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Falling in love with Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande

BRAZIL | Monday, 25 May 2015 | Views [93] | Scholarship Entry

After I broke up with my boyfriend and all the plans we had together were vanished I found myself not knowing what to do with my life. Trying to recover the lost happiness I decided to take and go to Brazil: my plans were to travel from Sao Paulo to Rio passing through Ilha Bela, Paraty and Buzios, but somebody suggested me to visit Ilha Grande. “You are going to like it”, a friend told me.
The encounter with the island was that intense that after a week there I decided to quit my job and stay. I spent seven months in that natural reserve island in Brazil and the experience changed my life and brought into my life again the meaning of life and the happiness.
¿What was it? The mountains, the howler monkeys you can see sometimes jumping in the bushes, the clear water, the rays, the turtles… It is one of those places that you see in the movies and wonder if they really exist. Well, this one does exist and it is located three hours from Rio de Janeiro by bus plus an extra hour by boat from Angra dos Reis.
In Ilha Grande there are no cars so you don’t breathe its pollution. Everybody walks or travel on boats. Only the police have a car: golf one that can only be driven in two roads… the rest are too small for cars. This is a place for animals and people, not for machines.
This island with 130 km. Of coast and more than a 100 beaches of different colors is the perfect place for the people who are running away from stress or from sadness. Lopes Mendes a 3 km. beach of white sand is so joyful to walk that is very probable that you will leave you sadness, as I did, on every step.
That is why it is no strange in Ilha Grande to find professionals who decided to change and have simpler lifestyles. Lawyers, bankers, nurses, journalists… all of them living with flip flops and without shirts.
That is another world. One that welcomes guests warmly, a place so calm that is hard to get away from it. That is why Ilha Grande is also known as the graveyard of the sailors, as many of them get trapped by its charm and forget about the rest of their trip. They usually get anchored in this paradise, fascinated by its beauty.
There is something magical in this island. Maybe it is the mountains , the Papagaio peak, the second highest of the island, 982 meters above sea level, from where you can see the roofs of Rio de Janeiro. Or maybe it is the waterfalls, like la Feiticera.
¿Life changing? After 7 months in the island I decided to dedicate my life to the environment.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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