Post-Peru retreat, I had five days of vacation on Ilha Grande with a friend...at the little beach town of Praia Vermelha:
We spent a lot of time hanging out on rocks and jumping into the water. You know, just generally getting in touch with our inner tomboys...and getting the scrapes and bruises to prove it!
There was plenty of hiking on slippery dirt paths that wound through the jungle and up the steep slopes, giving spectacular views of the ocean and the town. We passed a lot of homes on the path; I can't imagine living there and lugging groceries or furniture up those paths. (Though from what we could tell, most of the groceries were grown on the island. You have to love rainforests for their optimum food supply: mangoes, bananas, papayas, guavas, beans, manioc root, corn, and so much more...)
On our last day, we hiked to the "Grotto" which was billed as something really spectacular by all the locals. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
This is my face after I realize that the passage is only going to get smaller. And that I'm not sure I want to be going down into a dark hole barefoot and in a bikini top. With a borrowed flashlight. And no information other than: "You'll feel like you're going to fall off into infinity but you won't. Keep going. It's worth it!"