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  • Writer's picturePaula Cooper

16 November Rio de Janeiro to Ilha Grande Brazil: Impossible Interesting Idyllic

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Last look at the far less busy beach; roads back in action as we breakfasted and finished packing.

Collecting a few more passengers the minibus wended its way navigating Rios morning traffic. Flavelas hugging the hillside, the city merging with the high rise, military buildings and the odd ornate ancient Portuguese edifice, all interspersed with bay sand lagoons; very pretty.

The highway surrounded by La Paz style construction giving way to large hills and farms; too bumpy to capture. I must have snoozed as we suddenly are turning for the coast! No, just bathroom break!

Lovely winding coast road circumnavigating bays rivers and towns all with flavela style clad hills. How the buildings stay or are built i don’t know. There appears to be no roads just steps! Arriving at the port, a beautiful bay for our ride to the island.

An impossibly small motorboat, somehow squeezing a mass of people shopping cases pushchairs and bikes, left late and arrived early at Abraão, capital of Ilha Grande. An even tinier boat awaited to take us and our precariously balanced cases to the jetty of our guest house, rooms terraced up the far side of the bay.

Welcome water consumed we managed to get the ac going to begin to cool our room; the bed over the bathroom in the mezzanine! Interesting set-up.

Still extremely sandy suit found we tried the canoe, the out rigger so helpfully stabilising as we paddled round the bay. A leap off the jetty for a bay swim, water warmed only at the surface, salty and serene, only hazard the seagulls and other boats; quite idyllic.

Drying off as the afternoon haze settled, the humidity rose I proposed a walk to town. Too long in the shower meant we took the guest house taxi boat across the bay instead! Lovely breeze, humidity less on the water and strangely in town. Vegan Brazilian banana stew, really nice sitting by candle light on the beach overlooking the harbour; lovely (my turn to choose better!) Glad I brought a torch; aged eyes! Wandering through the streets we found the church, service in flow and a self service ice cream parlour!

Texting as to the whereabouts of the boat-taxi back, they said it’s coming! Let us know your return, before you leave; we did. Island time and the barman needed to finish closing up; it wasn’t very late. We did get to see the beach fire-eater at the restaurant we ate at though!

Passing the dinning area, a large group a fellow guests were still eating, I guess the staff leave relatively early and arrive later in the morning. Yet another interesting setup! Nice to escape (only somewhat) Rio’s oppressive heat, humidity and mass of humanity.

Last beach views from 22th floor

Impossibly laden schooner ride to Ilya Grande from mainland Angra dos Reis

View from Pousada Asalem hill side guest house

(Bay; decking; bay again; canoe with stabilising outrig)

Abraāo at night

(Dinner on the beach Caipirinha cocktail; church, corniche; Instagram point; more beach front; help your self ice cream or coffee; fire eater at the restaurant we ate dinner at from pier)

Simon's photos to follow or replace mine!

We stayed at Pousada Asalem, Ilya Grande, Brazil

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