Sand, Sea and Sunsets
07.08.2010 - 10.08.2010 27 °C
After our final and longest bus journey yet (30 hours!) we arrived in Rio. We only stayed the night though as the weather forecast was good for Ilha Grande (which is only 2 hours away from Rio), so we quickly made our way there for a few relaxing days on the beach!
Ilha Grande is an island off the coast South of Rio, which is covered in 'Atlantic Rainforest' and has loads of beautiful beaches. There is only one main 'town' on the island and no roads so many of the beaches are only accessable by boat or walking! We decided to treat ourselves and stay in a triangular shaped 'chalet' (christened "The Toblerone") which was set up on the hillside and surrounded by forest. The stupid thing was that this only ended up costing the same per night as a 9 bed dorm in Rio!
Our first day we decided to walk to a beach called 'Lopes Mendes' which was recently voted one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. There is no pier on the beach so the only way to reach it is by walking. It took us around 2 1/2 hours to follow the path through the forest. We spotted lots of tiny monkeys and Alex nearly stepped on a snake along the way!
It was worth the effort though because the beach was amazing, and not too busy (we managed to find a spot where you couldn't see anyone else!). Theres no buildings either so the scenery is completely unspoilt unlike a lot of places these days.
We walked back only as far as the next beach to catch a boat back to the main part of the island. We somehow managed to time it just right to see an amazing sunset from the boat! This was a real stroke of luck, as we don`t think it would have been possible to have seen it from the shore.
On our second day we followed a different trail that led to some natural pools in the forest and some ruins of a prison that was used in the 30s. The Prison had mostly been destroyed but the remaining building had been taken over by the forest, making it quite eerie. The rest of afternoon we spent on some smaller beaches nearer to the town, until it began to cloud over and eventually start to rain
We would have very happily stayed much longer on Ilha Grande, but the forecast was bad for the next few days and instead we headed back to Rio our final stop!