Friday, February 24, 2012

The foresty and beachy Ilha Grande, if only we can stay longer

Leaving the exciting and magnificent Rio de Janeiro reluctantly, we went to Angra do Reis to catch the ferry to the island. With some directions from the information we sorted out that we should take a bus to the pier for the government ferry. Before we set off for the ferry, we had to repack our backpacks so that gears for winter and necessary for the hiking and camping were packed away and stored in the bus terminal storage service. It took quite some time. We also bought bus ticket from the bus terminal to Joinville, where our next host was.

When we got to the pier, a more beautiful sailboat without sail was taking mostly backpackers and getting ready to take off. I have the gut feelings that it was not that government ferry because it took no other goods but people. We walked further and found that government ferry waiting and the ticketing office had not opened yet. After an hour of waiting, when I bought beef, vegetable and kerosene for the camping, we were on the way to Ilhe Grande.

There are several hiking trails on the island. Rounding the island took four to five days. We were there only for two days and two nights (the only ferry left the island daily at 10am, it was a bit early that we could only stay out for one night and another one near the pier). When we reached the northern part of the island (Abraao, which was the center of the island), we headed straight to the southern part of the island, which was more deserted and away from crowd from the north. We planned that the trail, marked as medium level and took 2.5 hours, would bring us to the destination at 7 pm the latest. It was actually wide trail that even a truck could go alone, composed of only one uphill and one downhill section. The uphill was less slanted than I expected. However, with the still heavy backpack, M had a hard time to walk my speed. It was dark when we arrived the destination. A government guard stopped us from going further because no camping was allowed and the quota for entering the area was full. We were supposed to go back on the same route.

It was raining. It was dark. We were tired. We didn’t want to go back. So we kept showing that we did not understand what he said, dropped down the backpack and waited for what came next. Luckily that there was another guard coming to take us to an activity hall where we could set up our tent in a sheltered balcony. There was water and electricity (if only we had M’s electric stove). We made the beef, rice and the bamboo soot found by M on the way: because of the smoky stove the beef was not well made, the bamboo soot was bitter and the rice was ok.

a local fishing boat
The next morning at 6am we were awaken up by the same guard who observed us packing up and leaving, so we did within half and hour. We did not blame her because she gave us a good place to stay already. After having breakfast near a beach we went on another trail leading us to Paranoca, another beach on the south.

It was my first time in an south american forest. We were lucky that the trees were so high and we were shaded from the strong sun. There was not much tough terrace, except some less clear path. There were also streams for us to add water and rest. We have been scaring off many animals which moved too quickly for us to see. There was some howling sounds especially in valleys since we came to the island but we still did not figure out where it came from. 

After 4.5 hours, more than the map suggested (2.5 hours), we reached the Paranoca beach. It is a beautiful one with minimal people and also with campsite. We had lunch there and reluctantly left after 2 hours. If we had not bought any bus ticket we would have stayed there for a night.

We had to walk the same route back to the Abraao; 15 km to cover and we knew it would be dark when we got there. When we passed the village where we slept, we went in to local grocery store, also a bar and there we saw a cool woman who introduced us a place to stay for free. M liked her a lot because she looked just so cool. We had a set lunch made by her , gained energy and started our last 8 km back to Abraao.

picture taken by M@6am when bit by mosquitoes

our belonging on the beach
It was a tough walk for M, the torches were out of battery and we went slow. M felt sleepy and we walked even more slowly. When we arrived it was 2am. We found a beach and slept there. M learnt that sleeping on a beach at night was not a good idea with insect bites (she was still healing on two mosquitoes bites on her palms). I had been standing on my heavy backpack (more than double of M’s backpack) to wait for her and my feet hurt a lot on next day. Finally we caught the 10am ferry back to Angra.

the beach we slept on, still beautiful isn't it ?

Not counting the long and slow walk, I enjoyed the trials and the beaches a lot. If only I had more time to stay longer, I told myself next time I would sail to there and cover all trails there.

1 comment:

  1. LIFE is a journey, travel it well.

    May GOD guide and protect you and yours. May you have fruitful world tour, be safe! Enjoy!


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