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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Ilha Grande

USA | Wednesday, 10 December 2008 | Views [1236] | Comments [3]

Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande

So the camera situation is taking longer then i thought. Its hard since our camera doesnt work with all computers, you need some extra software for PCs, none for macs.

So in the morning after our mangueira samba, we slept in until about 2 oclock. Laina and I headed out into Copacabana for a bite to eat(batatas fritas, french fries) and some coconuts to drink. We had to start packing our bags because tonight is our last night in rio de janeiro. After our last shower and packing our final things(sweet! everything fits!) we headed out to a part of rio called Santa Teresa, an old neighborhood, to go hear some samba music. We took the subway, which in Rio is brand spanking new, and got off near the capital buiding. All the streets of this area are cobblestone, and there is a very old feeling about, similar to some part of boston. we got a very old fashioned train that goes really slow. it is a kind of fun thing to do, take this train because it is very old, and rickety. There is a great view from the train, you can see alot of rio as we drove up on a high bridge, over the district of lapa, on our way to santa teresa. Once we got to santa teresa, we got off the train and headed to a little corner, next to the park, and there were tons of people, and loud, fun, samba funk jazz music playing. /it was dark, and there were many people standing and dancing and overflowing onto the street, it is funny because when a car passes through, it has to stop and wait for poepl to move, and everyone gives the car a hard time. After a little while of the music, we started walkking uphill and met up with some more brazilians and started walking towards the other samba bar. as we got closer to the other one, we could hear the loud singing and fun rythmic beat. I could already tell that these guys were really good. Their music had a distinct flamenco sound, because the guitarist was very eclectic and added his own sound. The singer is a girl, and she has a great voice she is singing in the melodic shout/chant of portuguese in the form of samba. At this bar, the greeks showed up with two of the brazilians we were hanging out with, and we all got some beer, and pizza, however we didnt sit down, to sit down it costs, 5R, and a round of beer, 3R, we went with the beer, and it is more fun to dance while eating anyways.After an hour or so, the samba band was done, and we went out to sit on the curb to eat some more. We were getting these pastries that have shrimp in them, and some with cheese, they are very good, and really go well with the beer. when sitting on the curb, i see a hundred people all around me all outside this restrant/bar where the samba was. every one is energetic, and i think that most are meeting each other for the first time. I see this alot in brasil, people will meet for a few minutes, and given that they speak one similar language between the two of them they will chat for a pretty long time, and it seems they will invite them somewhwere or intoroduce them to more friends. the people here are very friendly. I am sitting in a group of 9 people on the curb, and we are a very lively group, speaking mostly portuguese, and english. most of us are telling stories or planning our next trip to ilha grande, which 5 of the 9 people are going to. around midnight, the greeks head home to get a little sleep before our trip, and we head to lapa for some food. We walked to lapa, 30 mins, and got to see alot of the architecture of rio. It is very old, rubbley in some places, and alot of cobblestone. in lapa, we got hamburgers, juice, and fried cassava(like potatoes). and then headed home, because we realized if we want to go to ilha grande tommorow we need to be at the bus station at 4:30am. around 2 am we made it to the apartment, and did some final packing/reading /we cleaned up and then called a taxi. We vouched for the "no sleep" option before the bus. At 4 we took the bus to the station, since it was 4 am, the driver was able to go a normal pace, and still get there really quick, no traffic. At the bus station we met a girl from oregon who was also going to ilha grande by herself, and once the greeks and the brazilian showed up, she quickly joined our group.

     We got on the 5oclock bus to Mangaratiba. This town wil have the ferry to take us to Ilha grande. Once on the bus, I said bye Rio de Janeiro, a city i have truely learned to love, and will return to one day. It was night time as we left Rio, and I watched the city lights for an hour as we left the city. The city seemed to go on forever, similar to leaving NYC. eventually we got into a more mountainous region and saw many tropical plant and tall mountains instead of city. As the sun came up we were in a mountainy/coastal area, and it was very beautiful.the mountains here are very tall and very dramatic, almost liek the ones from Dr. suess. so as i looked at thje sunrise, i saw the ocean surrounded by these mountains, and it was spectacular. after 2 hours we rounded a mountain, and headed downhill into mangaratiba, a small fishing village on the water surrounded by mountains. we bought our tickets and one of the greeks and i waited by our bags while the rest went to the market to buy food for our trip. Soon after, we boarded the ferry and were off. The ferry was loud and vibrated strongly, almost to the point where my teeth fell out. The water was beautiful, I was Brown Boobies, the bird, and more frigate birds and a sooty tern. all the bird were fishing, there must be alot of fish. After 80 mins, we got to Ilha Grande.

Ilha Grande is an old pirate lair (the perfect place for us!!) you can tell why immediately. who wouldnt want to live here?! Im sure Pirates loved it. It is beautiful, mountinaous, totally tropical, and has many peninsulas, coves and beaches. I think that Ilha Grande is what you think of when you think tropical island rainforest/ awesome beaches. More so then Hawaii, Ilha grande is very dramatic, and the overall feeling is much more tropical. Once we got off, our brazilian did some negotionations, and scored us all a room for 20R each, 8$ per day. Quickly we headed our and met up with a friend of a brazilian friend, who is a tour guide and had the day off, and wanted to show us around. We headed to the closest beach, 15 min walk, and stopped at many places, like old buidings/ pirate prisons, and bana patches. the beach was great! the water was definatly colder then hawaii, but just as beautiful as the best. I went straight to sleep, considering i hadnt slept in 36 hours! When I woke, I went for a swim and then packed up to go to the river. We hiked into the rainforest, which is extremely thick, just like hawaii. and we headed to a fun little river opening and then to the ruins of an old aquaduct from the 1700s. When hiking back to town I heard somthing in the trees, a squirell? are there even squirells in south america?  a monkey!!! no way! yep, there were a family of 4 monkeysd running sround right above us, they were a little bigger then a squirell but 10 times cooler.I forgot monkeys were here! Then we got back home, took showers, napped, and went back out for the nightlife, and beer. btw. the beer here is not that good. it is very light, like bud light, but that is the only option. anyways we found out quickly that there is no night life here, and then went to bed for some more much needed sleep.

Today we went on a boat trip. The boat was a refurbished two masted schooner. and it had an engine, and no sails. /we had liek 35 people on board and alot of fun. We went snorkeling, and I saw many new fish  i have never seen. The coral here is much different, and I am happy to see it. Most of it is encrusting coral so it grows on the rock and not up like a plant. The are is amazing. Ilha grande is just like the island you see in tropical island pictures. Blue lagoons, tall mountians of rainforest, and coconut trees. The boat was a blast. I loved seeing the island from afar. Anywyas, tommorow we are going to hike 6 km to a beach on a well trodden path, so i hope we will have fun then. and I have heard rumors that tonight there will be a fun party on the beach!

P.S. I am in an internet cafe with an aweful keyboard. the backspace key kept getting stuck and deleting large chunks! very frustrtaing!!




You sure do keep me smiling! I look forward to coming home from an exhausting day at school to read your latest escapade! What an adventure. I just want to thank you both for having the energy and interest to keep us all entertained! I love you both. Keep safe! Love,

  Mommy Dec 10, 2008 2:35 PM


It seems that as long as you can do the Couchsurfing thing it might be safer than otherwise. I guess you were right there Laina. Anyway stay safe. Looking forward to seeing some pictures.

  Peter Seferovic Dec 11, 2008 12:50 AM


BTW, As you head south, don't miss the city of Porto Alegre. Porto Alegre is one of the most important cultural, political and economic centers of Southern Brazil. As I recall some 30 years ago, it was one of the places and surroundings I wanted to see. The vast majority of the population is of European descent.

  Peter Seferovic Dec 11, 2008 2:50 AM

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