Ilhe Grande – so heavenly you grow wings…

Bingo wings in my case but you get the picture…

It nearly went very wrong… the hotel forgot to book our taxi, so after a pain staking 5mph chase (speed bumps – hundreds of em) after the coach (“follow that bus!” – “Que?”) ending in the cab driver screeching to a halt (who knew you could screech at 5mph) in front of the bus blocking the road and throwing open all the doors – bless him! We were on our way to Ilha Grande.

Two bus rides, and one catamaran later we arrived in gorgeous Ilhe Grande, a surprisingly pristine island considering it is only 2 hours from Rio.  It owes it’s tranquility to a dubious past as a pirates lair, then a leper colony and finally a prison – so development is slight and on many of the beaches there is nothing more than a beach hut selling coconuts.

Our lovely pousada was right on the main beach and the “town” is a tiny 4 or 5 streets with little bars and restaurants – totally different from commercial Buzios.  We only had 3 nights so spent the 2nd day on Praia Lopes Mendes – thought by some to be Brazil’s best beach.  It is a gorgeous curving white sand beach lined by jungle and high green hills.  To get there you take a boat then hike 20 minutes through the jungle.  Just stunning.

The next day we hopped onto a boat for the ride around the more remote islands and a stop at the Lagoa Azul.  The boat was a lovely old style schooner and stopped at several amazing little islands for snorkeling and swimming.

We had two of the best meals in Brazil – the first was a Moqueca – a Brazilian sea food stew that came in a clay pot the size of a football, full of prawns, fish, octopus and mussels.  Num Num Num!  The second – don’t laugh, was a kebab!  7 months without a kebab and god we enjoyed the dog-leg loveliness of a kebab and a few pints of beer.  The live band was playing Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc – a proper night out after all that Samba, Tango and Salsa!

If you ever go to Rio – don’t miss at least 1 night on this lovely island.

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One Response to Ilhe Grande – so heavenly you grow wings…

  1. yvoryan says:

    God that’s gorgeous. How can you bear to leave it and come back here?

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