.
The driver managed not to drive like a maniac, run anyone over or leave any passengers behind so that was a win. Made my way through Sao Paolo back to Andy's place. I'd planned the trip so that i'd be spending the national holiday with Andy and friends. They had arranged for us to go to Ilha Bela, or Beautiful Island, for the long weekend. It took about 3 hours driving from Sao Paolo to get to the town closest to Ilha Bela, really can't remember what it was called. The island is quite similar to Ilha Grande apparently although we were staying on the very far side of the island so didn't get a chance to see the main part of it. We took a speed boat round to our little part of the island. As we got in the boat the driver asked the others something in Portuguese, so translated they asked me if I wanted the trip with or without 'emotion'. Obviously chose with and we were flying. I think we spent more time out of the water than on
it. It took about an hour and the waves were rather choppy, was really thankful that for once I was not hungover. We saw a flying fish on our little journey. Doesn't sound that impressive without photo evidence which unfortunately I do not have. But it happened and was very cool.
Our part of the island was a small beach which was shared with about 5 other small pousadas and the locals. Quite a long stretch of beach and hills on both sides which was all rather nice. First time during the trip i'd had a room to myself so was rather thankful for that. The people running the hotel were really into island life and just a little bit hippy so really didn't have a clue what was going on. They were really nice though and the place was amazing. Starving from our trip we were after something to eat. Apparently eating at the hotel would have taken a couple of hours to put something together, not entirely sure why, so we went to the beach bar which was just outside our hotel. The guy working there was a little less with it than the guys at the
hotel but did put together a really nice feast for us. We spent the rest of that day exploring the area and found a river with huge rocks to climb.
That night was probably one of the best moments of the trip. We'd eaten at the hotel (they had a hard time understanding that I didn't eat fish) and had a fair amount to drink. We went back to the beach bar where a group of local men where drunk, playing guitar and singing. Hadn't a clue what was going on but was pretty amusing. They told us to head down onto the beach were the younger locals had a fire going and were also playing music. So we sat drinking with them for a good while. I looked up at one point and up until to that point have never seen so many stars. A rather cheesy evening but something that i'm not going to forget.
We spent the next couple of days at the beach chilling out. By chilling out I mean that we were drinking from lunchtime onwards. At one point we drank the bar out of beer so they sold us a bottle of
rum, which went a little too quickly. The weather was ok, we had some rain but then a couple of days really good sunshine. Through the hotel we organised a boat trip to a few parts of the island further around from us. The first stop was a beach where a couple had made their home, they had lived there for 30 years. A nice idea in theory I think but I would have gotten just a little bit bored. After that we stopped at a private beach. There was a beach house of the front which a whole load of smaller buildings leading up to a huge house a little way up a hill that overlooked the beach and the bay. The owner of the beach house owns a Cachaca brand which obviously does quite well. The last stop was a tiny fishing village built. There were the bones of a whale that had got tangled in the fishing nets a few years before and unfortunately died. So we played with them like they were swords, obviously.
Up until this point in the trip I had not been bitten once by mosquitos and had actually made fun friends
along the way who were suffering from numerous bites. This is where things changed. After day 1 we all realised that down on the beach sandflies had decided to make a buffet out of our legs. It also didn't help that the door to my room was slatted and didn't have a mosquito net. So by day 2 I had a fair number of bites. After that we became quite thorough with putting on insect repellant. It didn't help. At all. By day 4 one of the girls we were with had so many bites of her lower leg and foot that her ankle had swollen and bruised. We actually looked diseased with the amount of bites we had on us. It was next to impossible to sleep with the number of bites I had and how itchy they were. It got to a point where we spent so much time scratching and complaining about them it did actually put a little bit of a downer on the last day. We thought that pumping our bloodstreams with alcohol would be a deterrent for the flies and mosquitos so proceeded to drink even more than we had been doing. Unfortunately it
didn't help, but being drunk did.
The island was amazing and had a such a good time with the people there. However we were ready to leave as we were all suffering from being raped by what felt like every insect on the island. Well all but one, there was one in the group who had 2 bites on him. Getting back to Sao Paolo was rather nice as there wasn't a sandfly or mosquito in sight. That evening I went with Andy and his girlfriend to Vento Haragano, a famous Churrascaria in SP. I'd made a deal with Andy before getting to Brazil that I wouldn't go to a Churrascaria before eating at this place. This was by far the best i'd eaten in Brazil, and the trip come to think of it. It's a buffet where each person has a token, one side red and one side green. Green is go, obviously, so they'll come up and offer you the food. Red is necessary as the food piles up rather quickly. They bring meat around on large skewers/swords which has been over the BBQ and cut it off onto your plate. They had loads of different cuts
of steak which was heaven and I even tried wild boar which was pretty good.
I'd noticed that during the journey from Ilha Bela to Sao Paolo my left foot was starting to swell up, probably due to the amount of bites i'd had on my leg. After dinner at Vento Haragano I thought I was feeling a bit ill, like I had the flu. Was probably just because of the inhuman amount of meat i'd just eaten. The next day I woke and felt worse and also wasn't able to stand on my foot properly as it was so swollen. I had a flight to Buenos Aires booked for the afternoon which I was dreading. I checkout out my symptoms online (really, really bad idea) and was told that I had Dengue Fever. Was tempted to rush to hospital and forget my flight. In the end though I didn't, so took my bag and my dengue fever over to the airport and got on the flight to Argentina.
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