Ilha Bela

imageForced to leave Paraty, I chose to head down to Ilha Bela on the coast. Antonio from my Pousada in Paraty said it would be no problem finding a place this time of year and recommended I take the local bus and just walk around the 20 km island until I find a place. I had an even better idea: go into my beat up Internet cafe and throw some dart at a couple places that came up and see what happened. Surprisingly a place that provided no English language services responded in English that they had a room (quite a few actually) and could provide a single rate. As much as Antonio’s 3 dollar, 100km ride along the coast appealed to me I chose a more luxurious bus to Ilha Bela that allowed me to spread out and watch an old Jerry Lewis film.

Ilha Bela is basically a playground for Sao Paulo’s rich and famous, at least on weekends and during the Brazilian summer and Carnival. On a dreary July weekday it’s not unlike the area around the coast near Belfast. Crossing over from the mainland you basically walk on to a beat up open air car ferry and ride it out, rain or shine. When I arrived on the island my first concerns were getting some information, and finding an Internet joint. imageI’m not sure why I wanted the Internet but I think it was to assure myself that there was one. I found neither Internet nor information but did run across the police chief for the island who saw me wandering up aimlessly from the ferry and checked in on my mental competency. I played dumb; I knew where I had to go but after just getting ripped off by a taxi driver on the mainland was steering clear of them. At the same time I didn’t want to tell the policeman that all I really wanted to do after traveling thousands of miles to Brazil was surf the Web. So I gave the chief the address of the place I was staying and couple minutes later was sitting in the back seat of his police cruiser on my way to the VentoSul, my address for the next four nights.

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