A Travellerspoint blog

Illha Grande Brazil

Brazils largest Island

-5 °C

Have you ever watched the show Lost? If you have then you will know exactly what illha Grande looks like. It is just miles and miles of twisting shores and tropical rain forest. However, there are a couple simple hotels and bungalows to stay at on the island. I stayed at a very nice bungalow just a few feet from the shore. Ill get you the name of the place when I have a chance to look it up.

The boat ride to the island takes about an hour and a half. It looks really close but from a medium sized, single motor sailboat, it is a lifetime away. There are several bars on the island and one main club that hosts parties every Saturday.

I would only spend about 3 days on the island because you may run out of things to do. Unless of course the weather is perfect. You can never get bored of peaceful, shinny beaches. I took a two and a half hour walk through the rain forest to get to a beach called Lopes Mendes. After traveling along the island shores an encountering the same site one after another, Lopes Mendes is a relief to the eyes. Its beauty can be seen atop a rock several hundred feet away.

Walking to the beach can be rather strenuous. I hiked with my bare feet. I would not recommend this to anyone who is fragile or prone to accidents. My feet were sore for days. Shoes or sandals are suitable, but just be careful when climbing across those mossy rocks. Keep your eyes open along the trail for monkeys too. If you get close enough they will take the food right out of your hand. When you arrive at the beach you can play futbol with friends, purchase drinks and sandwiches or even rent a surf board. The surf there is great. If you prefer not to get your feet wet you can just sit back and observe some excellent surfers doing what they do best. It also your choice to rent a boat back for about 10 R a person or do the hike all over again.

When you are back in town you can always find some live music at the locals bars. Usually they will have an acoustic band play till 11 pm. After 11 the people start to make the music. Around 2 am you can watch Brazilians playing all sorts of instruments in perfect harmony to make great music. Everything from guitars and drums to salt shakers and hands are sufficient to participate.

My last suggestion for Illha Grande is to make some friends and rent a Caipirinha Boat. These guys will take you out along the cost where you can snorkel and dive off the boat. They will also provide you with some mouthwatering food and thirst quenching Caipirinihas. I think my boat had roughly 500 Caipirinihas. Its all you can drink. How great is that! It all cost about 60 R a person too! The more people you get, the cheaper it becomes. However, the private boat is the way to go because they really show you a great time.
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Posted by BHammer301 15:38 Archived in Brazil Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Paraty, Brazil

Par-a-ti

rain 21 °C

Instead of staying Sao Paulo, I took a four hour bus ride to a beach resort called Paraty (Par-a-chi). This place is an old,colonial type city founded by the early Portuguese explorers. Not much has changed since then. The streets are all made of stones and rocks that look like they crumbled off a cliff and formed a road. I would have loved to have actually seen the city but I was looking down the whole time to avoid breaking my ankle. hahah in all seriousness it is a beautiful place. Had the weather been better I am sure I would have enjoyed the days. However, it doesn't seem to deter the locals from going about their day. Everyone is out in the streets rain or shine. It is just like a constant mist in the air. Luckily there was no sun piercing through because it would have been awful.

One thing I noticed here in Paraty is that some places don't open for dinner until 6 o'clock. So if you are on your normal eating schedule, be prepared. You can do a few turismos here such as: hiking, biking and cliff diving. A friend an I attempted to go cliff diving but we wanted to go on our own. We should have gone with a turismo agenica because we ended up walking all the way to the entrance of the city only to realize that the scale of our map actually changes once you leave and we had about 9 km more to go! We called it quits and turned around. I can~t find the words to describe to you what it is like to walk through the side streets. To those who have traveled less, it is literally something you see in a movie. Broken down shops, and houses made of scraps of metal and wood surround the city. But regardless of their financial situation, people seem to be really friendly here.

There is loads of shopping to do here in Paraty. I bought a really cool Brazil towel for roughly 11 Dollars. When you make purchases with the people on the street or in the stores they don~t tend to mind if you are one or two dollars short. I tried to purchase some OTC drugs here that aren't normally available in the US but the prices for some of them without a prescription were pretty expensive.

Ha ha as I am writing this a small car drove down the road with a speaker on top of it bigger than its truck, blasting some sort of advertisement for a restaurant. I understood it a little bit. Portuguese and Spanish sound nothing alike. You can get away with speaking Spanish to people and they will understand you, but it is much harder to understand them. This language barrier is harder than I thought it would be.

I am off to Illha Grande, Brazil for three days of island hoping and sun tanning. I can't wait. One thing I was told is to hit a cash point prior to heading toward Illha Grande. Paraty maybe the last place to take out money.

Posted by BHammer301 11:46 Archived in Brazil Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo

rain 24 °C

I just came from Sao Paulo Brazil. It is supposed to be the most dangerous city in the world. I believe it is the 5th largest as well. It didn't seem much more dangerous than New York city. But it sure as hell felt bigger. There are 22 million people in this city. That is more than the entire continent of Australia.

For those of you actually following my blog, this entry is for you. I am having so much fun here that I have not had much time to update my blog. I am not going to spend much time doing it now because I am pretty sure a stray dog just shit in this computer office.

Suade!

Back to Sao Paulo. They love their sandwhicerias there. I had this churassco that was loaded with eggs, ham, beef and cheese with some papas for like 5 real. That's like 2.25USD. Mate is to Argentina as Acai sucos is to Brazil. You can find people drinking it at any chance they get. I have to double check the spelling of that but that is pretty much the sound of it. The subway system in Sao Paulo is really efficient and extremely clean. The city is just massive and it can take you to pretty much anywhere you need to go. Don~t be surprised to see people sleeping on the streets everywhere. By no means is Soa Paulo a city I would like to live in, but I would have enjoyed a few nights there to experience the night life.

Posted by BHammer301 06:21 Archived in Brazil Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Brazilian side of Iguazu falls

sunny -6 °C

The Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls provides a breathtaking, panoramic view of the entire falls. From this side the waterfalls look so in sync, they seem controlled. The whole trail takes about an hour walking.

Along the way you will see some really creepy crawling insects. Massive grasshoppers, inch worms, centipedes and butterflies are just a few of them. Be cautious not step on too many. After all we are walking across their territory. I only say this because I may have squashed about 15.

At the end of the trail you can walk out about 100 feet to a platform that will allow you to really embrace the falls. You can see three different edges of the falls. You can stand as if you are part of the water and hover right over the edge too! I don't recommend bringing a camera out to this point or a shirt for that matter. Your accessories may get wet and/or ruined.And Just when you think it is over you can take an elevator to the top for the panoramic view of, what seems to be, the edge of the world.

The highest point of Iguazu Falls is on the Argentine side. It is called the devils throat or la Garganta del Diablo. it can also be seen from the walk on the brazilian side. It stand 80 meters high. at any given time there can be up to 1500 cubic meters of water falling per second!iguazu_2.jpgiguazu.jpgbrazil_side.jpg

Posted by BHammer301 11:22 Archived in Brazil Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Iguazu Falls

Argentina side.

33 °C

I will start this post off by saying that the Argentina side of Iguazu has much more to see and do than the Brazil side.

When you arrive there will be several tourismos trying to give you a tour around the falls. The only one that is worth wild is the grand adventura. It is about 150 pesos and you go on a boat into the falls. You literally drive into the falls. The whole tour only last about 45 minutes, but it is definitely worth it. Plus one of the major advantages of the grand adventura is skipping the line to the "only to the boat ride." You'll understand when you get there. But if you just want to walk it out, then do it yourself. There are signs and sights to see everywhere plus you can always just follow the crowd.

At the end of the walking tour you will approach the mother of all water falls. la Garganta del Diablo, or, the devils throat. I swear they call it that because it eats everyone's cameras. Its amazing to think how they built these sidewalks above the falls and no one fell over. Well, I am not sure of the actual injuries on the constructions site but I am sure they lost a few lives in the process. You are literally standing over the devils throat. It is a sight to be seen. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are falling hundreds of feet right in front of you. The sound is enough to make your ear drums throb. It really can't be described in pictures, but there are a few at the bottom.

As far as nightlife goes, there are a few clubs in Puerto Iguazu that can help you kill some time. Club ono is a massive discoteca with house and hop-hop playing until the sun rises. No one ever tells you to leave the bar. They just keep serving you until you make the conscious decision to leave on your own. One thing I saw that I thought was a really good idea was the way you pay your bar tab. Upon entering, the staff checks your ID and registers it with a house credit card. Whenever you ask for a drink they will take that card and add it to your tab. There is no exchange of money behind the bar. When you decide to leave you will pay at the exit. For some people this will help you save some money. However, if you loose your card you have to pay even more.

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Posted by BHammer301 11:21 Comments (0)

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