South America | Brazil – agony, ecstasy, and monkeys, on a deserted isle…..
hi again everyone!!! sorry if i haven´t been in touch for a few days, but i was shipwrecked on a deserted isle…..
ok so maybe i wasn´t wrecked and the isle wasn´t quite deserted but it didn´t have a bank or any email access anyway
ive just returned to buenos aires after 5 days on a tropical island off the coast of brazil called ihla grande – it was so pretty!! very small neighborhood-ish – there are only 3 cars on the island and i think you have to be very official to use them so most everyone gets everywhere by walking the dirt trails (a lot of people walked barefoot everywhere in their swimsuits – i ran out of laundry so was trying to set a fashion trend in my swimsuit, sarong and hiking boots – hadn´t caught on yet when i left 8) ) or by boat – the main town where we stayed is set up for tourists with lots of cafes and places offering you tours on their boats – it seemed like every other little house had a bar on the back porch or at least a sign that said you could buy beer, coke, and water there. people were as friendly as they could be although i speak no portuguese.
the hostel i stayed at was a little over 8us$ per day including an awesome breakfast with several different kinds of bread and cake, cheese, fruit, and tropical fruit juice (i don´t think they believe in canned juice here either it always seems to be freshly made and is SO yummy!! the pineapple and pineapple juice is divine!) and i met a great group of people there and we all hung out for a few days of boat riding, hiking, and of course drinking in the local hangouts. 8)
through a funny coincidence i met a girl there who was friends with another girl i had spent time with in rio! 4 hrs away from rio and several days after the other girl had continued on her own trip – i happened to be retelling a story the first girl had told to the second girl and she said – ´that´s not amy is it?` – and of course it was !! i have had lots of funny coincidences here – bumping into people time after time you realize what a small world it is when you travel! did i tell you about when i was hiking in a national park in southern chile – halfway up a mountain trail and i happened to bump into a friend from the states who i had last seen 5 years ago!?!?!? what a crazy world – i guess i don´t have to worry about traveling by myself for too long though – it seems you´re bound to bump into someone!!
lesson #1 in traveling – when the locals say it´s easy don´t believe them!
my first day on the island a group of us from the hostel booked a tour to go out to a cave on the other side of the island and then hang around in some of the pretty lagoons and do some snorkeling for the rest of the day – they told us something in portuguese about the cave that you would have to swim under some rocks but it was very very easy nothing to worry about of course – everyone does it!!
we got there and all crawled down in a dark crack in the rocks to the bottom where the water was coming in in small waves and filling the bottom of the cave and then receding again – the object was to hold your breath and swim under the water a short distance until you could pop out again into the ocean – it didn´t look too hard you could put your mask on and see the light at the other end and the fish swimming around there – but it was exciting because i think it´s just a strange sensation to know that you can´t go up for air – you have to take a big breath and make it through to the other end with that and no more – i think it would have been a little easier if they would have explained a few things to us like 1. the rocks are sharp – avoid the rocks 2. the rock slants down so you have to swim down 3. you might get hit by a boat on the other side – i suppose they may have explained all of that to us in portuguese but the sign language i got was ah it´s easy don´t worry about it – i went for it once and then decided i wasn´t ready and turned around to gather some more guts – i made it the second time and i think that it will be much easier the next time i do something like this – i was just surprized by the way i kept meeting up with the rock above me instead of going forward the way i had planned – i guess it was a combination of natural bouyancy and the strength of the waves pushing you back but its a bit aggravating when you are holding your breath to make a fast dart underneath a big rock and you keep running into the ceiling instead of going forward – but half of us made it through the other half turned back and crawled back out through the top again (maybe the smarter choice) – i don´t think any of us noticed the rocks were sharp until we got out and noticed that we had blood running down from various arms and legs and feet – everyone seemed to have a cut or scrape somewhere – there was another boat of tourists that came in behind us and i noticed one lady pointed at me and then refused to go down the cave (oops!)haha – i guess we looked pretty rough!! they were just shallow scrapes but just looked pretty impressive when we first got out 8) – in the end it was actually an interesting experience we stayed for a while afterwards snorkeling and saw a puffer fish!! hurray and some cool shells – perfect huge sand dollars like we used to collect on the beach in socal when i was little and lots of other pretty fishies – the weather was awesome and sunny and the water clear green – it was a really fun group everyone was up and dancing on the boat inbetween lagoons and drinking some interesting concoctions our irish bartender mate made with vodka and assorted fruits
the next couple of days were spent hiking (a bit gingerly since we had scraped up feet from the day before) to various spots on the island – it is really beautiful – i don´t think it´s called jungle but it´s the closest thing i have seen with endless greeenery palm trees, ferns, tall flowering trees in purple, yellow, and pink – i was excited to see some small wild monkeys – first time i have seen them in the wild they were so fun to watch and some other critters – snake, lizards, frogs, small unidentified mammal, birds, etc.
i got hooked on the awesome pizza of a local restaurant and the ice cream shop with like 20 flavors where you get a bowl and dish it up yourself so you can try as many flavors and you like and then whatever candy toppings and then pay by the kilo – sooo yummy!!! right up my alley!!! i am having fantasies of opening u`p an ice cream parlor like this in the states but don´t think it would be a very good idea as i would be eating all the profits!!!
well anyway i better get going – the plan for today is to try not very hard to get a job here – if i get one great ill stay for a month or so and learn spanish and salsa – if not alright ill head up north to one of the cheaper countries like bolivia and see what it´s like i am getting excited to see some sights up there