Visa, accepted everywhere

18 Apr

God created the world in 6 days. Stuart and I trekked Ilha Grande instead.  Day 4 of our hike around both hell and paradise…

We woke up to a most uncomfortable morning, with cramps and knots and about fifty mosquito and ant bites all over my body.  It looked like I had chicken pox all over again.

And with that marked the beginning of day four, the hardest day of the trip for me.  With practically no sleep between us, we set out again hoping that our backpacks would be a bit lighter.  We’d eaten a good portion of our food and stopped that day to eat the last of the canned food (the heavy stuff)!.  But the bags never seemed to get lighter and it was only our shoulders which got sorer.

Day four also marked another visit to a fancy pousada.  We were short on water again and it was the only place in town to take cards.  It could have been a script for a visa commercial.  Short on water and on cash, over-heating in the sun and desperate for a drink, visa saved the day when we bought about 6 bottles of water each. We took a break there as well and shared a cheap meal between the two of us.

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The owners took a liking to us as well and stuffed our pockets with much needed fruits, cakes, and crackers.

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Afterward, we embarked on a long hike up a vacillating trail that would take us to the other side of the island.  Finally, after 4 days of working our way south, we would get to see the east side of the island.

Clearly it was not a popular route.  Tagged at over three hours, the trail was steep and full of spiderwebs and dense forest.  Just a few steps would drench us completely in sweat.  It was a tiring hike and eventually there is nothing to do but retire into your own mind, while your legs keep on moving.  I only snapped out of it when a tree branch in front of me revealed itself to actually be a snake.  I jumped back with my hiking stick in a spear-like stance, ready to thwart it away.  Happy with my reflexes, I carried my machete and walking stick side by side for the rest of the day!

The next beach we saw was beautiful.  One of our favorites for sure.  It was made even more so because it was at the end of such a grueling day.  The town was a fishing village set on the far side of the island.  It was small and simple, but quiet pleasant.

We knew we had to keep going to make camp before dark, but we couldn’t resist taking a prolonged break and ejoying the gorgeous beach.

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On ahead we went until we got to Aventuriera, a beach at the end of the ecological preserve that proved to be just as beautiful.  As night set, we darted around the darkness in search for a stealthy place to pitch a tent.  We considered another rock but this time it was more like a cave than a den, and I wasn’t in the mood to be woken up by any wild animals five days into the trip.

I had a headache by now, probably from dehydration and over-heating.  I also got the idea that the headache might mean I caught dengy fever, an idea confirmed by the mosquito bites all over my body.

We wandered around for a while and finally settled on a plot of beach that seemed far enough away from the water to keep dry during high tide.  We hoped our tent would look like just another rock in the dark and we got to work.

We dug a hole in the ground, a place for our fire where we could keep it clandestine and hidden from view.  And we did it.  Somehow, two urban kids managed to build a pretty decent fire and we got to enjoy some pasta and sausage.  Carrying logs of firewood halfway across the island had finally paid off.

Tent building was still a catastrophe though and a gentle reminder that we were still two urban kids and no woodsmen.  That night would be an improvement from the homelessness of the night before, but only marginally as we were still freezing cold and somewhat wet as well.

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