Today we made the journey from Paraty to Ilha Grande via Angra dos Reis.
We checked out of Adventure Hostel Paraty (R$250 for three nights in a standard double bed private with shared bathroom, booked through HostelWorld) at its 11am check-out time, and headed over to ‘bank row’ to attempt to withdraw cash using our debit cards. JT had talked with Capital One for over 37 minutes the previous night. They had deactivated his card after he used a ‘high-risk’ ATM in the Rio airport – even though he had spoken with them previously and they agreed to just restrict the card. Katie’s card had randomly stopped being recognized by any ATMs. Apparently JT’s call was successful, since we were both able to withdraw money – which we needed for the next few days in the ATM-less Ilha Grande.
After stocking up on money, we caught the 11:30am local Colitur bus to Angra. At the Paraty bus station, there is a sign marking which platform this bus will arrive at – just wait there and then buy your ticket on board. The bus to Angra was a local bus (R$10.05 per person) and the driver was a maniac, so we constantly were speeding up, careening onto the shoulder (and often into branches), and being thrown forward as he would slam on the breaks. After about two hours of this, we finally reached Angra. The bus terminated near the docks at Estacao Santa Luzia instead of at the bus station that we had stopped at on our Rio to Paraty bus. We hurried over to a gas station cafe for Katie to use the bathroom. We would have ate at the cafe, but their grill was closed. We saw a tourist information center at Estacao Santa Luzia docks, so we went to ask for directions to Cais da Lapa (where the barge to Ilha Grande departs from). Although we had 2 hours until departure time, storms were brewing so we headed for the terminal, bought tickets, and sat under the shelter by the dock while it sprinkled.
Our boat was already at the dock, and people were busy loading everything from groceries to pet food to roofing into the barge. Once it was clear that it was not actually going to storm, JT went to get lunch food while Katie stayed with the bags. JT went and got fries, a hamburger, a chicken coxinha, and a ham and cheese pastry.
After eating, we boarded the barge around 3:10pm. We took the third row on the left, and only noticed halfway through the trip that we were sitting in an area reserved for elderly people and pregnant women. Opps!
There is one Angra to Ilha Grande barge each day – weekday ones are at 3:30pm and cost R$4.80 per person. The barge takes 80-90 minutes, and can seat up to 329 people.
The wind was cold sitting near an open window, so we closed the window. Once we docked we walked to Pousada Cavalo Marinho (R$280/$123 for 3 nights in a private double with en-suite bath on Booking.com), where we checked in and dropped our luggage. Katie noticed that the bathroom light smoked and sparked when turned on. After much effort, JT somehow communicated this to the owners and they fixed it. From the words typed into Google Translate the owners thought he was saying (1) that there was a fire (2) that he wanted to smoke (3) that he needed a “light” for smoking and then finally – after significant hand gesturing – (4) that our light was smoking. The room itself is very simple, with a double bed, two side tables, a coat hanger, a private bathroom, and a refrigerator. But it is clean! The grounds of the hotel seem to be in the middle of some landscaping work. Once the light was fixed we went to wander the town.
We walked to where T10 starts, and then asked a few agencies about half island boat tours. It seems they all charge R$70 per person if you pay in cash and R$80 if you pay via credit card.
With this information we went and sat in the outdoor common/breakfast area – since this seems to be the only place in the hotel where the WiFi reaches – and planned our upcoming days, blogged, and emailed. This area is actually a great place to chill.
For dinner we went to Pato Crepes, which ended up being really close to our pousada. We got a dinner crepe (turkey with garlic and pineapple) and a sweet crepe (Nutella with ice cream and cookie pieces). They were both excellent, and the restaurant was nicely decorated and clearly popular. The crepe cook was clearly having a good time singing and swaying to the music playing on the restaurant boombox. Everything was great except the price – we felt they were a bit expensive at R$15.5 and R$16.5 a piece.
We stopped by the convenience store in search of cat treats, but found none. We keep seeing cats that have been so sweet and seem hungry, so we are looking to buy some treats for them. We figured that we would see a pet store somewhere, considering the amount of pet food on the ferry, but we have not been able to find it.
The shower in our room is very high flow, and has warm water. The mattress, on the other hand, could use an upgrade. Both of us sank into parts of the mattress, and it was hard to escape. Overall, the bed was pretty uncomfortable.