A stroll on the wild side in Ilha Grande

“Phil, you’ve killed it!” I squeal as the large chunk of coconut biscuit disappears down the small black hole in the sand…

For the past ten minutes I have been ‘papping’ a crab who has been periodically trying to pull the discarded, oversized snack into its home.


But, I fear, Phil’s response of shoving the treat down the crustacean’s escape route has left him trapped, faced with eating ten times his own body weight in delicious sugary delicacy.

Such was the end to our day at Dois Rios beach on Ilha Grande, where we have come to unwind after the non-stop action of carnaval in nearby Rio.

Famed for its crystal waters, we had hoped to discover the wonders of the ocean on this tranquil island but have instead managed to fork out £30 on hiring redundant snorkelling equipment over the past three days.

“The croc was THIS BIG…” Phil gets all Steve Irwin

Thanks to bouts of rain, huge waves or murky water we’ve only used the underwater spying kits for about 20 minutes altogether (we did see the vague outline of a very nice looking black and yellow stripy fish at one point…though it may have been a leaf).

Needless to say the local snorkel vendor now knows us by name and greets us with a big smile every time we approach.

But despite our marine-based mishaps, the surrounding flower- speckled lush rainforest and green lagoons make Dois Rios one of many beaches well worth the 2-3 hour hike from the island’s capital, Abraão. The fact it is the site of a former prison adds a further air of adventure.

Dois Rios beach, Ilha Grande

A previous trek took us to Lopes Mendes – hailed by some as ‘the most beautiful beach in the world’ – which was equally long and pretty but a hundred times busier.

The beach hikes here are an experience in themselves.

View from the top

Uphill from the shore’s digestive-loving crabs, the dense rainforest throbs with a chorus of strange bird and frog noises – at least, that is what we had ourselves believe – one distant croaky, belching sound could easily have been a velociraptor left roaming from Jurassic Park.

We cross paths with poisonous snakes and clamber over metre-high mounds of mud that have slid down the mountainside during the recent downpours.

Excusssse me…A coral snake going about its business

This corner of paradise may make you toil a bit for your treats but any aches and blisters melt away with a sip of ice-cold beer and a mouthful of freshly cooked fish. Coconut biscuits optional.

About travellingtoothbrushes

We are a couple of journalists with restless toothbrushes. Our teeth scrubbers seem unable to leap out of their respective washbags to take up a permanent residency on the bathroom shelf. So, we've decided to let them live the way they want to and take them on a trip around South America...
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3 Responses to A stroll on the wild side in Ilha Grande

  1. Daddy Pete says:

    Just love and remember those rainforest noises from the Amazon. You still haven’t sent your itinerary as far as you can see. We start our 2 months of Aussie and Med travels on Tuesday. Wait till you see the Rio photos, they’re awesome! Much love, P&M.XX

  2. Tia Annegret says:

    Well – crabs with diabetes are not unheard of..:-)
    After we left Jamaica after a fortnight, a whole colony must have died from aftershock as what’s-his-name had fed them chips. Mind you he did go and said Good Morning and Good Evening every day…

    We also sell Ilha Grande in our brochures btw – never knew that! Ts ts… –
    keep away from poisonous snakes, muddied waters and package tourists!!! 🙂

    Love, your travelling Tia

    Looking forward to dragging Lutz and Anne-Marie to your website this weekend, they are having a “flat-warming-party”, after they down-sized from house to a flat in the middle of town.

  3. Les and Ian says:

    Love your original slant on the blog – we get a real feel for the place and it makes us very envious. However you can keep the snakes even if they are pretty colours!

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