islagrande

Where we're going, we don't need roads, Ilha Grande, Pt 2

(continued) Ilha Grande, Brazil-

We take off down the trail and encounter many wonders including an old, crumbling aqueduct. We circumvent a distressed, previously ignored rope barrier and walk up a steep narrow trail that winds up close to the jungle canopy allowing us to access the top of the aqueduct which we travel on for some time, before scrambling back down onto the trail.

Walking along the top of the aqueduct

We take another detour up a very steep trail, following a sign that says “CACHOEIRA” (waterfall in portuguese). We know we have to find a decent place to set up our tent before dark, but the waterfall calls us up and so we hike hike hike, sweating and sweltering in the hot Brazilian sun and it seems like the waterfall will never appear. And then suddenly in the distance we hear it, the sound of water hitting the rocks below at great velocity. 

We are so excited! We wade into the crystal clear pool of mountain water and treat ourselves to a waterfall hydro massage.

Hydro massage

Then we immediately started looking for a place to pitch our tent. With private beach after private beach it was looking bleak. We were worried about having no place and having to cave to some kind of expensive island hotel for the night. We pushed on and on and the more we pushed the further the sun fell in the sky. In the last minutes of the light we encountered the most perfect little cove inside of a patch of beach brush. It was right on the water and also just out of sight of anyone who walked along the shore. We were so delighted. We set up our tent and spent the next several hours swimming under the stars in the phosphorescent water before inflating our blow up mattress and retreating into our tent away from great swarms of brazilian bugs.

The next day we planned to hike to the Blue Lagoon, a paradisiacal destination several hours away. Plans, however, don’t always turned out as planned…

To be continued… 

Isla Grande, Colombia

Photo: Hotel San Pedro de Majagua

The last boat is getting ready to depart. The sunburned day-trippers climb aboard. The captain revs up the engine. Then they head off toward the mainland. But not you. You stand and wave as the wake waves rush to the beach. By the time the boat is out of sight, the water is calm, and you have a big smile on your face. You have an island (practically) to yourself.

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