Ilha Grande is covered in heaps and heaps of trails, treks and hikes. All of them graded easy to difficult, all of them with amazing destinations at the end (depending on what you’re in to).
Our first trek on the island was to Lopes Mendes. Lopes Mendes is a beach roughly 6 kilometres from the Village of Abraão, where we were staying.
It was apparently 2.5 - 3.5 hour walk through the rainforest and along beaches. So at 10:20am we set off. Well Sean, Rach and I did. Sammy was badly burnt from the day before and decided to give it a miss.
We stole a couple of bananas and bread rolls each from the breakfast buffet and packed our things. We had been told to take plenty of water, food and snacks as it was a long trek and there was not much in the way of supplies over there.
Once we begun our trek we realised how god damn muggy it was due to the incredibly high humidity under the forest canopy. The first 20 minutes to half an hour is a solid up hill trek over rocks and dirt paths and once at the top the decline down the other side of the headland is just as difficult, causing serious stress to the knees. Going slow is a good idea (unless you’re impatient like the 3 of us and need to do everything 1 million miles per hour). After the first decent we arrived at a beautiful beach, Praia dos Palmas.
Palmas looked like all the other beaches on the island. Blue water, blue sky, white sand, an acai stall, a guy selling soft drinks and ruffles (crinkle cut potato chips, yum) and a couple of little taxi boats ready to take those who decided they had walked far enough back to Abraão.
We hustled on. After a water break of course.
The next “hill” was not as demanding as the first, but it was still hard and close to horrible considering how f@#$ing hot it was.
The next beach was Praia dos Mangues. Again beautiful, as all the beaches are however still not Lopes Mendes.
Again we continued.
Finally we arrived at Lopes Mendes. In less than 1.5 hours. It was indeed beautiful, and had much less people comparatively to the other beaches on the island. We set up camp, dropped our things and got straight into the water.
We ate our stolen bread rolls with tomato and relaxed reading our books. After a couple of hours, multiple swims and a little sunburn we headed back.
Rach and myself caught the taxi back from Praia dos Mangues. For only R$15 it seemed like a bargain. Sean however decided he would run back. Righto.
The taxi boat back was relaxing and much easier than the hike over. That being said, it was a good walk and I’m glad we did it. I’m also glad it didn’t take us 3 hours.
Once back in Vila do Abraão we checked Sean had made it back and was alive, each had showers, rested and then fetched some dinner. It had been a big day.