....Marooned on a tropical island
Well, not exactly marooned, but staying here and having a very lovely time.
Came over the Ilha Grande a few days after Jen left for some back to the days of Thailand action, ie, beach bumming. Although have also been on a couple of really good hikes, so have attempted a nice balance of vigorous exercise and complete laziness.
This place is basically a big holiday island which is completely covered in tropical jungle and has 126 beaches scattered around it. It's blissfully very low key; there's very little development and it's all small poussadas (guesthouses ) and little restaurants rather than anything flashy. Even the boats that bring you over have that certain rough and ready feel. You either get the daily ferry with all the food, drinks and supplies being taken over, or a private boat skippered by a fisherman on the make.
But once you're over it's kick off those flip flops and chill out time, and I picked a rather hippy hostel which is all too encouraging of this mode of holidaying. Have to say it´s absolute heaven to just hang out and do whatever you fancy doing on the day. The only time schedule revolves around the 10am deadline for breakfast which I always adhere to cos it's such a good feed and also very sociable cos it's a really small place so everyone eats together and makes plans for the day. Bit commune-ish you might say but a really lovely bunch of people - and no Brits, so a rather cultural exchange type week too...
That said, I decided to have a day by myself the other day. Actually was too hungover to get up when the others were leaving for the boat trip so was rather by default, but anyway. There are lots of set trails around the island as there are no cars here so everywhere has to be reached by foot or by boat so it makes for good adventure type exploring. A group of us had done a good walk to this waterfall in the middle of the jungle where we really had to scrabble and climb at times so was rather exciting (read scary; was quite sure one of us was going to fall and break our leg at one point) but anyway, it put me in the mood for a solo expedition.
Only this day was really hot and the walk was a lot further and I was totally dehydrated after about the first hour but kept chugging on the two and a half hours to the beach at the other end. Well it was a very nice beach, massive and only five other people on it. Only thing was there was nothing else there, no shops or cafes or anything. So I sat under a tree for an hour to cool down and then started the trudge back with my by now rashioned water supply.
Didn't see a soul all the way back which was rather disconcerting and decided to have a massive ice cream sundae when I got back to the main village as a reward for my efforts - and to keep me going on my increasingly shakey legs....! Well obviously I made it back in one piece and can now look back at it as a very much needed workout and back to nature experience - though not particularly pleasant at the time. However the ice cream was super.
Apart from that, have managed a couple of days of much needed sunbathing - these Brazilians set a very high tan standard and I am comparitively white. Pottered off on a mini-trail to a lovely spot which is the first beach since Thailand I think which hasn't been a massive wide ocean with big waves - or at the very least some waves. This one was a really great bay surrounded by green and fringed with palm trees and blessed with water like a mill pond - perfect.
And back at the hostel - which I haven't mentioned is actually set back in the jungle and is all outdoorsey and au naturel - lots of hammock based reading, caiprihni drinking and lovely, lovely sleep.... Thank you Brazil, the joys of travel have been greatfully rediscovered ...