I arrived at Rio bus station to book the next bus to Angra dos Reis which happened to be at 14:00, so after getting some lunch at the station; Sanne and I hopped on the bus to Angra dos Reis - I was surprised to find that the buses here have better seats that the British Airways economy so I put my head back and enjoyed the views from the window as we travelled further south along the East Coast - known as the Green Coast. We arrived in Angra dos Reis harbor at 16:45 finding out that the next ferry crossing to the island of paradise was not till 18:00, which was not too bad as there was a little bar and a market to look around. We arrived in Ilha Grande at 20:00, Ilha Grande literally means Big Island -slightly odd considering it's the third largest in Brazil. The island is largely undeveloped and is visited for its scenic beauty - white beaches, jungle vegetation and landscape. The man on the boat told us that the island used to be used a notorious prison, which is now closed and that the island is now one of the most pristine remnants of Brazils Atlantic rainforest, with one of the richest ecosystems in the world.
I was heading to a hostel called Beirgarten in the largest village on the island called Villa do Abraao. Our two hour ferry crossing was not the most enjoyable boat journey - although the sunset was beautiful - once it was set it began to get cold; this is the biggest difference about it being Winter here; the days are shorter and the nights are colder. Finally, after a small walk to the hostel we got shown to our room and headed out to find some dinner and some drinks along the seafront.
The hostel was very nice it was built in 2010 and was very clean and had a very hot showers - which is always a bonus here.
The next morning we woke up early to the sun shining in through the window so we decided to take a walk along to the front to see what was going on - I also wanted to go to the scuba diving shop - I found Elite dive centre to find that it did not open till 18:00. There were many people hovering around the front offering different boat trips to the beaches on the other side of the island - on Ilha grande there was two types of transport one was you feet the other was by boat. We decide to pay R$15 to get a boat that dropped us off 30 minute walk through the rainforest to a beach called Lopes Mendes. Many travellers had told me that Lopez Mendes was the nicest beach on the island. Along the way we spotted some tiny Pygmy monkeys and loads of squirrels and birds. After some research I found out that Lopes Mendes beach was voted as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It was amazing (check photos out), There was nothing but white sand and sky blue sea water with palm trees and rocks at the end.
On Wednesday 27th I decided to go scuba diving - which was ok nothing like SEA but still saw seahorses and turtles. Although it was nice to be back in the water - the water was freezing - I was so cold. Last night we went out for dinner - we had a traditional Brazilian kebab (not at all like England its more like a wrap) and then had a few drinks and met a guy who had been traveling for 10 years so listened to his stories - they were interesting. Then we went for a few more drinks and watched the football game. Brazilians love their local team they were going insane. The funniest thing was in the bar there was a guitar player and as he played the guitar he watched the football so randomly he would stop during a song to see if his team was about to score and then he would carry on -maybe you had to be there!!
Thursday, was our final day so we decided to go on a 30 minutes walk to another beach and make the most of the amazing weather. After spending the day in the sun we decided to cook for dinner in the hostel and have a few drinks in the bar there as we had to get up early to catch the ferry back to Angra dos reis: the main land and take the next bus along the coast to Paraty for a few hours.
Currently my plans to stay in Paraty till Monday morning then I get a 6 hour bus to Sao Paulo then a 17 hour bus to Iguazu falls. I have decided that I am not going to stop off in Sao Paulo as I have heard really bad reviews about it. Then that is the end of Brazil!!