Ilha Grande

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Ilha Grande, the "large island" is along the southeastern Brazilian coast from Rio de Janeiro, about 3 hours on a bus followed by 2 hours on a boat. It is somewhat off the beaten track, perhaps due to its remoteness, but it is a very beautiful tropical island with jungle, beaches, snakes and caiprinhas. The main town, Abrao, has around 2000 inhabitants.

Ilha Grande was our first stop in Brazil after visiting Rio, we spent two nights in this sun-soaked paradise. There are no roads on the island and very few offroad vehicles, so to get anywhere it's either by boat or on foot. The island is about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide, we walked back to Abrao from Lopes Mendes beach, and were lucky to get back before nightfall as it took a lot longer than we'd expected.


The village of Abrao, buried in the Brazilian jungle. The mountains in the distance rise to almost three thousand feet, and the big rock on the horizon reminded me of Monkey Island.

Our hostel was as idyllic as we could ever have imagined, right on the water with the jungle out the back.


LOPEZ MENDEZ!!! cough cough

Lopes Mendes beach is probably the most famous on Ilha Grande, we took a boat round the island one morning and spent most of the day there, attempting and failing to surf, playing sumo and getting sunburnt.

Our walk back from Lopes Mendes to Abrao took us quite high up over the island, and took about two and a half hours. We nearly ran out of water and arrived just as it was getting dark, a good thing as we had no torches and the footpaths certainly aren't lit!


Window on the world

In the hostel we would sit in the courtyard next to this view and eat watermelon and pineapple for our breakfast - pure tranquility.

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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2006