Sunday, December 30, 2012
Saturday, December 29, 2012
When I think of Brazil, I think of miles and miles of coast and beautiful beaches. I was ready for a little sun and fun. So, from Curitiba I headed due east to the coast. My destination was the Ilha do Mel (Island of Honey).
I rode about 120km to a small town on the coast called Ponta do Sul. In Ponta do Sul I found a pay-by-the-day garage and parked my moto. I think that it cost me about 15 Brazilian Reales. Then I walked down the street and caught a ferry. On Ilha do Mel... no vehicles are allowed.
The ferry ride was a short ride across a bay that lasted about 30 minutes.
There were basically three small towns on Ilha do Mel... Fortaleza, Brasilia and Encantadas. I landed in Encantadas.
When the road ended, the adventure began on foot.
No worries... all the roads on the island were actually sand trails.
Encantadas seemed to consist of a scattering of houses, a few small hotels and a few restaurants all interlinked by the sand trails.
A typical colorful house.
A typical restaurant.
A nice little hotel.
It was the middle of the week and there were not many tourists on the island. I think that I spotted maybe six. On my first day on Ilha do Mel I decided to take a walk to the other side of the island... I followed this sand trail.
It opened up to the ocean.
I walked a little further along some marsh and sand dunes.
I found a trail that passed over a hill and by a rock outcropping.
The trail led to a secluded beach.
On the far side of the secluded beach I found La Gruta das Encantadas (Cavern of Enchantment).
I walked on and found this picturesque cove.
The sun started to set in the west.
I headed back to town by a pathway through some grasslands.
Back in Encantadas, I enjoyed a dinner of shrimp, fries, carrots, beats, tomatoes, rice and feijao (beans).
The next day I decided to explore a little more of the island.
I headed down a different trail.
Crossed a few beaches and hills... came across this cross.
Passed by this shrine by the sea.
Sea urchins in a tide pool.
Mollusks clinging to the rocks.
Lichen on the rocks.
A mollusk shell in the tide.
A sand dollar in the tide.
A crab in the tide.
A sand sculpture of sorts.
Actually I came across this group of people combing the beach. I stopped and talked with them for a while. The man held a long tube with a suction pump. He would walk along the beach, then poke the tube into the sand and pull the suction pump. He would then release the pump and the contents would be released. Turns out they were combing the beach for some shell fish.
They were collecting these little camerao (shrimp).
In the middle of the island at one outcropping there was the Farol das Conchas (lighthouse)
I hiked up the hill to get a closer look.
The lighthouse was constructed in 1870.
From the lighthouse, I could look to the left and see the west side of the island.
I could look to the right and see the east side of the island.
I continued with my walk along the beach.
I came across a little village and this wooden fishing boat.
Sea gulls fishing in the marsh.
A young boy, his brother and a bicycle on the beach.
At the far north end of the island is a fort.
The Fortaleza Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres.
The fort was constructed in 1769
It contained a courtyard surrounded by thick walls.
The walls had cobblestone walkways
There were a number of antique canons positioned to protect the fort
The fort was surrounded by the tropical jungle.
There was even a jail within the fort.
And the front entrance to the fort had a pretty scenic view of the ocean.
Around the back of the fort there was another trail.
The trail led to a battery with more modern artillery weapons.
There were some stone trenches dug into the mountainside.
I walked within the labyrinth of trenches.
A pathway of a different kind.
From the battery, I could look down upon the fort.
As the day drew long, I headed back to Encantadas.
The next day I hung out in the town and watched some fishing vessels return to the port.
Soon enough, it was time for me to catch the ferry back to the mainland and leave Ilha do Mel.
Taking only pictures and leaving only footprints.
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