Making the most of bad circumstances on Ilha Grande, Brazil.

I try to never make actual plans because they always change for one reason or another. I had heard about this amazing island between Paraty & Rio de Janeiro called Isla Grande. I had heard that it had amazing beaches all over and to get to most of them you must hike to them. I was sold… amazing beaches and hiking, I’m all about that. Yes I have become a bit obsessed with hiking now and actually love it. By this point in my trip I had been on the road about 3 months and was tired of moving around and tired of figuring things out. What I needed was a vacation and thought a 10 day vacation on Isla Grande would be just what I needed. That is what I planned, but that is not what happened. Instead I had horrible weather and had to get back to Paraty in a few days and wait for my debit card. Yes while I was in Paraty my debit card was compromised and ended up spending majority of my time with the bank. It’s a long story I will explain in my next post. In the end I only spent 5 days in Isla Grande and given the circumstances I still managed to have a good time.

Isla Grande, Brasil—Port of Angra dos Reis. From here you catch a ferry to Isla Grande.—

I arrived to Isla Grande full of excitement. I had decided to not let what happened to my debit card ruin the 5 days I had on the island. I was going to let it be and enjoy it. I did that, but as soon as arrived on the island realized that my 5 days would be cloudy and rainy. I was like “oh great even more bad news”, but just let be. I arrived in my hostel and realized just about everyone was in groups or couples so thought I wouldn’t make any friends. Well I did, just not in the hostel. That night as I was walking down the street I heard two girls talking and asking each other if they should go to Paraty or not. I chimed in and said, “do not skip Paraty…. you must go, it’s beautiful.” – they said “Really?” and from there we talked forever and ended up walking around the island together and then had dinner. The two of them were traveling solo, but met on the streets of the island too. We laughed and just clicked and decided to do a hike the next day to Lopez Mendez beach. Supposedly the most beautiful beach on the island.

Isla Grande, Brasil—Lopez Mendez beach with grey skies.—

We got together early and bought some snacks for the hike and headed out. After 2.5hrs of hiking through the island we finally made it to Lopez Mendez Beach. The island was beautiful and full of life all over. Even though the sun never came out we made the most of it. We played around in the beach, slept a bit and admired some of the handsome men around. It was a beautiful beach and I can only imagine what it looks like with the sun out. We had decided that instead of walking back we would take a boat back. It was only $5 and would save us from having to walk back. 

—The 3 of us on the boat heading back to the main town. Miss y’all chikas!!!—

The next day I woke up and alone walked 9km (5.5miles) one way through the island to the 2nd best beach in Ilha Grande, Dois Rios. Yeah the girls had had enough with the one hike the day before and were just going to chill for the day near town. I didn’t blame them, because well… the sun was out briefly as I started the walk, but then it got cloudy and knew it was going to rain. I arrived at the beach after 2.5hrs of walking and had it to myself with just a few other people. I tried and tried getting a good photo of the beach, but just couldn’t so asked a couple to take a photo of me on the beach. 

Isla Grande, Brasil—View of town hiking to Dois Rios Beach.—

Isla Grande, Brasil—Me on Dois Rios Beach.—

Moments later this is what happened… I explained it well on Instagram so thought I’d just share it here too.

So no joke moments after arriving to Dois Rios beach after walking 9km (5.5miles) it started pouring down rain & it didn’t stop. From that beach you can’t get a taxi boat back so have no choice but to walk back. Lucky for me I brought many plastic bags incase it did rain and well wrapped everything up and stripped to my swim trunks & shoes and started walking the 9km (5.5miles) back in the rain. It stopped briefly so I got a photo of the road I was walking. The crazy thing was I wasn’t upset, I actually loved it. I was walking back and just thinking of where I was and even with the rain how beautiful it was and just letting it be and enjoying the work out jaja. It’s crazy cus I’ve noticed I’ve changed so much from the start of this trip. I really love hiking now so much. Even in the rain! ☁️☔️💙😄 #ilhagrande #doisrios #brasil #travel #lonelyplanet #backpacking #hiking #rain #jungle

A photo posted by Jaime Davila (@breakawaybackpacker) on

Yeah I actually enjoyed hiking in the rain. It was quite beautiful and just amazing to be walking through an island on my own in the pouring rain. The next day the girls left and it was supposed to rain too so I decided to go to a beach near by and read a bit, but yeah as soon as I arrived it started raining too. I was like cursed so went back to the hostel and decided to work a bit and figure out what was happening with my debit card. That is when I met Bethany a girl traveling solo that at the time I had no clue I would be seeing again often through out the rest of my trip. I also didn’t know the friendship we would build from this encounter would be for life. We met and clicked and decided to make dinner in the hostel and enjoyed the down time. The next day it was supposed to rain too, but we woke up and were all shocked that the sun was out. We decided to make the most of it and do a tour of half the island. It wasn’t cheap, but because the sun was out didn’t care. We wanted to be in the water. It was like the entire island had a change of mood. Everyone was smiling as you walked around it was so amazing. It’s crazy what a bit of sun will do.

10498639_10152886957013043_8235333398062121897_o—Bethany & I on a boat being taken around the island.—

Isla Grande, Brasil—The water finally looked clear like everyone had said it was.—

Isla Grande, Brasil—Jumping into the Blue Lagoon.—

Isla Grande, Brasil—Loving life on my 5th and final day on Ilha Grande.—

Isla Grande, Brasil
—Just floating in the clear water.—

The 5th day was just perfect. We made the most of the time the sun was out, because towards the end of the tour it got cloudy again and stayed that way the rest of the day. Beth and I didn’t care though because we had a great day with some sun and even got a tan. The next day I was leaving and wasn’t sure if I was going to see her again. I let her know I was going to Paraty, but that wasn’t in her plans. We said our goodbyes and well yeah I ended up seeing her there and many other places after that. She is actually blogging too and is up to date unlike me. You can follow her at Such Fun Traveling. I love the way she writes and think you will too.

Sometimes things just don’t go our way and we end up having to deal with situations that are out of our control. Like dealing with a stolen debit card or bad weather, but what I have learned in life is that no matter what is thrown our way we must make the most of each situation. I did just that on Ilha Grande. My hike back from Dois Rios in the rains has honestly turned out to be one of my favorite hikes ever. I mean I was literally alone in my swim trunks and shoes just hiking back in the rain. It was like for a moment I was a kid again without a care in the world.

In the end honestly sometimes in life you just have to sit there and soak in the sheer beauty of everything that is around you. Take a moment to realize how beautiful the world really is. Take a moment to realize how amazing life above all really is. Even when situations are out of your control that are frustrating you. We have one life to live so make the most it. DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!!!

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  1. Life lessons learned from traveling! If life gives you lemons, make yourself a lemon margarita – or – whatever that saying is. Lol. Yet another great post. Loving the beach photos.

  2. I remember going to Lopez Mendez beach first time in Brazil, was sunny, amazing place but wished i had more time there
    JR recently posted..Blacksheep Mud Mayhem 2015

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh man yes JR I could have spent more time on the island period but yeah the weather and dealing with the debit card. Some other time.

  3. Hi Jaime, I have heard of Ilha Grande, but have never been there, so much of my own country that I have never visited. Such a shame about the weather, but even with grey skies I loved that picture of Lopez Mendez beach. I am glad you are enjoying Brazil.
    Gilda Baxter recently posted..An Anglo-Brazilian Wedding (Take 2) in Canela, Brazil

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh your country is HUGE Gilda…. and it’s beautiful! Yeah even with the grey skies Lopez Mendez was great. Amazing beautiful beach.

  4. Sal Montes says:

    Wonderful entry Jaime, glad you got to see the sun come out. Beautiful pictures btw. You are so right on what we have to do in this life.

    Take care, going to read your next entry. Happy Friday Amigo!

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