“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.