Ilha Grande

13 Apr

Hiking is one of the most awful things I’ve ever done.  Except now that’s over I can say it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done too.

With each step we took came a wish to see the trail’s end.  We walked and walked and walked, bitched and cursed and cringed with pain.  But just like all things come to an end, so would each trail.  And when everything was said and done, we looked back on every day with amazement and awe.

The island of Ilha Grande used to be a pirate hideaway.  It’s a tropical paradise filled with jungle wrapped mountains, surrounded by lush beaches of which any can make a fine postcard.

We set sail for the island on a Tuesday afternoon, still feeling the aftermath from the night before when we all met for drinks to see Danny off.  That morning it was Stuart, Chris, and myself.  The cloud filled sky reflected our mood.  It was begging to rain but the darkened sky managed to behave until we were well on shore.

The image was both impressive and dramatic.  The ferry boat navigated past small fishing boats and ominous islands enshrouded in fog.  Chris thought we had arrived in Vietnam.  It certianly seemed like an old Chuck Norris flick to me.  I had fun imagining a time when pirates sailed the same waters, burying their treasures under the threat of a thunderstorm, and hiding out from the Portuguese Empire.

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We were ambushed with hostel pamphletes when we docked into town but we waved them off and headed to a lonely planet suggestion. I’m not one to stay glued to the guidebook but hey, it promised sea side dining and a natural swimming pool!

We didn’t walk far when the sky gave a great tremble, and unable to keep it in any longer, let loose a rain storm that soon had us drenched and running for cover.

Our refuge was a small bar on the beach.  We walked in and a few dancing Brazilians immediatlye exploded in applause.  We still don’t know why.  But their applause set the mood and a few beers later, we were dancing to a local variety called foha (i think).  Chris and I hit it off with two of the girls and with not a word of Portuguese on our end, nor any Enlgish on theirs, we communicated through body language and our willing translator, Stuart.  Sadly though, the clock striked midnight and they had to head back to their cruise ship, which was sailing off in a few short hours.  But before they ran off, Chris and I enjoyed a kiss from our girls and I thought I heard Stuart in the background mutter a quiet “awh!”

It was a great start to our island adventure and set the bar quiet high for the rest of the week!

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