Done with Rio
I've only been here three nights, but I think I'm pretty much done with Rio. I know that I haven't seen all the obligatory tourist sights — e.g. Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, favela tour, etc. — but I'm afraid that I'm just not in the mood to hang around here any longer, and that I can't be bothered to go and check out those attractions. Rio's too big, too hectic, and too dangerous for my liking right now. It's time to do what I came to Brazil for: that is, to find a nice, quiet beach getaway, and to relax on it for my final week in South America. So that's why I scooted out of town today, and headed for the not-too-far-away paradise retreat of Ilha Grande (lit: "Big Island").
I checked out of Stone of a Beach this morning, and jumped in a taxi to Rio's main bus station. From there, I bought a ticket on the next bus that was heading to the town of Angra Dos Reis — Angra being the small coastal town, about 3 hours west of Rio, from where you can catch a ferry to Ilha Grande. We ran into a bit of technical difficulty on this trip: the bus broke down about an hour out of Rio (my first breakdown, after 7½ months of travelling!), due to the air-conditioner's fan belt snapping (no surprise — they had the air-con up ridiculously high). So we had to wait about another hour, on the side of the road by the highway, until we got transferred onto the next Angra bus that was driving our way. However, despite this, it was still a very fortuitous bus to catch, as I met most of my friends for the next week on this trip: including my mate Tom, and also the trio of Kerry, Larissa and Yuri.
Once we got transferred onto a non-broken-down bus, the rest of our trip to Angra went smoothly; plus, we still made it to the town in time for the 3:30pm ferry — most fortunate, as it's the only ferry that runs each afternoon. The ferry ride was good fun: a bit windy and nippy, and 1½ hours was quite a long time; but there were nice views, and the water wasn't too choppy or too nauseating. Just a pain that you have to get a taxi from the bus terminal to the ferry wharf — unless you want to walk for ½ an hour, which we were neither willing (as we're lazy buggers) nor able (as we were running late) to do this afternoon.
The ferry arrived at Abraão (the main town on Ilha Grande) by about 5pm, which gave us plenty of time to take in the beauty of the gorgeous island that we'd just landed on, and to make our way over to our lodgings for the night. As long as the weather stays good — and it's good so far — looks like we're going to have a fabulous time here.