During our research months we had stumbled across a beautiful little island just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and it was a place neither of us were to prepared to miss off! So after the madness of 10 days in Rio we were so excited to hit the beaches of Ilha Grande.
The bus transfer was supposed to pick us up at 7am but appeared at around half 8 (a bit of a relief actually as we both had bad bellies). We were bundled into a mini bus with a group of noisy British lads. Driving outside of Rio it became so clear to us how much poverty there is in Brazil- there was favela after favela. It’s shocking how some people live. Arriving at the port we were asked to follow a young lady, so bags on walking in the blistering heat we made our way to the speedboat!
The boat took just 25 minutes and the views were amazing, even though it was quite overcast! Thankfully ben didn’t feel too poorly on the boat either! Although I did worry him when I started telling him about my escape route if the speedboat capsized 😂.
Upon arriving in the beautiful Ilha Grande we were stunned by the beauty of the island. Bright blue waterF the greenest forestry and huge mountains. It was a lot bigger than we would have imagined but the majority of the island is uninhabited and is thick rainforest – so cool!
We got off the boat and headed to CLH apartments! We knew it was a 15/20 minute walk from the port but we underestimated how difficult it would be with all our bags and walking on the beach in trainers! After swapping trainers for flip flops we finally found the correct road for our apartments. That’s when the heavens opened but unfortunately we still hadn’t managed to locate the actual place!
When we finally found it we were greeted with a young Brazilian who didn’t speak a word of English so google translate swiftly came out and we were told we couldn’t check in until 5pm!
We were able to dump our bags in our room so we did before we headed out to grab some lunch! There were some amazing beach restaurants and one took our ranch with parasoles right by the waves. We decided we would have a ‘small lunch’ as we fancied BBQ that evening but after seeing the menu we decided on fish pieces, rice, chips, beans and salad (standard Brazilian food). This was the first proper bit of fish we had and it lived up to expectation – it was so fresh and tender! Not quite such a small lunch as we’d anticipated.
After a few hours chilling out on the beach, narrowly missing the tide coming in around our ankles we decided to explore our new home for the next few days. We came across a tour operator office and spoke to a man called George who was promoting sunrise hikes! Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE SUNRISES/SUNSETS! Ben wasn’t quite so sure when he asked George ‘are there spiders on the hike?’ And he responded with ‘Yes, big ones, small ones, many ones’- EEK! Taking George’s number we headed back to the apartment discussing the idea of the hike!
Later that evening we decided to venture out for dinner and it absolutely TIPPED it down on the way! TORRENTIAL rain… little did we know a lot more was to follow!
We both really fancied pasta after seeing a couple with some on the beach that afternoon so we found a gorgeous little italian. We sat down and saw someone with a glass of red wine, so randomly we decided we were going to have a bottle of red between us! Something we’ve never really done tbh! Neither of us are wine drinkers (for various reasons 🙄😂) but we really fancied it. A lady on her own sat next to us and ordered the lasagne and when it came out it was HUGE! so we decided to order one to share. It was so gooey and really yummy!
We had a wonderful first evening on Ilha Grande 💞🍷