Night hike to Palmas
I only just met Yuri this afternoon, but it didn't take long for me to discover what a crazy bugger this guy is. At about 6:30pm this evening, Yuri comes up to us and says: "hey guys, let's go on a hike to Palmas, the next beach down on the island". It was getting a bit dark by then; but nevertheless, we thought: "yeah, what the hell, whatever, let's do it". So Yuri, Kerry, Larissa, Tom and myself set off for Palmas — as darkness encroached on the island — armed with little more than our boardies and our flip-flops (and, fortunately, a few flashlights). We had a few adventures on the trip, but it was all good, because we made it there and back in the end. Most of us, anyway.
I'm not sure exactly how or why Yuri got it into his head that it would be a good idea to hike to Palmas right then. He seemed to think that we'd be able to go swimming once we got there, and that we'd have a fair bit of light along the way. Well, it was bloody dark going there and back, and this — combined with a decidedly chilly tinge to the night air — made swimming pretty much a non-option. So in retrospect, it probably wasn't the best time to have done this hike. But then again, in retrospect we still had fun nonetheless.
It took about an hour to hike from Aquario to Palmas, with the first half being a gentle-yet-constant uphill, and with the second half being a welcome downhill. We had about 3 flashlights between the 5 of us: this wasn't ideal, but it turned out to be adequate enough. Wasn't much to see or to note as memorable during this trip, except that about 1/3 of the way along, we reached a spot where we had some great views of the town of Abraão, lit up below and behind us. Plus, a good view of the clear night sky above us. Quite nice.
We had quite a bit of drama when we reached Palmas. A few minutes after we arrived, Larissa started to feel very ill — she wouldn't explain exactly what was the matter, but Yuri said that she had some "woman problems", and that no, it wasn't just the usual "that-time-of-the-month" woman problems. This wasn't exactly the kind of answer that invited us to ask for more details, so we didn't. There was a little restaurant open on the beach: so the rest of us ordered a bit of dinner and a few beers there, while Larissa was taking care of herself in the bathroom. We also sampled some extremely fine cachaça (the stuff that a caipirinha is made of), a bottle of which Yuri had brought with him.
It soon became clear that Larissa was actually feeling so bad, that she wasn't able to hike back to Aquario with us. Somehow, she would have to stay here at Palmas for the night. Yuri, being her boyfriend, was charged with the task of finding her somewhere in Palmas where she could sleep and recover. Yuri managed to find a guest-house with a free room, right there on the beach, and he arranged for her to go in there.
Apparently, this was some problem that Larissa suffered from intermittently, and she had medicine for it back in Aquario. So the plan that we made, was that Larissa would stay in Palmas, and that Kerry would remain as well (to take care of her), while the rest of us (i.e. the lads — Yuri, Tom and myself) would hike back to Aquario. Tom and myself would remain back in Aquario (as we'd all originally planned to do), but Yuri would hike back again to Palmas, taking Larissa's medicine with him. And that is what we did.
Seeing that it was just the boys, and that there was now an element of urgency, we made considerably better time going back to Aquario, than we did going to Palmas. With the help of our flashlights and our sure-footedness, we got back in just 45 minutes. Tom and I enjoyed the rest of the night back at Aquario, back at the bar, while Yuri got the medicine, and embarked upon the journey back with it. We learned the next day that he'd made it to Palmas without problems, and that the three of them had gotten back to the main town by boat, after spending a night over in Palmas. Oy, what a fiasco.