There's something nice about returning to a place where you had a great vacation once before. Sure, visiting new places is always fun, but it's also exciting to go to a place when you know what's in store and you know that it's good. With this sentiment in mind, we decided to go to Ilha de Marajo as an early fifth wedding anniversary celebration. Dave had been here once before a couple of years ago; check out his blog post about his previous visit here.
Ilha de Marajo is the world's largest fluvial island (roughly the size of Switzerland), situated at the mouth of the Amazon along the northern coast of Brazil. Just miles from the equator, it's tropical and lovely. We chose to stay in a secluded town called Joanes at a pousada on a cliff overlooking a beautiful beach on the river. It's so wide that it looks like the ocean.
Most of our days there consisted of a combination of the following:
hanging out in hammocks, enjoying the coastal breeze;
and I do mean a serious, continual breeze;
eating long, gigantic breakfasts so we wouldn't have to spring for both lunch and dinner later in the day (and also because the breakfast at the pousada was delicious, thanks in part to the fact that cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food in Brazil, hallelujah);
getting up much earlier than intended (NO thanks Annie), but getting to enjoy the sunrise, no less;
|playing for the first time in the sand on the beach;|
and occasionally eating some of it (mostly Annie, not us).
The pousada had a variety of nice tile floors, which Annie enjoyed immensely now that she's become a highly mobile creature. She used them to practice her new tricks, including crawling, standing up, and cruising along.
She's also started clapping with abandon at completely unpredictable times. Actually, that's not true. It's predictable because she does it all the time, including in her sleep.
Other recent interests include looking at herself in the mirror, although strange artsy ones do seem to freak her out.
After all of this lazing about the pousada and doing pleasingly mundane things, we finally got our act together and went on a bike excursion one day. We were so glad we brought the baby backpack. We HIGHLY recommend one of these for people who want to travel and be active with little kids (ours is made by Osprey).
Along the way, we stopped for ice cream and ate it in this tree (partially to steer clear of the ants, and partially because Annie had never climbed a tree before).
We also happened upon several mango trees so productive that people had just given up on collecting all the fruit. Needless to say, we took serious advantage of the locals' disinterest in them. Besides stuffing our faces along the way, we brought back about 4 kilos' worth.
...All of which just goes to show, whoever said that you can't have a relaxing vacation with a baby along was full of hooey.