Tonight is my last night on Ilha Grande. Tomorrow I head back to Rio, where I shall spend the night, before flying back to London via Sao Paulo on Wednesday night. If all goes accordingly, by Thursday evening I should be at home enjoying a nice cup of tea with my cats.
The weather here was wonderful today - hot and sunny. I had planned to go to the beach, then to lunch, then possibly the beach again, but then I remembered the natural pool that I had not yet swum in. So there I went.
To get there, one must follow the seafront road, heading right if you start from the pier, facing the town. After a few minutes, you'll see a sign marked T1 - this is the first trail. (There are trails going all around the island). The first part of the trail forms a loop - to the right Praia Preta, to the left, the pool - but of course either way will get you to both these places, it will just take slightly longer.
|By Lucas César Felicíssimo Mendes, via Wikimedia Commons|
The interesting thing about Praia Preta is the large expanse of black sand, which feels a lot finer than the yellow sand, and looks very cool too. On the way to the pool, there are two viewing spots. One gives a view of the sea, and the other a view of the aqueduct, which is farther along the trail. However, the aqueduct is barely visible among the thick trees that possibly grew after the viewing spot was marked.
The natural pool is a little beauty. In the morning the sun shines through the trees on the rocks, providing a 'drying platform'.. ;)
The pool is in the shaded part so you won't get blinded by the sun flashing off the surface.. There is also a natural slide. A few kids who came by with their families later were really enjoying it.
The water was quite cold, so I knew wading in would never work. I walked in up to my knees and stayed there for a while, gathering courage (similar scenario at the beach - it took me incredibly long to will myself to just swim!).
Finally, after watching another guy jump in a few times, I felt silly enough to finally go for it. I wet the back of my neck, as I always do, and to give myself a sort of purpose... and jumped in. Again, it was cold. But also wonderful. I swam back to the rocky platform. It was so sunny that I did not need to towel off, just sitting in the sun was warm enough, and I was drying quickly.
As two families arrived, I enjoyed the simple activity of observing. It was quite nice to just watch other people jump in, swim about, and have fun. I gathered up more courage and jumped in a second time, to really make it worth it. It was wonderfully cold and shocking.
I left at the same time as a small group, and one of the guys spoke a little English, so we conversed on the way back. I had planned to stay till about 12 - by the time I got back it was 13:20, and I was hungry!
I didn't go back to the beach in the afternoon - I was quite tired and had a slight headache, and I knew I would not be swimming, so instead I went for a walk and later had my teatime snack at the bakery.
Overall, I'm not too sad to leave. I stayed quite a few days on the island, and I feel like I really enjoyed many activities and discovered new things. I am also pretty sure my leg muscles are a lot stronger after all the hiking! Back home I'll have to try to keep up the fitness.. ;)
|Vila do Abraão from above|
Next time I update, I'll be back in London!
Edit: Added photos!