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Hiking Adventure to Praia Dois Rios, Ilha Grande!

Due to the full moon at this time, the tides on the southern coast of Ihla Grande were not accessible by boat.... This limited the beaches Hanhwa and I could go to. We have already speed boated to all the "hot spots" around the island, as well as the northern coastal beaches of Ihla Grande so we were not sure what to do on our last day on this beautiful island. There is one hiking path from Via Abraáo to Praia Dois Rios, supposedly the most favorite beach by the locals and was highly recommended by our Pousada staff, but it required Hanhwa and I to hike up the highest "mountain" and then back to get to this beach... We were really hesitant because it was a 3 hour hike one way, but since we have already been to all the other beach spots, we just decided the hell with it! We're going, we're doing it damnit! We decided to head out pretty early as it would take a big chunk of time to get there and back. We packed sandwiches for our lunch and started our journey. The path was extremely rocky and bumpy and the hike started out to be extremely steep switching back and forth, but it was a nice hike since we were under the shade and it was a beautiful day out. There were little waterfalls along the way to Dois Rios Beach with exotic bugs and animals (like metallic blue butterflies and ants the size of a cheeto!).

Closer to the top, the trees started to clear up and there ended up being no shade at all. By this time, Hanhwa and I were dying to just get to the damn beach. Not only was there no shade with the hot sun blaring down on us, we were NOT prepared for this hike just like how we were not prepared for any of the hikes we did on this island (surprise, surprise...). I don't know why it didn't occur to me that we both had backpacks we could use to efficiently carry our things (water, camera, lunch, towels, etc), but instead we lugged around two giant straw beach bags switching from shoulder to shoulder to distribute the weight. I guess we wanted to look cute in our new beach bags we purchased earlier that week. We seriously suck at hiking!

When the path started to decline downwards, we were ecstatic.. that means we're halfway! Usually when hiking, going up takes the longest, so we assumed that the hike down would be a piece of cake.... WRONG. The hike going down was actually longer and rockier than going up! It was an awful hike down since we were tired, exhausted, and uncomfortably hot and sweaty.

Around 3.5 hours later, we finally made it to a a little town. Praia Dois Rios is administered by the State University of Rio de Janeiro and is highly protected as a center of environmental studies s right at the entrance of this little town, there was a "police" stand with a sign-in sheet and a "police woman" who said something in Portuguese and pointed a finger down a dirt road. We followed this dirty road and ended up on an amazingly desolate beach with maybe ten people (the most) along this long strip of white sand beach.

The literal translation for Dois Rios is 'Two Rivers'. On both very far ends of the beach are two rivers that confluences into the ocean. On each very far ends of the beach, each river has its own little ecosystem oasis of vegetation and animals. Supposedly if you're really lucky, you can see dolphins feeding in these rivers! So of course, Hanhwa and I went to walk to both very far ends to explore each river even with our aching, sore muscles. Unfortunately, we did not get to see any dolphins, but both rivers were two beautiful corners of the world that I am glad that I got to see.

After seeing  the waterfalls along the path, exotic insects within the forest, the isolated Dois Rios Beach, and the oasis on both ends of the beach, I could understand how this could be a favorite of the locals. It was much less touristy, very calm, the waters were clean and clear and filled with so many colors of greens and blues, mountains filled with deep green vegetation surrounding this beach, and the reflection of the clear blue skies along the shallow blue waters was just a sight!!! It really was another breathtaking beach on this tiny island. But after our very long hike/walk, we had to sit down and rest... finally!

We found a spot to sit in the shade, enjoyed our lunch, and soon after, I could not keep my eyes open. I took an extremely long nap and apparently I was even snoring and drooling! Luckily there were not many people on the beach to hear me snore or see me drool on my Brazil Flag beach towel. Sadly, Hanhwa woke me up and it was already time to leave. We had only about 3 hours on this beach since we were not brave enough to know what kind of scary animals are out in the forest after dark.

So we gathered our things and started our long journey back. Just like the trip to the beach, we were dying to make it up to the top. Since we knew that this side of the mountain was a longer leg of the trip, we were happy to see where the path leveled out, meaning we were at the very top. Literally right when we got to the top of this mountain over the island, I heard an engine... I stood there and said "Hanhwa....... is that what i think it is......" and sure enough, we see a huge black police bus coming up the rocky, bumpy hiking path! WTF! HELL YES! I started to scream at the bus to stop for us with my thumb out like a hitch hiker as it was slowly climbing up to the top of the mountain. I had no idea if Brazilians did the 'thumbs up' sign for hitch hiking, but I was desperate and did not give a shit! It was like the bus was sent from God sincer earlier, before we left for the beach, we were told that there was no boat or bus that will get us to Dois Rios Beach... but here it was and it stopped right in front.

Hanhwa and I, all sweaty, hot, dusty, but completely overjoyed ran into the bus with a group of Brazilians staring back and laughing at us as I screamed "OH THANK GOD" and found a seat. A 1.5 hour hike down on foot took this bus ride literally 10 minutes! We even had time to spare before the sun went down to grab an ice cold Skol and some dinner. We headed back to our Pousada, showered, and passed out.

We finally woke up at night and realized that it was normal Brazilian dinner time! So we decided to go eat at a restaurant not off the beach but closer into the city where there was live music. We enjoyed file de Frango with a tropical pineapple drink and an old man singing and playing traditional Brazilian music. After dinner, we decided to grab a couple of snacks and Antarctica's before we went out. The streets on this island are a bit sketchy in that there is not sufficient lighting, dirt roads, and really dark homes along the street.... The road to the only club on the island was a sketchy way, but we were determined to go out to Aquario (which is also a part of the only hostel on the island).

The dark path to Aquario was an adventure since we got lost and could not even see where we were walking, but we made it! Finally! The club was filled with different types of people from all places and ages. The lights were colorful and the music was a mix of popular American hits with Brazilian Funk. We also saw two groups of people we met from Lemon Spirit hostel (the hostel we stayed at in Rio). Our friend Reid was also there! Hanhwa and I both agreed that we felt close to Reid since he was with us at the Favela. Reid and Us have a connection since we went to McDonald's at the wee early morning after the party. He busted out his Brazilian bondas (ass) favela funk moves (obviously the skills he learned at the Favela Party), which made Hanhwa and I also to bust our moves out as well. Even though our moves are not as good as Brazilians, the men are so aggressive here in Brazil!!!... uh.. NO PLEASE!

It was really a great time, especially since it was buy one get one free caipirinhas... Dangerous. Overall, it was a great last night on this wondrous island.


Goodbye Ilha Grande, Hello Copacabana, Arpoador, and Lapa!

Speed Boating around Ilha Grande, Brazil