Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day 40 (four to go) - Paraty - Ihla Grande

Woke up in a relaxed mode in my Poussada in Paraty. No real panic (I thought) to get anywhere. I had a nice breakfast talking to my host (the ex project manager guy) and two guests from Paris. We had one of those great conversations you can only have with football fans. Why did Brazil lose so badly? Are Germany that good? Yes, Forest won the European Cup TWICE, more than Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Man City, Newcastle, Everton and Leeds put together.

After three nice coffees and some typical Brazilian breakfast I paid up and walked into town to the bus station. The next bus to Angra dos Reis came around noon.

Waiting for a bus to Angra

I was told the journey would take about an hour so I thought i'd get to the port to catch the daily boat (2pm) to my particular destination easily. Unfortunately, not. The bus took about two hours and by the time I got to the dock it was obviously too late. After a bit of confusion I eventually got on touch with the Pousada and my boat trip was arranged for 5pm.

So, off I went to a restaurant to have some nice fish and a bottle of wine.

It gave me chance to get on line and catch up with facebook etc.

So, as I write this, it's dark and grey, raining and windy. Not really looking forward to going over to the island right now, but I'm committed.

Agra Dos Reis

Nice fish and wine

Well, the arranged boat trip didn't happen. I waited where I was told to wait but nobody, least of all "Joao", turned up. The thought crossed my mind to abandon the whole Ihla Grande idea - Simon had advised me not to go anyway. But the alternative seemed worse so I decided to get the next boat to the island anyway and try to find somewhere there.

Actually I only had an hour to wait and I managed to go on line and book a place straight away.

Soon enough I found myself in a rather tiny, inflatable speed boat bombing along the waves, in the dark, being battered by needle-like rain drops in my face, thinking "what the hell am I doing?" before arriving at the place I was advised not to go to: Abraao.

As always, the place was better than I was led to expect and I quickly dashed to my place absolutely soaked to the bone. After a bit of confusion with the (it has to be said) very unfriendly reception guy (he showed not the slightest compassion even though I'd obviously just got off the boat soaking wet) - he would have turned me away back into the rain if I hadn't shown my confirmation email. Suddenly "Nao tenom lugar" became "here's your key, sir"

Anyway once I got in I realised practically all my clothes, but thankfully not the Surface Pro, had got soaked. No, the pousada has no hair drier or iron, so I had to create a makeshift clothes line and hang up my clothes across the room with both the AC and fan switched on.

So, having one that, I was off to explore.  To cut a long story short, I went to a bar playing BB King where I met a Spurs fan and his mate from Cape Town. Then I found what I think was the best place in town - a lively bar called the Kebab lounger - where I ended up chatting to a young married  couple from Montivideo. You can always tell a good bar, in my view, if there are people sat actually at the bar on bar stools. Bars that only have tables are not a good option when you're on your own, I find.

Several Strawberry Daquillas and a nice chicken kebab later I decided to come back here to try to dry off again.

Honestly, I quite like Abraao. Sure, it's a bit commercial but that's actually not a bad thing when it's chucking it down with rain and you just want to find somewhere to have a drink and dry off. If I was here for a week it might be different, but as usual, time planning these things is full of compromises. 

On the boat to Ilha grande

Rain drops like needles on the speedboat

Makeshift clothes line

Trendy beach bar

Obligatory Church

Ihla Grande

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