Brazil: Ubatuba and Ilha Grande

Following our arrival in Sao Paulo and a couple of days in Ilhabela, we all piled back in the cars and back across the ferry to the mainland to begin making our way north towards a quiet place named Ubatuba.

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Jumping back on the Brazilian highway is always an experience. It’s hard to decide which highway is sketchier, the Brazilian one or the highway just outside of Saigon. The difference in Asia is it’s organised chaos, whereas in Brazil you’ve got to be on your guard the whole time 😀 It’s never a boring experience, that’s for sure.

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Jolanda did a top job on the AirBnB with this one; right on the edge of one of the best beaches I’ve seen in my life. We honestly didn’t do a hell of a lot here, except smoke a fair amount of Brazilian reefer procured from the next door neighbour and eat more Brazilian BBQ, which, to be honest, was a perfectly acceptable way of passing the time in this situation.

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Over the two weeks that we were in Brazil, several trips were made to buy limes, a key ingredient in making Caipirinhas. It’s going to hurt paying NZ prices for limes whenever I get back; below is 3.3kg of fresh limes that cost 7 Euros…!

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One can never have enough halloumi and meat. Never.

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Oh, I actually tried paddle boarding for the first time in my life. It was fun, but I’ve got to be honest, the effort to distance travelled ratio isn’t optimal. I think I’ll stick with more favourable ratio’d water transport options in the future.

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After chilling out for a couple of days in Ubatuba, we hit the road again in search of our next island, the famous Ilha Grande. It isn’t possible to bring your car to this island, so you park it with some people that look after it while they bring you there on a water taxi.

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As we approached the island, I was reminded of parts of Thailand, yet this was different. The jungle came all the way to the water, and it had a much ‘cleaner’ feel to it.

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A few of the crew having some beers down at the beach. You don’t really order  your own beer in Brazil, it’s more common to order 600ml bottles, which come with their own cooler thing, and share them around in small glasses.

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On Ilha Grande, you can’t really walk around to most of the island, so we hired a boat and took a tour around the island one day. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip; the weather was perfect and we got to see some of the most beautiful untouched beaches I’ve ever seen.

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Snorkelling around here was ace, too. This was the first time I’d really tried out to see how waterproof my Chinese GoPro copy was, and I’m glad to report that it appears to be watertight!

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This island is honestly postcard material. Much cleaner than what I’ve seen of Thailand and south-east Asia, just less spoiled. These places definitely have a tourist aspect to them but there’s much less of the constant haggling and other associated downsides of being in a tourist hot-spot. Price-wise it’s fairly reasonable, but you still apply normal rules (don’t eat on the beach front, etc).

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Short post but if I don’t cut this one off here I’m going to have to fit in Rio as well. Thanks for reading!

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– Damo

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