Ilha Grande

Rio certainly doesn’t need vacation spots, but I can see why the people who live here visit where we went this weekend. Ilha Grande was by far the most beautiful place I have ever been. Its skyline is an endless array of overlapping islands, each one just as rich in color as the next. It looked like someone took all of the beach photos on Instagram and put them together.

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The first day, we stayed on the beach and lounged until dark. Lots of swimming, and no sharks. Really nice plus about Rio – sharks are not a concern here. We spent time on the beach later at night, too. I wish I had a camera capable of long exposure because there were more stars in the sky there than I could take in. Because Ilha Grande is a protected area, electricity is only allowed at certain times. Past 11 o’clock, it was completely dark except for the moon and stars.

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This was breakfast the second morning. The first day, we went snorkeling and saw some of the local wildlife. Different types of fish, coral reefs, and tropical birds were the most common. The second day, we went hiking to a large, sparsely populated beach. There we spent the morning and hiked back to go home. I’m constantly taken aback by the beauty here in Brazil. The same sentiments were held by many of us on the trip. There is almost too much beauty, certainly too much to take in, and it seems like a person should never get tired of such a beautiful place. We wondered, though if the locals did. For them, it may be the only place they know. I’d imagine if they went to the United States, they might ask the same thing: “How could anyone get tired of this?”

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Just thinking from that perspective opened my mind a little bit to see that there is beauty, newness, and adventure everywhere if you’re looking for it. When I get home, I want to do a little more ‘travelling’, if only into Philadelphia, or to neighboring counties. Because what I learned in Ilha Grande is that there’s so much to see, even when it’s all so familiar.

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