Giovanni’s ‘Tranquilo’ Speedboat Tour

1 Mar

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We had a bit of an odd start to the day with Tal’s alarm going off and J.J.’s iPhone seemingly fail in waking us for the first time since the beginning of the trip. Our laptops and the iPhone said that it was 8:00 which was one hour earlier than both Tal and my watches. Erring on the side of caution we got up and ready for the speed boat tour we’d already paid for, grabbed a quick bite from the breakfast buffet offered free at our pasada and were about to head out the door when a woman informed us that our boat tour had been cancelled due to the high waves that day.

We walked over to the tour office where we’d paid for our tour and the girl there confirmed that our tour had in fact been cancelled. We were leaving Ilha Grande the following day so rescheduling wasn’t an option and we were given our money back in full.

Thinking it was 9:20am and that we had only minutes to find another tour before they all left at 9:30am we quickly learned that the clocks had changed the night before, making it only 8:20am. With more than enough time we booked with a company that was sending out their speedboat that day and headed back to our pasada to eat a proper breakfast.

We made our way back to the row of tour offices where we’d bought our tickets for the speedboat tour and met the captain for the day, Giovanni. We learned that he’d spent his whole life living on the island and he told us he could speak only a little English but I found him to be pretty good!

We boarded the boat, J.J. kept to the shade of the back of the boat with the rest of our fellow boat-trippers and only Jonny, Tal and I sitting up in the bow (perfect bronzing spot – if only we’d had some Maui Babe).

We quickly learned that they weren’t kidding when they said the waves were high that day. Jonny, Tal and I got quite the workout trying our best not to fall off the seats or worse, overboard!

We had about 6 – 8 stops at various beaches and lagoons over the course of the 9-hour speedboat tour and the day sort of all blends together, so here are the highlights (and lowlights):

  • I’ve never seen clearer, cleaner, bluer and greener ocean water, except maybe in the Bahamas
  • I slipped on a wet rock, flat on my butt, walking down to the freshwater river and managed to pop up fast enough that only Tal saw
  • The rope swing in the freshwater river (only J.J. experienced this)
  • Having a bare bum photo shoot, unbeknownst to us that a group of locals were watching the whole thing until they applauded once we finished
  • Beer in cans was incredibly difficult to drink on the boat as we travelled from beach to beach – every time we’d lift the can to our lips we’d hit a wave and spill beer all down our fronts, to which Giovanni would yell “Tranquilo! Tranquilo!” and laugh at us
  • J.J. ended the day with the most incredible wind-blown Baywatch hair I’ve seen since The Hoff (my photos don’t do it justice)
  • Cedrick, Tal and Jonny’s travelling gnome, lost his feet while we hiked up a rocky cliff to overlook one of the beaches

We arrived back to the docks of Ilha Grande closest to where we were staying exhausted, tanned and happy. Tal and I sent the boys back to the room to begin showering for dinner while we wandered through the small streets going from shop to shop looking at the locally made jewelry. I have yet to buy any jewelry and Tal has only bought bangles. We’re as surprised as anybody!

We got ready for our dinner at Kebab Lounge, an outdoor restaurant/bar specializing in kebabs (pitas, not meat on a stick) and stir-fried Asian fare. Each couple opted to share a chicken kebab with pineapple and the chicken stir fry. Though the food was incredible, especially the stir fry, there was a mix up with the kebabs. First J.J. and I were given the wrong order and Tal and Jonny weren’t given anything at all and after another 15 minutes or so we all finally had the food we’d ordered. I really couldn’t complain – we were in the middle of paradise!

We decided to try the self-serve ice cream shop for dessert where it’s basically Baskin Robbins that you serve yourself. You pick your cup, your flavours and any candy toppings you like and pay by weight. If this came to Canada, I’d be in big trouble!

We walked out to the end of the pier to eat and enjoy the stars before heading back to our pasada for bed. We were on the road again at 10am the following morning to make our way to Paraty, Brazil


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