For those of you that personally know myself and Kumu, you will know that we enjoy a good walk, and that we have done a few good fairly long ones in the past few years when we have been on holiday. On this trip we really wanted to push ourselves with walking, so we are trying to tackle some tough ones as we travel through South America.
A few days ago we landed on the island of Ilha Grande, just off the coast of Conceiçāo de Jacareí, Main land Brazil. As usual, Kumu had found some travel tip bits that we should go and see, and one of them was Dois Rios. Dois Rios means two rivers, and this is exactly what it was; two rivers that meet at this one beach. It was supposed to be a beautiful place to go and visit, and the fact that it had not been touched by the tourist bug, was a real charmer. The catch? A 2 hour (1 way) walk over one of the islands mountains…. This was a walking challenge we were not going to let get the better of us!
Being that the temperature is around 30 to 35 during the day, we decided that we would start this walk as early as we could (not super early though, as breakfast doesn’t start until 8am and we are still backpackers after all, so got to get that free food of course), so we made sure we were first in for breakfast and headed out for about 8:30. After about 20 minutes we had climbed a fair height (the picture below is the view through the trees we had), and realised that this was going to be a tough one today! The climb itself wasn’t so bad. Tough but not so bad. It was the heat that was the killer for us. But we pressed on again good pace. The chap at the hostel had said it takes 2 hours to walk, so I was determined to beat that, even if it just meant a 1 hour 59 minute time! Spoiler alert, we did it in bang on 2 hours. Damn those stupid photos of an ant that I didn’t even keep!!!
About half way, we caught up with a family that seemed to be on their way to having a day at the beach, and we envied how much they were NOT sweating. we were literally dripping by this point. It had been an hour of constant incline, and we were sure the top must be near. We caught up with them by a natural water fountain coming out of the rocks. They were happily drinking from it, but we decided not to for the usual reasons. After about another 15 minutes it started to be downhill. Man we were happy! This when our new tradition of playing the song lyric game when walking downhill started. We now play this on the downhill parts of walks as a reward for all the uphill done (plus my brain just can’t think of songs when I’m huffing up a hillside trying not to sweat so much that I go full riveta).
Then we finally made it to Dois Rios, I wasn’t expecting the little village that we saw. It was like a run down overgrown 20s american town in the middle of the jungle. I did a little bit of reading, and it was all the housing for the prison workers when the area was taken over by the state and made into a prison. Bit more info here: http://www.ilhagrande.org/pagina/historia-de-dois-rios-ilha-grande
We really liked this beach, and it was so nice to sit in fresh water rather than sea water for the day (we of course went in the sea too); much better than having dried salt all over you for the walk back, even though we would have probably sweat it off in the first 2 minutes anyway. Some photos of the beach below.
So when it came to walking back, we left it a little while so that it wouldn’t be so hot, although not too late so it was dark when we were walking. There is no chance you would see the bug, that is no doubt the size of my face, that is about to jump on you in the pitch black that it would have been! So we opted for a 4:30 leave to get back for 6:30. This also meant we had a good amount of time for an afternoon beach side nap; a personal favourite beach pastime of mine. On the walk back we of course passed the natural water fountain again, and this time there was no stopping us getting right up and involved in that cold fresh mountain water! The gradient felt way steeper on the 1st half of the return opposed to the way there, so the water went on our faces, our heads, our bodies and we drank a good few bottles of it. And so far so good, no stomach trouble.
All in all, a great day out for us with a challenging walk that provided a beautiful place to spend the day.