Day 1

17 Apr

God created the world in 6 days. Stuart and I trekked Ilha Grande instead.  Day 1 of our hike around both hell and paradise..

Better record these thoughts before they begin fading.  That’s the trouble with taking too long to write things down.  You remember what you did, but it’s hard to put your finger on how you felt.  I’ll do my best though as I attempt to recount our first day of trekking on Ilha Grande.

getting ready before the hike, machete in hand

getting ready before the hike, machete in hand

It was hot and humid outside and we got a late start.  There were still loose ends to tie and things to buy, a map of the island included.

We felt the full weight of our bags and the full threat of the son instantly and we met our first obstacle just a few minutes in.  A few boulders and mini waterfall separated us from our eestination and it took a few solid leaps to keep ourselves dry.

A few hours later seemed reasonable enough for lunch and we stopped for our first dosage of canned tuna fish and sweet corn.  What would have been our first celebratory lunch however was somewhat ruined by a drunkard who had the simultaneous effect of both sketching me out and pissing me off.  Not sure of his intentions, we were glad to have our machetes nearby.  Eventually he went on his way, and alas so did we.

Some more trekking brought us to our first of many beautiful beaches.  It was serene and empty with no people in sight.  We took a dip and I wandered to a seemingly private dock.  With two lounge chairs and a place to jump from into the water, I couldn’t resist.

Turns out it was private indeed, owned by a wealthy family from Rio who came to visit on the weekends.  I chatted with its caretaker who’s been at it for the last 17 years.  A real friendly guy with a decent grasp of English, he provided some cool insights into the island’s way of life.  He seemed to lead a pretty simple life himself, spending most of his days painting and reading.  His kids had it great as well, growing up on their own piece of paradise, snorkeling for dinner, diving off of cliffs, and hanging out on boats.

I can’t remember his name but he was more than hospitable.  He actually offered us a place to crash but it was too early on our trek for easy handouts and we opted for a glass of water instead.

corona commerical

corona commerical

Eventually the sky began to get dark and along with it began our search for a campsite.  We were still somewhat unclear about the rules for trekking around the island, but we got the idea camping was illegal and would take great pains all along our hike to conceal our ourselves.

We found a small beach, no more than 50 yards wide that seemed like a good enough place to camp.  But the sand seemed wet and lined with tiger like stripes so we got the impression high tide would pose a problem.  Stuart found a clearing on higher ground, which had seemingly been used for camping in the past.  It was the perfect spot with trees to conceal us and a beach to go swimming in.

Only problem was that we were two city kids and had no idea how to put the tent together in the dark.  The result was a lopsided mess but one that stayed up through the night.  And at the end of the day, that’s all we really needed.

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One Response to “Day 1”

  1. Marina May 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    by machete do you mean sword?

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