Ilha Grande

We made it to Ilha Grande, a big island off the coast south of Rio.  There are no cars on the island, only one and a half towns.  Today we hiked 2 hours over the hills and descended to this little colony type thing where there used to be a prison (up until 1994) but now it´s a overgrown by the jungle, the prison was imploded.  There appeared to be a few residents, but I don´t know if they stay there at night.  It was cool to see a town reclaimed by nature.

Behind the prison is a beach where two rivers flow into the ocean, one on either side of the flat beach.  It´s so flat that waves just roll and roll and roll perfectly in.  We walked way out and never got in past our waists.  I wish it had been wavier so I could have ridden them more, but it wasn´t to be.  We spent most of our time at the mouth of one of the rivers playing around like 10 year olds, rolling on the sand, catching these little fish and keeping them in an improvised fish bowl, jumping off rocks, playing in the waves, covering our arms with sand.  The place where the river & ocean met was this pool of turquoise water against a steep jungle wall where we heard these terrifying monkeys screaming like they were at war.  Never saw them though.  It was pretty idyllic, with the river going back into the jungle and our own little pool of warm water.  The sun wasn´t really out much today, which was good because it meant we could play for hours without worrying.

We knew we had a long walk back, so we left at 4 to beat the darkness and stopped for a minute to rinse off at a place where a river pooled in the jungle, then we took a secret shortcut route through a bamboo forest which we all agreed was a little claustrophobic.  When we exited the shortcut, a downpour started, again, just like Iguazu!  We couldn´t believe it, we had just been telling Kenny about it earlier in the walk and now it was pouring and cold for the rest of the 1.5 hours.  Our hands and feet were pruny, everything we had got soaked and our ankles were SO sore from walking in flipflops the entire way on the bumpy road.  It was raining so hard that there was a little river running with us the whole time, the color of milk tea.  When it rains like that, the area seems to expand upwards because everything has become so socked in, I just notice the height of the trees more.  The jungle is darker.

We made it to town before dark, monkeys screaming in the valley, and everyone was packed into pubs watching a soccer game and staying out of the downpour.  We got warm, dry and went to get dinner at our favorite little buffet place.  It´s only 8pm here, but I think Azure is asleep in the room. 



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2 responses to “Ilha Grande

  1. JoAnne

    mike sounds pretty darn awesome to me. we just finished watching the academy awards and I think you deserve one. Maybe you and Az should collaborate on a travel journal. love you lots. 12 days and counting

  2. Anonymous

    Great photos…Autsy looks like the happiest girl in the world. Can hardly wait to see you. Mom

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