Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lost on Ilha Grande

I wasn't ever, actually, lost.

But Ilha Grande could just as well have been The Island--the trails, the beaches, the rocks.

I could have been lost, if I had chosen to include hiking one of the many jungle trails over the mountainous terrain in my list of activities. But I did not. No, my activities were restricted to boat rides, beach days, snorkeling, swimming, and body boarding. (I made a whimper of an attempt at surfing, but quickly discovered that I am neither strong nor nimble enough for it. But heck, it's good to have goals!)

Well, there was that mini-trek to arrive at the stunning Lopes Mendes: a 30-minute boat ride followed by a 30-minute trail that ends...

(I could just hear the exploring and traveling theme from the show in my mind!) this glorious, pristine beach with crackly, crisp white sand and postcard-perfect water.

Out looking for the Statue of Taweret

A bit geeky, I realize, but I entertained myself many times during my stay daydreaming myself into scenes, imagining funny dialog and episode references in my head. Luckily, I met another solo traveler and fellow Lostie--the Argentinean Guillermo--with whom I was able to share all the silly sitcom banter on the last day. I was terribly annoyed, though, that I forgot my camera that day, because we spotted a Charlie Pace ringer on the boat to Lopes Mendes and a perfect John Locke seated Indian-style on the beach, staring contemplatively at the sea. (Honestly! At least I had a witness to those surreal sightings.)

Vitor and Aní (Thank you!)

I stayed at the Biergarten Hostel. Vitor, its owner, is pleasant, helpful, resourceful, and fun. His girlfriend Aní is delightful and makes some mean breakfast cakes! I really appreciated their friendliness and welcoming nature (as well as the others: Reneido, Leandro and Alex). Moreover, the location was perfect, the place was clean, the bed was far more comfortable than usual by hostel standards, and the restaurant is the best bargain I found in Vila do Abraão. Highly recommended!

Aní, Guillermo, and the uber-entertaining Scottish Katie

Lastly, here are some outtakes that pretty well sum up life on the island.

A street sign marks a sandy path in Vila do Abraão

So small, that the CEP (Código Endereço Postal, or zip code) is 00000-000, but they've included it anyway!

Vitor and Ani suggested I go live there for a while--the islanders need teachers. It's a thought worth entertaining.