Boat tour of Ilha Grande
It’s not a proper holiday without some rest and relaxation. Having completed two big hikes, Eliza and I decided to spend the day on a boat tour of Ilha Grande. We didn’t have anything booked ahead of time, but as there are tour operators every few feet, we figured we could easily snag a tour the morning of. This proved to be partially true; it turns out that these guys are all middlemen for the exact same boats! Additionally, it being the week between Christmas and New Years, a lot of the boats were already full. However, we managed to get tickets on a speed boat tour of six beaches. That works!
First stop on the tour: gelo! It was literally a boat in the harbor selling ice to all of the boats passing by. Next stop, the beer boat! Pretty cool setup, if you ask me. Then we hit the sea! We stopped at beaches on the western coast of Ilha Grande, including Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Verde, and on the way back, Saco do Ceu. I can’t remember the names of the other three, but trust me, it’s impossible to go wrong in this place.
It was nice to have a variety; in some places we would just jump into the ocean and swim by the boat, some had coves for snorkeling, and on others we would dock close enough to the shore to hang out on the sand.
There were about 15 people on the speed boat tour, but as I’ve noticed with a lot of group tours, everyone was pretty quiet at first, just speaking with the people they came with. That was certainly the case for me, as I didn’t speak Portuguese! Eliza kindly translated the boat driver’s instructions (“Hold on to your hat!”). Eventually though, people started to mingle. As it turned out, one of the guys, Pablo (from Argentina), spoke perfect English and joined in our conversation. As more people started warming up, it became apparent that several others spoke English as well. (Which was nice for me, but it was one of the many times I wished I were fluent in additional languages!). In addition to Pablo and his friends from Argentina, there was another group from Brazil, and two couples from Denmark and Germany. Everyone got along great! By the time lunch rolled around we were all exchanging stories and cracking up around the table.
Eventually, the the sun began to set and we made our way back to Abraao.
We made plans with our new friends to meet up later in the evening for drinks on the beach (along with our pal Ryan who had gone hiking that day). Afterwards, Eliza, Pablo, Javier, and I decided to hang out on the main square and listen to some live music. The live music on Ilha Grande has been consistantly great, and that night was no exception. The crowd was really into it, with a few people dancing, and everyone singing along. Another constant? Wonderwall! The Brazilians seem to love Oasis, as I swear that I heard a cover of Wonderwall at least 3 times during my short stay in Brazil. No complaints from me though; I love Oasis, and it’s always nice when you know the words!