The "Pretty" Big Island - Tofino 20 years ago
24.12.2009 - 26.12.2009 32 °C
Ilha Grande – Island Tour
What a way to spend Christmas Eve – sunny skies, blue waters, speed boat and five great snorkelling and beach adventures. That basically sums up our day. We toured the island on a catamaran with 13 Brazilians and us Canucks. The folks on the boat were so friendly trying to help us interpret our guide, from ordering our lunch, to telling us how long we had at a particular island. However, the most useful tip was at our first stop. We were walking up a path towards this great cliff to jump off the rocks and started going the wrong way. Our guide saw us taking the wrong turn and the fellow passengers started shouting at us. I had started to scramble across the face of one rock and Darwin had to slowly guide me backwards before I ended up face planting on the rocks below. That was a good way to get the adrenaline flowing at the start of the day. We managed back okay and found the right path and enjoyed the beautiful view from above.
Darwin was a trooper snorkelling today. He started to find his groove a few times and then would try swallowing the ocean by turning his head too far in a particular direction and find his snorkel under water whilst trying to breathe....not a good idea. In fact, the manoeuvre was breathtaking (ha ha).
The places we visited are as follows going in clockwise direction around the island, for those of you trying to follow us on google earth:
Started at Abraao (main port on the island)
Caxadaco was our first stop (the rock climbing adventure but a beautiful lagoon if you ever make it this way.)
Dos Rios was our next stop, a beautiful beach that had a small church and a fresh water stream that emptied to the ocean.
Parnaioca was our next stop. This was a beautiful location that had a few beach front bars (two huts with a cooler with beer@ $1.50 USD) and is a popular hike on the island. Mind you it’s much easier to go on a boat cruise like us than walk 8 hours to get to this location. It certainly was pretty but not earth shattering. Darwin was getting pretty comfortable in the water and decided to dive off the boat. Once he surfaced I noticed his sunglasses were missing. After a few minutes I located them and dove down to the bottom to retrieve them for him (ok it was only 8 feet, but sounded better without giving you the depth).
Meros was our next stop known for the good diving of this species of fish. Darwin had a great snorkelling adventure here. Once again beautiful turquoise waters.
We checked out Lagoa Verde (green lagoon) for the sea turtles and then headed to Praia de Longa to feed some fish. This was a hoot. These little guys jump right out of the water to get a piece of cracker. So I jumped in and tried it myself. It was neat. What is cool about this place is the floating bar in the middle of this little bay. Darwin and I wanted to stop and check it out but the boat didn’t stop there. We joked if we came back with Darcy and Bill, this would be a definite stop.
We then ordered lunch from the boat and headed to another beach for lunch but can’t remember the name. It was cool to have Christmas eve lunch on the beach, but the food was not memorable. Then stopped at blue Lagoon for a quick dip and then back to Abraao. We left at 09:30 and returned at 19:00. The guide who arranged our tour was waiting at the dock for us as he was trying to arrange a sail for us on December 26 to Paraty.. He left his family Christmas Eve dinner to inform us this would not work but he did find us a Pousado to stay while visiting Paraty. So we will meet up with him tomorrow morning to make final arrangements. Talk about great service. For anyone travelling to this area, the manager (Rudolfo) of the Sudoeste SW Tourismo office (www.sudoestesw.com.br) is exceptional. He has provided us with restaurant recommendations, tour ideas, fin rentals, accommodations in Paraty and speaks excellent English. This guy knows the service industry.
So now for all you youngsters who might be reading (or the young at heart) please know that here they have Parrot Mountain. This is a disguised name. For in fact this is Mount Crumpet – South. When you see the pictures posted you will note that Max the dog would have a much tougher time holding the Grinch`s sleigh on the leaves of the trees than the hard ice of the real Mount Crumpet. Nevertheless the people of Abraao have found what their solution is to keep the Grinch at Bay is to not sleep on Christmas Eve. Undoubtedly the Grinch will find another community or several to find children who have not been nice at Christmas (you can take the snow and ice away from Darwin during Christmas, but not the Grinch spirit as he has always been afraid of green monsters).
We are now back at our room and we are both feeling the sunburns today. We decided to have dinner at 21:00 but all the restaurants are closing early tonight. So we found a dessert stand and bought two plates of lemon meringue pie and we still have a bag of chips back at our room. What a yummy dinner this will be. Lorraine, we are thinking of your great Christmas Eve dinner tonight and wishing we were there. But hey we can’t complain about a great day.
Merry Christmas Eve everyone. We hope to find internet tomorrow so we can post some of this information and a few photos for you to enjoy.