Day 91: Seaside Treats

Mon. 12th November 2012

Lopes Mendes BeachLopes Mendes beach on Ihla Grande is said to be one of the top beaches in South America, so I had to investigate and try it out! Time for a girls outing and six of us set off to catch the ferry, after buying supplies in the supermarket. It had rained overnight but the sun was trying to come out so fingers crossed we would have good weather.

There were no signs up on the jetty for our ferry and we were early so we strolled up slowly. However we were approached by a local  who showed us to a boat.  Off we followed before we remembered 1) never trust a stranger, and 2) do not get into a vehicle without checking it out along with the destination and price. Once we had quickly confirmed these and saw there were others on the boat looking like they were heading for a beach we boarded.

Here come the girlsHowever five minutes after leaving the jetty we were heading for shore, starting another panic we may be wrong, but it was just to pick up more passengers.

We headed along the coast for 45 minutes before arriving at Pouso beach where we found the path marked to Lopes Mendes beach and all the passengers headed that way. We knew the beach we wanted was on the other side of the Island over the hill and about 30 minutes walk away. Soon the path through the trees opened up onto a beautiful beach with golden sand and turquoise water – just as advertised.

Proof of blue sky!The sun shone for two hours providing good sunbathing weather. Too good for me as I retreated to the shade with my book after about an hour, and still have a few sunburnt patches to prove it!

After lunch of bread rolls (the slices of cheese we had grabbed in the supermarket turned out to be slices of pastry!) and crisps, the weather changed and became overcast, windy and a bit chilly. We therefore agreed to meander back to the other beach an hour early for our ferry due at 3:30pm. A group of small monkey type animals were in the trees looking cute and quite friendly.

CuteOnce we arrived back at Pouso beach there turned out to be an unadvertised 2:30 ferry and we were just in time for it, which was good as it would give us more time to check out the shops in Abraão.

The town was very busy on our return, as a huge cruise liner had arrived and disgorged all its passengers on the quiet sleepy town. Also there were passengers queuing for the afternoon ferries leaving for mainland.

Once these people had left, the shops emptied and so, as Dave had splashed out on a diving trip today, I decided it was time to complement my limited wardrobe with a dress from the plentiful supply around town.

Dave and his new, slightly mad, diving friendsDave had a good time diving, though as he had been warned, the visibility was only 2 to 3 meters so it was very much like diving in fog. The group he was diving with were marine biologists from Recife in Brazil. They were very friendly, but slightly mad. There were also all equiped with underwater casings for their cameras and somehow they came back with some fantastic pictures of fish and other sea life – Dave’s excuse is that they were professionals and knew where to look. He is also claiming that he now needs to get an underwater housing for his camera. A likely story in my book – the upside, however, is that I get to spend more money on clothes!

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