Nov 22:  Paraty to Ilha Grande

Bob woke me at 10:15am.  I was hung over for the first time.

I noticed that my jean shorts were...uh...noticeably looser today.  So I'm losing weight.  Skipping meals and walking a lot is certainly effective.

We checked out and had to take a public bus for 2 hours from Paraty to Angra dos Reis.

As you can see, this was not like the comfortable coaches we had on the overnight rides.  And we had to bring our bags on the bus instead of stowing them.  Not too hellish though.  At least we all got seats.

From Angra dos Reis we took a ferry (almost 2 hours) to Ilha Grande.

Note Graham resting under the life jackets.  He had likely just completed one of his massive feedings.  He's a growing boy.

There were a lot of bad photos taken of me on this trip.  Maybe I was too tan and sweaty.  But I like this shot because it combines two of my favorite things:  wrestling and 21-year-old English girls.  Too bad I couldn't throw something else in, like when George went for the trifecta.  (Actually I think I did that once, when I was watching wrestling, drinking a 40 and...I forget...something involving Pokemon...)

Lori took a second shot because she failed to get the trash can and most of the roof in the first shot.

Ilha Grande is dismal!  They should call it Ilha Sucko, because it sucks.  In fairness, the place could be awesome in sunny weather, but that's not what we had.  Three nights on Ilha Grande with no foul-weather backup plan prompted Eli to suggest that maybe we should leave for Rio early.  Not a bad plan, because even if Rio's cloudy, it's still Rio.  I was supposed to spend just one night in Rio so going early would solve the problem of not having enough time there.

Surreal moment:  We're on this jungle island in Brazil, fewer than 10 cars on the island, very tropical and laid-back, and there are two girls walking near us playing "Jingle Bells" on some toy.  South America seems to get into the Christmas spirit early.  In Buenos Aires they had trees up already.

The beach.  Again, imagine this on a sunny day.

Eli and I walked around and explored the few streets, and continued to search for the Brazil bikini.

Dude!  Giant snail!  We were talking to a local woman who said these are pests from Africa and all they do is ruin the vegetation.  They like to pour salt on them just like the rest of us.  Hard to tell the size from this photo but it was at least 8-10 cm.  We thought about placing an object next to it for reference, like a coin, but then no one knows how big a Brazilian coin is so that wouldn't work.  In retrospect I probably should have photographed my schlong next to the snail.  You may recall that at the Greenwich observatory I measured it at exactly two imperial feet, so it would have been useful in this case as a familiar standard.

We ran into Lori who had found a Brazil bikini for Eli.  Not exactly a bikini but a multipurpose top.  I gave my approval to that and a pair of hotpants, so she bought them.  Lori approved too--we needed a female perspective because of course I'm going to approve anything skimpy.

Lori, Eli and I had lunch.  I don't remember was probably a late lunch because I don't think we had dinner.  I had an entire fish and a beer.  I think the two of us did some more walking around after this and eventually went to what was apparently the only real bar on the island, the Sotero Cafe.  I had 3 kiwi daiquiris.  Yummy.  Eli started off with a gin and tonic but saw the daiquiri light after that.  Wait, now I remember Lori having a coffee with us and leaving.  I don't know if she arrived with us or came later.  Anyway, we initially sat upstairs to people-watch, but there wasn't much activity out on the street.  The rest of the group except Lori and Brid later showed up and we joined them downstairs.

Bob, Roberto (first pic of him), John, Radha, Shaneela, Lance, Graham, Eli.

By this time Eli and I had made the official decision to run away from the tour and go to Rio two days early.  I was in charge of telling Roberto:  "Eli had another crazy idea..."  He was cool with it; we just had to sign a waiver in the morning.

I talked to Radha again and apologized for being boring in the pool on account of the caipirinhas and wine.  She said I wasn't boring.  So there.

Eli and I left in order to get a good night's sleep before the trip to Rio.  On the way to the hotel I saw that the sky had cleared up, but we weren't changing our minds.  The stars were out and I observed that Orion was upside-down!  It's the southern hemisphere so I guess that makes sense.

I was in bed before midnight.  But at 3:15am the others came back and were loitering just outside our room and creating all manner of ruckus.  I had to stick my head out the window:

Me:  "Hey guys..."
One of the guys:  "Chris!"
Me:  "STFU."

That's not an abbreviation for what I said.  I actually said STFU.  They broke up and STFU.