Well, I am having troubles moving my pictures around, so we'll just start with this one. Pretend you're speed reading, that way the order of ideas is less important than the main ideas...When you're done reading, you'll have the whole story.
We found this earthworm looking guy on our hike. I was thinking he was one of those legless lizard, or eyeless snakes. I don't know....he was just taking a nap for all to see.
Noah thought we better put in a picture so our friends will remember us. We're at a fun family age right now. We aren't limited by little kids, but our big kids are still doing stuff with us, largly because Brazil doesn't have as much teen activities going on. (Opposite from us, their high school just gets harder and harder. Their senior year is school, Monday through SATURDAY, 8:00am to 5 or 6:00, no joke.)
This was the aquaduct system that feeds the little city still. It is almost 200 years old. The island used to have a big prison on it too, but that has been removed to promote tourism.
Two weeks ago, our friend Mike McMullin and his two boys, Andrew and Benjamin, came to Rio to visit. Our friends, Nilton and Elizangela, took us all to a really great island nearby called, Ilha Grande--creative name.
When we got to the dock to sail out, there were people all over because Sylvester Stalone was there making a movie, to be called, "Mercenary" I think. See that plane? He was in it.
Just so you know--it was filmed in Maragatiba, Brazil--not Cuba. We never saw him, but because all the local boats had to stay out of filming, our less than 2 hour trip took 2 and a half. A lady in our ward has a job on the film, stunt doubling for the main gal. Cool.
This is a picture of the kids stacked on the middle section of this little boat. It sounded really cool to go out through the sea on this quaint little boat. But I found out that I am a pathetic land-lubber. But my friend, Elizangela seen above at the beginning of the trip, was barfing with me later, so at least I wasn't the only one. BTW, I had to ask for life jackets. Nobody makes you do anything in Brazil safely wise. It kind of cracks me up...Our country everything is regulated. Here, stuff like this is just, do it youself. A boat full of kids on a 2 hour ride in the ocean, well, you want life jackets? My kids didn't appreciate my request. Note that Jens is "holding" his, just in case.
This is the boys waiting for the ship to come. It was actually a 2 hour drive to the port, and then 2 1/2 in the boat so it was kind of a long morning.
I wish you could have seen the panorama leaving this bay. All the lovely, colorful stucco houses. It was so picturesque!
Anyway, I kind of forget we live in a tropical paradise, because we always have homework, and I spend 3 hours driving people to work, school, and seminary almost everyday. But Ilha Grande was awesome. We went between 2 holiday weeks, so it was in full operation, but there was no one there, tourist wise. Ideal.
There were lovely black beaches, great hikes, great food. We stayed in a camping site near a little creek and were entertained by probably a hundred 6-10 inch crabs that gave the kids plenty to chase.I didn't get a big enough picture here, but this was the "slaves bathing hole", where they would bring whole companies of chained slaves to be cleaned after their horrific sea voyages. (For a super movie on this, see Amazing Grace) It was very beautiful, but I felt a little melancholy thinking of it's past.
There was a water slide just past the boys in the front to the right. It was great swimming, and the mouth of a really long hike. We didn't KNOW it was a 6 kilometer hike to the waterfalls until we were about 3 kilometers in. We'll have to try again next year....