A Travellerspoint blog

Ilha Grande

Cocktails crabs and cuts

sunny 30 °C

What a eventful Island this turned out to be. After a short ferry crossing we arrived at the car-less, except for a fire truck and a rubbish cart, main village on the island. I got a lift with one of the cars but more on that later.
We had decided to camp on the island and soon found a site that would rent us a tent for not very much. We didn’t have any thing to lie on so the owner gave us a few blankets in the hope it was more comfortable than sleeping on the hard sand. It wasn’t but you soon get used to it. There was only two others camping, a Brazilian couple who were both veterans of the isalnd and the camp site. Carlos could speak English was happy to invite us for BBQ and some of his killer home made cocktails. It soon became apparent that he was after a drinking partner for the night and I was more than happy to oblige. Fuelled by his cocktails we all swapped stories and he was keen to show off his local knowlege of the island.
The campsite also had other residents. Land crabs the size of a clenched first with one massive claw and other smaller one. crab.jpgThey only came out at night and as it was mating season there were hundreds of the blighters! You could hear them scuttling about the tent at night, some trying to climb it. There was also a troup of wild but very friendly Marmosets. They ate fruit right out of your hand and played about the trees in the campsite. marmosets.jpgThe sea life was also very good. We snorkled with more turtles, fish of all colours and sizes and even a golden spotted konga eel.
The rest of the time on the island didn’t go to well, for me at least. On our last dive of the day my on going battle with plantlife was lost again. Those of you who remember me breaking my finger peeling an orange will have more ammunition to rib me with because this time a tree got me! A branch bending into the sea with clams covering it was over hanging shoal of fish. I swam under it to see them kicked out and sliced a very clean yet very deep gash in my heel. We were a hour from the village so the boat we were on called the ambulance to pick me up on arrival. Blood was flowing and It looked very nasty but it wasn’t all that painful. The rest of the boat were horrified and fasinated at the same time.
(Wanting a souvenior photo of his injury Dan made me take photos of him while he was still bleeding all over the boat - not winning me sympathetic girlfiend of the boat award! - Sue).
The ambulance turned out to be the fire truck. They gave me a lift to what was lovingly called a hospital but was Just a very small medical centre. The medi-ceter was only 200 meters from the port so the ride was swift. The fireman even stayed to see my wound. In fact during my stiches I had a small audience coming and going, having a look , a laugh but thankfully not a poke. It was bizzare but they got the job done. I became some what of a celebity on the island after that. People were even stopping at the campsite to see me.

Posted by DanSue 10:28 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Eventful bus journey and the cheese grater slide

overcast 26 °C

DSC02692.jpgWe ended up staying in Florianopolis for longer than we planned. We had a nice little apartment with our own kitchen just 2oom from the beach and just next to an estury running up from the sea. It was cheap and as we had our own kitchen we saved a bit of cash by cooking.

There was a 100 year old fig tree in the centre that they illuminated bright green at night.

We brought snorkels in the hope that we could find some good places to snorkel on foot. We walked many a mile and the best place was just where we were staying, although not that great really.

We took an eventful sleeper bus from here to Sau Paulo (12 hours). It started with a small child locking herself in the toilet at the back of the bus. Half the bus joined in the attempt to free her and in the end the driver had to be summoned to stop in a layby and 6 men went outside of the bus and studied it for some time, deciding that 2 of them should lift 1 up the bus who would reach through the window to unlock the door. The other 3 men were to play the important role of watching this manouver. They did this and it worked. Hooray! - as a child I got stuck in many a loo and can sympatise with this girl!

We then fell asleep, remarkably soundly for a sleeper bus to wake up a few hours later to find that we were stopped on the side of the road and the bus was half empty. It turned out we'd broken down and the driver had been flagging down buses heading to Sau Paulo to put people on. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long before we were also herded onto another bus going past and amazingly even our luggage made it through the transition. Before leaving our bus I braved the toilet, only to find that the light had broken and I had to navigate a well used bus loo in the pitch dark - at least I didn't get locked in!

We even arrived in Sau Paulo not long after we'd been expecting to get in. After 41/2 hours at the bus station and another 6 hour bus journey we arrived in Paraty, 24 hours after we'd left.

DSC02667.jpgIt's really nice here in Paraty. It's old and small and has lots of cobbled streets. The Belgium guy who owns the guest house we're staying in once went for a job in Farnborough - small world! We're only staying here a couple of nights as we're heading to an island that has an interesting history. It was a pirates lair, then a leppar colony, then a prison. We're hoping to hire a tent and spend a few days camping and snorkelling.

DSC02676.jpgWe've just been to a natural slide, which is a 30 foot rock which a gentle waterfall passes over. Dan went down many times, but when I went I got swept slightly to once side where the rock surface is slightly less smooth - like riding a cheese grater! Alas I only managed one trip down.DSC02689.jpg

Posted by DanSue 11:11 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)


sunny 27 °C
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...or Folioloilopolis as we keep calling it! Our skills at mastering Portuguise (and spelling) even extend to place names.


We spent 2 days at the Iguacu falls on the Argentina/Brazil boarder. They were amazing. We spent the first day on the Argentine side where we took a boat trip up the river and got soaked. The boat takes you right under some of the falls (Thank's Just Advocacy, as this is what I spent my leaving present on!). The sun wasn't out this day so it took us a long time to dry out. It's strange that as you approach the water from the falls, the spray feels warm, that is until you're soaked in it and speeding off again in a boat.


We walked up to the part of the falls that they call devils throat, due to the amount and speed of the water coming over it. The story says that the river was once calm. The tribe who lived there used to sacrifice women to their God and one day the boyfriend of one of the women ran away with her so she wouldn't be sacrificed. The God was angry so he turned the woman into a rock, the guy into a tree and stirred up the river, creating Devil's throat. The Geologists story is that it was plate tectonics...


The second day we spent on the Brazillian side. There are these Swifts swallows_iguacu.jpgthat live behind the falls and we were lucky enough to see a flock of them flying in and then out from behind the falls. Don't know how they manage to fly through the water.


We got a sleeper bus last night to Florianopolis. The cheaper buses don't have fully reclining seats so a bit tired today. Ah, the joys of sleeper buses - The last one we got, we managed to get the seats directly over the wheel which was far from a restful night.

There are a lot of beaches here, where we hope to go snorkling.

Posted by DanSue 10:44 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Sau Paulo

sunny 26 °C
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DSC02492.jpgLast week we spent learning to dive in Arraial do Cabo. We stayed in the dive resort, which also seemed to be our instructors house. When we arrived he had a hareem of 4 women staying with him and as he put us up in what appeared to be his bedroom, it appeared that alas he had to bunk in with these 4 women.

There were loads of dive schools in Arraial doi Cabo, but we managed to pick the one that was some guys house with a little open top motor to carry all the diving gear that stalled everytime it stopped and stuff fell of it at every bend. It was very friendly though and we now have our Padi's.

We arrived in Arraial do Cabo on the Monday at lunchtime and immediately went to a hotel pool the size of our lounge back home and had our first lesson all scuba'd up with 2 hotel guests at the other end of the pool. The main difficulty I had was in not realising this tiny pool had a deep and shallow end and so had to ask why I kept sinking and floating when I swam at the bottom. Dan tried to blow up his life vest with air from his lungs rather than fill it from the tank from the bottom of the pool. So having mastered all of this the following 2 days we spent diving in the ocean with Marcello (our instructor) and then the final dive alone.

There's loads of aquatic life. I just wish I knew what a lot of it was. We saw turtles, which was very exciting, rays, puffer fish, scorpion fish, conga eels, spider crabs and a crab that looked like a clam with little yellow legs.

It also rained a lot here. We caught the bus back to Rio and spent a night there in a hotel where the guy behind the desk spotted I was English and was very pleased to tell us that he could speak in an American accent. He spent the next ten minutes saying bottle of water in an American accent until some other guys came to check in and we made our escape. DSC02509.jpg

On Thursday after a 7 hour bus ride from Rio we arrived in Sau Paulo, the business capital of Brazil. Lots of skyscrapers and city types, so naturally with my pink crocs and Dan's bleach stained shorts we blend right in.

The main problem I'm having in Brazil is that when the pavements get wet, my crocs turn into ice scates, and as several people wash their section of pavement daily I'm slipping and sliding my way round. So far I've only ended up on the floor once!

Slowly we're picking up a few words of Portugeuse, but gestures remain our staple language. We've taken to pointing to other's meals in cafe's to order our food. The people are really helpful and seem to find us quite amusing.

This evening we take a sleeper bus to the Iguacu falls (15 hours).

Brazillian Big Brother appears to dominate the headlines of most of the national newspapers.DSC025071.jpg

Posted by DanSue 07:56 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)


sunny 31 °C
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DSC02395.jpgDSC02362.jpgDSC02389.jpgRio is becoming one of my fovorite cities. It's hot, humid, everones skin is some where in the spectrum of brown and women waer jeans so tight around the arse that they can bend time. Yes Rio is for me! The poeple, music and views all combine to give a certain fizz to this tropical town. I know it's our first stop and I am aware that beneath all this beauty lies the ever present dark underbelly of adject poverty but Rio is still amazing. The beaches are always full of scandalusly underdressed people, even for the beach, and the city streets are not much different. This look isn't exculsive to the young and well toned, every one seems to get into the act. The first time you see a 70 year old woman with a plunging cleavage as low as the Tropic of Capricorn it can take you a while to adjust. Men can also be found wondering the city streets with just speedos on. I've not tried that my self and I don't think Sue plans to "Go Rio" and sport a teeny weeny bikini (shame) on our way to buy some bread.
The biggest problem is the Language barrier. We get buy with a phrase book and the odd mime or two but can can be difficult.
I can't wait to see the rest of Brazil but I think, as cities go, Roi will be hard to top. We are heading out of Rio tomorrow to learn how to dive. It'sw not the best place to dive, the cold Atlantic waters seem to keep the fish very plain looking, but there is pleanty to see and once we quallify we'll be able to dive in other parts of the world.DSC02478.jpg

Posted by DanSue 09:30 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

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