23:09.40S 44:08.27W. Wednesday the 18th July 2012. Ilha Grande
Rio de Janeiro is known as the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) and with good reason! From day one we have loved this crazy town. During the day there is so much to see, and the night life is around the clock. As well as the festivities, we also had to get right into sorting out and making plans for repairs to the yacht and the furler that was broken previously. This was not an easy task by a long shot. We found ordering anything from overseas was a nightmare in itself, but fortunately there are some local products and dealers on hand. Either way it was going to be an expensive process, but hey… we had insurance….. didn’t we?? Well, without getting into details our trusted insurers pulled every red tape and small print excuse at us and after all the negotiating they are covering about 13%. One guess whose unlucky number that is……!!!!!!!
On a lighter side, Rohans family and friends had arrived to help celebrate his big 40. With Rohan’s parents Ross and Margaret, brother’s family Andrew, Zoe and Gareth, nephew Geoffrey, and friends from Tasmania Carla and Jess in town, we all set out to explore the city. Sugarloaf Mountain via cable car, Christo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue, Copacabana Beach, the samba neighbourhood of Lapa… none of the sights and attractions have failed to impress. We also had dinner and drinks in Ipanema for Rohan’s birthday, as you do. The locals and tourists all appreciate the beauty of the city, and subsequently seem to be always celebrating it!
Sadly Rohans family had to leave after a magic 5 days. Carla, Jess and Tina stayed a few more days but they too sadly had to leave. Carla and Jess headed south to Argentina, and Tina, after two months onboard, continued her trip inland to see more of Brazil and the rest of South America.
Now with an empty boat and a week to kill waiting for parts to turn up, we have motor sailed to Ilha Grande (about 65 nm west of Rio) for a few days to give our livers and wallets a break from Rio. We are anchored in Enseada das Palmas on the eastern side of the island. Surrounded by Atlantic rainforest, with only one or two other yachts in the inlet, this is very different to anywhere else we have been in Brazil so far. Yesterday we took a short hike to the south of the island to a beach called Praia Lopes Mendes which some claim to be the most beautiful beach in Brazil. It certainly was amazing and a very lazy day in the sun was had despite being the ‘middle of winter’ here!
Today we will head for Arbraao, the main village on Ilha Grande, then Angra dos Reis for a maintenance visit (cruising chute). Then it’s back to Rio on Friday!
We shall see……… Matt and Rohan