Well, after quite a journey, I´ve landed in Ilha Grande. It`s quite a large island between Sao Paulo and Rio. And it is F-ing hot here. I´ve been here half a day and I´ve already burnt, but it definitely beats the rain.
On Friday, I took an overnight bus to Curitiba with Brenda from Mexico. We landed in Curitiba around 6am and took off to explore the city. There were definitely some great places to go see, the botanical garden, the pedistrian street, old town, many parks, etc. It´s supposedly one of the weathier cities in Brazil and you can certainly see that. 1.4 million people, but it was very charming.
After spending the day exploring, I took a night bus alone to Sao Paulo and then a bus to the Coast. Yesterday was long. I couldn´t get on an early bus to Angra dos Reis (the port town you reach to go to Ilha Grande), so I didn´t arrive til 630pm in Angra. I met an American from Seattle and a couple from Austrailia and we ventured off to find a boat that would be willing to take us to the Island. All of the ferries were long gone and it was certainly starting to get late, so it didn´t look promising. Finally, we met a few other backpackers and ended up getting a Captain to take us over. The journey took about 2 hours and we made most of it in the dark. With warm ocean breezes and a million stars above, I was actually quite happy I didn´t make the trip during the day.
The island it quite beautiful with shops, restaurants and pousadas (guest rooms) lining the main street and square. I haven´t seen any cars yet and I think there are very few on the island. I found a hostel down the beach and it has an amazing deck that reaches out to the sea. The common area makes up for the lackluster room and bathroom.
This morning I wandered around and found a boat going to Lopez Mendes, which I´ve read is the most beautiful beach on the island. After an hour journey or so, the boat dropped myself and about 50 Spanish/Portuguese foreigners off at a beach and we had to hike a monster hill to get to Lopez. You literally walk straight up over the island….wasn´t quite expecting that. However, once on the other side, you can see why so many people make the journey. The beach is absolutely beautiful with soft, white sand and tourquoise waters that stretch for quite a long ways. I expected there to be a million tourists, but there were actually very few which made the beach pretty enjoyable.
Swimsuits are quite interesting here. I really haven´t met anyone here yet not from South America so I saw A LOT of man-kinis today and a number of interesting thongs on the beach….few of which were actually attractive. There are the mankinis and dark leg-hair men. Awesome. Then there are the women with lots of junk in the trunk, including celullite, with super tiny thongs. Double Awesome. Some of them even have been wearing other thongs during their travels, so they have a thong sunburn and then a smaller thong on which nicely highlights the sunburn. But, what really takes the cake is when women have thongs and have bug bites on their asses that swell up and look like pimples – now that is my favorite look on the island 🙂
I will likely move on to Buzios tomorrow where I hope to find more backpackers (English speaking ones) and will hopefully get some relaxation time in…then spend a couple of days in Rio. The weather is supposed to stay nice fortunately, so hopefully, I missed most of the rain!