The first animal I noticed on Ilha Grande was a dog. Soon I noticed tons of dogs all over the island including one who begged for food pretty cutely all through my entire first meal. This pup even had the nerve to put his sweet little paw on my foot to try and win some scraps from me. I didn’t relent because dogs shouldn’t really eat cheese crepes.
In Florianopolis there were also random dogs on the beaches and on our hike back from Praia das Naufragados we had a dog guide who promptly disappeared when we arrived to our car after escorting us the entire trail.
Ilha Grande was dog central though.
The dogs all over the island were cute and friendly. I didn’t feel intimidated by them at all. The vultures, however, were a different story. Eek! On the first day before my hike to Lopes Mendes, I took a side path to the beach and ended up in vulture central. It was more than a bit unnerving. Why were there so many vultures on the beach? Over the next few days I saw a lot vultures lurking with their creepy rubbery heads and that bad ass look in their eye.
MONKEY (BROWN HOWLER)
The most exciting animal sighting was a brown howler monkey in the forest. My pictures aren’t so great, but the sighting was super great.
On the second day I went hiking to a waterfall and then to an isolated beach. The whole day was overcast and as I walked back from the beach I heard some thunder and then rain began to fall. I was annoyed that I hadn’t taken the water taxi back to Vila do Abraão, but I continued on with my hike with a raincoat cinched up over my head. “Stupid crappy weather, I am in a tropical paradise!”, I thought as I trudged delicately over the muddy path back to town. I was walking pretty slowly because the mud was slippery when all of a sudden I heard something yell at me.
I turned to look over my shoulder and sitting on a wire right above my head was a brown howler monkey. My heart leapt. This was incredible and totally worth trudging through the rain. I immediately set down my bag, took out my camera and snapped these wretched shots. I really wanted more tourists to come down the path after me so I could share the moment with others. Then all of a sudden a guy appeared. I pointed to the monkey and he got as excited as me! It was fantastic. We both exclaimed at our good fortune of seeing this amazing wildlife. Then a couple from my hostel came and more people got to experience the monkey. He quickly scampered away down the wire as more people appeared, but I think he yelled at me because he could sense my blue attitude about all the rain. He knew I needed to see him and he let me know! Thanks Mr. Monkey.