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Pizzas eaten x 2

Beers drunk x 15

Arguments x 0

Miles trekked = loads

Ihle Grande is a four or five hour bus journey from Rio. You can find the bus easily from the terminal in Rio for around £30. The journey is breathtaking, winding down the coast to Angra dos Reis, where you get the ferry crossing, shared with locals and their shopping. On arrival, in our case in torrential rain, you move across the board walk on to the beach front, where you will find cafe’s and surf shops. We stayed in a great little hotel run by a guy called Ralph, the hotel was called Tagomago. Ralph was very enthusiastic and on our first evening cooked for us and the other 9 guests in the hotel. Evening meal isn’t usually provided but Ralph just likes to cook and on evenings when you can’t leave your hotel due to heavy rain it gives him a great excuse, and he makes a mean pasta, and serves great Argentinean wine. You have to pay though, in our case about £40. He spent the evening telling us of his plans to build floatels on the water just off the beach, and how he was once a famous DJ, with Sven Vath. The Island is a tropical paradise and although we had landed in a flood of rain by the third day we were in our shorts and flip-flops. There is some great trekking around the island to secluded beaches, we walked for about four hours to find our beach, not a person in view just some huts for the locals to live in and some stringy dogs. We found a rope swing that gave us great amusement for twenty minutes, even greater amusement was the locals dogs getting involved whilst Vickie was swinging they started ragging the bottom of the swing like a chew toy and Vickie screamed as she was bounced around on the now canine powered swing.

In the evening you can sit on the beachfront in shaded restaurants listening to locals play acoustic music on their guitars, whilst eating great Brazilian food and drinking large bottles of beer (to be clear we were eating the food and drinking not the local musicians). Or you can slum it in town eating large wood oven cooked pizzas, but you sit in what looks like a large tent on plastic garden chairs. Saturday night we decided to do the English thing and party. The Brazilian drink Caipirinha is a mixture of paint stripper and the clear liquid you get on the top of old milk. To make it palatable they crush some limes and ice in to it. This then transforms this tropical juice in to a passive moon shine that tastes like lime flavoured bile. We had three or four and the effects lasted for about an hour. Saturday night in Ihle Grande is festival time with local bands playing great Brazilian music (I think) so the town square was buzzing with life. The smell of German style sausage whirled round the crowded square as it was smoked on a large grill over hot coals. We danced like the locals (or so we thought) then all of a sudden we were sober (ish)! Weird local booze!

It felt like we had found a little piece of heaven here on the island though and the Saturday helped ease us in to the travel life. On our final day Vickie’s badgering convinced me to trek over the Island jungle to the waterfall. We had tried to make the trip on our first full day but the path across is also a stream when the rain comes, and I suggested we terminate our wander before we became the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary, it had stopped raining for now but more was due. Yet again the walk (trek) lasted for about three hours before finally finding the other side of the island and the way down the jungle to our destination. It’s worth the trek, a great movie- scene waterfall with a pool. I declined jumping in through fear of jungle critters eating my feet, so just stood and took photos. We left after four days, we could have stayed longer, the place was heating up and I wanted to turn the colour of my milky skin. But another great beach destination was calling – Paraty.

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