ilha grande and not so much chill time

  • the port town before going to the island
  • carrying way too much
  • the small port town
  • my boat to the island
  • local rasta dude
  • the view from the hostel
  • lopes mendes beach
  • lopes mendes

After the last party in Rio, I decided I really need to get some quiet time and on Monday the 5th of October I headed out to Ilha Grande, home of what is supposedly one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, Lopes Mendes, and there's surf!

The hostel had an option where they could arrange a transfer to the island, for 65 reais, but being a cheap bastard, I opted to get there myself. Great decision. It cost me half of what the hostel wanted and it was great fun. First I headed out to the main bus station in Rio and then jumped onto a bus heading in that general direction. I told the bus driver I needed to get out at Caneicao de Jacarei and his answer was "Well, you'll have to keep reminding me." Great! So my plan to have a power nap on the bus was not gonna happen. A couple of hours later he pulled over on the side of the motorway and said it was time for me to get off. On the otherside of the highway there was sleepy little village along a bay. I asked around for a boat to the island and some locals pointed me to a scooner that would be leaving in half an hour. I was the only gringo on the boat and got chatting to one of the local rastafarians. The views of the other islands along the way were stunning.

When I arrived on the island I walked along the beach (with my 20 odd kgs of luggage) to the Che Lagarto hostel. This place had a beautiful setting with a bar and dining area overlooking the bay. After checking in I met up with Kuldip, a dude from the US, that I met at the hostel in Rio. A few of us went out for food and after that I headed straight to bed (about 9pm) to get ready for a full on day of surfing Lopes Mendes.

To get to Lopes Mendes you have to take a boat or take a 2 hour walk through the jungle. Carrying the board for 2 hours through slippery jungle terrain did not seem appealing, saw I took the boat. On the boat ride you got to see how lush and beautiful this island really is. The water was a turqoiuse colour that contrasted beautifully with the dark green jungle. After arriving at the port on the other side of the island, there was a 20 minute walk to Lopes Mendes through the rain forrest. Saw a few cute squirrel monkeys on the way out. As I stepped onto Lopes Mendes beach I realised why people rate this beach so highly. It is one of those beaches where the sand is almost white and it is so soft that it squeeks when you walk on it. The water again was a torquoise colour, unfortunately though, the surf was not great. I paddled out anyway. Caught a few average waves and then sat down for some food and a bit of a rest. In the afternoon the surf picked up and also cleaned up and I had a great session.

That evening I had dinner with Kuldip and Lisa, an Irish girl. Lisa cooked and dinner was great. After dinner there was a bit of a party vibe going on at the hostel next door, so we joined in the festivities - nopt exactly what I had come to the island for though! It ended up being one of those 3am sessions. That morning I headed out to Lopes Mendes again, and the surf this time was even smaller but still good fun. I spoke to a South African guy in the water who was part of a group of 8 South Africans travelling together who were all on the island. In the evening I met with some Irish girls I had met in Rio, and ended up partying again! While at the party I decided I had to leave the next morning because this island was not proving to be the chilled out environment I was desperate for. My next destination is a place called Trindade.