Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil

The Sweetened Paraná of ​​Ilha do Mel

On the way II
On my way
Happy Surfer
Long Board
Life guards
Farol Beach
Surf Portal
Bottle Cleaner II
Tide Lines
“I Love You Vanessa”
Orelhão talk
Tour in the Fortress
Twilight Fishing
Twilight Fishing II
bottle cleaner
Fortress Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres
The Lighthouse Hill
sneak peek
Amphibious Bike Surfing
Ensenadas Fleet
Located at the entrance to the vast Bay of Paranaguá, Ilha do Mel is praised for its nature reserve and for the best beaches in the Brazilian state of Paraná. In one of them, a fortress built by D. José I resists time and tides.

Paraná is Paraná, southern Brazil, without being the last state.

Subtropical and exposed to frequent ascents and invasions of cold fronts from the South Atlantic. These cold fronts and their rains had already made us wait in Foz de Iguaçu.

In the last days of summer in the southern hemisphere, when we decided to visit Ilha do Mel, which doesn't even have a dry season worthy of the name, the weather in Paraná punishes us again.

When we embarked, in Pontal do Sul, about six-thirty in the afternoon, it was already raining. During the entire navigation, the crash only intensified.

There are no streets or roads on Ilha do Mel, just forest, sand and narrow trails.

Ilha do Mel and its Abundant Rain

The increase in rainfall made life difficult for the boy with the wheelbarrow who, Clemente, our guide for a few days, was in charge of transporting the luggage, up the beach, to the inn that would welcome us, Zorro.

We settled in three times. Clemente tells us how pleased he is to return to one of his favorite places in Paraná. As if it were necessary to prove it, he challenges us to take a dip. It was getting dark, but we couldn't refuse.

In a flash, we were back in the rain. We ran along trails that Clemente knew inside out and that looked more like streams.

Shortly after, we arrive at the Atlantic side of Ilha do Mel and Praia da Gruta.

Without being able to understand if the sea was reliable, we just threw ourselves on the last moments of the waves and splashed in them.

Again and again, several more, in a strange bathing ritual that was as salty as it was invigorating.

Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil, crabWe return to the inn. We had dinner.

We fell asleep expecting the dawn to bring us the sun.

Nor the dawn. Neither the afternoon nor the night. It rained almost all day.

At six in the afternoon, it stopped raining. The sky remained lead gray. We went to the new day under new weather.

And for another, almost all, once again, rainy.

After the Storm, the Bonanza

The third day, a Sunday, dawned with the sky slowly opening.

Finally, Ilha do Mel gave us an opening that lasted a good part of the afternoon.

As soon as we noticed it, we went out equipped and fired.

With the sun back, the island glowed with life.

At Praia das Encantadas where we were staying, at the foot of a forest-covered slope, the local fleet of fishing and transport boats displayed the various colors

The ones from “Valentin”, those from “Lua Cheia”, those from “Cristalina”, among others.

Hang gliders and paragliders crossed the already blue sky.´

Surfing, Bodyboarding, Hang Gliding and Endless Nature

The beaches facing east, exposed to the Atlantic, once again attract bathers and regular sportsmen, almost all of whom are in shape and determined to keep it.

Bodyboarders rolled around inside tube sketches.

Surfers competed with them for the waves, which at this hour were passable.

A young father, with thick curly hair, entertains a child as he tries to put on what he lacks in a neoprene suit.

On the left side of the torso, just below the heart, displays a “Vanessa I love you” tattooed.

Gradually, we learned how much Ilha do Mel and its residents live due to the sea and marine sports, with an obvious emphasis on surfing.

There are several inns and hostels dedicated to surfers. Portals crowned by old boards identify the beaches with the best waves.

Praia do Farol and all the others in Volta da Ilha do Mel

With the tide going out, the vast sand of Praia do Farol receives successive waves in the process of smoothing.

Sometimes, they are just lines that the side light distorts and duplicates.

This is how we see them from the top of the hill opposite Farol das Conchas, in the middle of a colony of exuberant bottle cleaners.

As low as they turn out to be, they are South Atlantic waves.

There, as in the other coasts facing east, the unpredictability of the sea forces the presence of lifeguards, members of the Fire Department, equipped with large yellow and orange boards, the same color as the uniforms.

From Praia do Farol, we return to the forested interior of the state park, in search of Clemente and other places. Despite the scorching sun, most of the trails that cross it remain undrained.

They force us into delicious new amphibious hikes.

We recovered Clemente at the inn. Aware of our “patrician” origin, the guide offers us a program that cannot be refused. “There is a colonial fortress here on the island, from the time when you were masters. We should go there.”

Of course we should. In a few minutes, we were heading there. Clemente warned us that, with the sun going down, going all the way on foot would be tough.

We subject ourselves to your judgment.

On the way to the Nª Srª dos Prazeres Fortress, back to the XNUMXth century

We board a boat in Encantadas that takes us to the pier in Brasília, to the isthmus that joins the two main sections of Ilha do Mel and to the entrance to the long Praia da Fortaleza.

From the isthmus, we traveled four kilometers almost straight to the north.

The fortress appears, finally, adjusted to a zigzag of the coast and at sea level.

So one-story that, with the rising tide, the ocean surrounds it on all sides, except inland, integrated into the forested foothills.

Unusual, as it is so low and exposed, the Fortress of Nª Srª dos Prazeres was built in 1767 by D. José I.

By that time, the Bay of Paranaguá had already become important for Portugal, free from the yoke of Castile, since 1640, but not from the obsession of the Spanish Crown to seize the Portuguese domains that were politically theirs during the period of the Iberian Union.

Paranaguá, specifically the island of Cotinga, is considered the inaugural place of the Portuguese population in the state of Paraná.

In 1550, the first settlers disembarked there, convinced that they would find gold nearby, and that they would be able to extract it despite the prevalence in the area of ​​the Carijós indigenous.

The Carijós collaborated.

The good relationship with the Portuguese allowed the colonist settlements to spread, driven by the finding of precious metal in several rivers, some named after the families that first arrived, the Almeidas, the Correias, along with others that preserved the indigenous baptisms, for example, Guaraguaçu.

The city of Paranaguá was founded a century later, in 1649, financed by the growing profits from gold. Spaniards, pirates and, in the meantime, even French, Dutch and British ships furrowed the South Atlantic offshore.

Colonial Rivalry in Southern Brazil and the Fortification of Ilha do Mel and Paranaguá

Alerted to the vulnerability of Paranaguá, D. José ordered that Ilha do Mel be garrisoned with a fort and respective cannons, those on the bastions and those placed above, on Morro da Baleia.

It thus ensured the protection of the northernmost entrance to the bay, the furthest from the islands of Cotinga and, as such, the most vulnerable.

Long devoid of its war purposes, today, the authorities that manage the island's colonial heritage have to deal with the double threat of the ocean and the Atlantic forest, both always on the verge of invading the structure.

We go around the walls.

We enter, walk along the adarves and take a look at the complementary buildings, which used to be storerooms, casemates and the like, all white, covered in baked clay tiles, very Portuguese.

Clemente complains that the long march along the beach had left him to his knees.

Accordingly, we resorted to the service of a boatman, well before the pier at Nova Brasília. Once on board, we returned to Praia de Encantadas without even stopping at the isthmus.

Clemente indulges in a therapeutic nap. We have detected a multicolored and artistic sign that announces “we have açaí".

Incorrigible connoisseurs of the fruit and snacks derived from it, in addition to being hungry, we ordered two very cold and creamy bowls.

First, these two. So, with no way to resist, two more, a gluttony that, whenever it involves açaí, we get into without remorse.

In both glasses, the grenás mounds of iced açaí were covered in granola and, of course, honey. As we devour them, our minds come to terms with the explanation for the island being called Mel.

Ilha do Mel and its Mysterious Toponymy

At the end of the day, Clemente confesses that “he has no idea!”. When we investigated, we came up with an assortment of possible explanations.

There is the extraction of wild honey and sugar from endemic cane, carried out by the Carijós Indians and by the settlers at least until 1950, when industrialized sugar did not reach the island.

The theory of a German family coexists (that of a certain Admiral Mehl; in German, “Flour” means flour) owner of a manioc flour mill, which simultaneously dedicated itself to beekeeping and inspired several retired sailors to do the same there.

Another possibility lies in the fact that the island's fresh water contains mercury, which, when mixed with salt, spread a yellowish color into the sea.

The toponymy of Ilha do Mel stands out for its inaccuracy. According to the weather that keeps it lush.

Even in those precious days of calm, we just weren't sure how much rain was missing.

Curitiba, Brazil

The High-Quality Life of Curitiba

It is not only the altitude of almost 1000 meters at which the city is located. Cosmopolitan and multicultural, the capital of Paraná has a quality of life and human development rating that make it a unique case in Brazil.
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Power Plant, Brazil

Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric Power Plant: Watt Fever

In 1974, thousands of Brazilians and Paraguayans flocked to the construction zone of the then largest dam in the world. 30 years after completion, Itaipu generates 90% of Paraguay's energy and 20% of Brazil's.

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

During the XNUMXth century, thousands of Portuguese islanders pursued better lives in the southern confines of Brazil. In the villages they founded, traces of affinity with the origins abound.

Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

Christian armies expelled Muslim forces from the Iberian Peninsula in the XNUMXth century. XV but, in Pirenópolis, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, the South American subjects of Carlos Magno continue to triumph.
Fazenda São João, Miranda, Brazil

Pantanal with Paraguay in Sight

When the Fazenda Passo do Lontra decided to expand its ecotourism, it recruited the other family farm, the São João. Further away from the Miranda River, this second property reveals a remote Pantanal, on the verge of Paraguay. The country and the homonymous river.
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

A vessel that transported buffaloes from the India it will have sunk at the mouth of the Amazon River. Today, the island of Marajó that hosted them has one of the largest herds in the world and Brazil is no longer without these bovine animals.
Serra Dourada, Goiás, Brazil

Where the Cerrado Waves Golden

One of the types of South America savannah, the Cerrado extends over more than a fifth of the Brazilian territory, which supplies much of its fresh water. Located in the heart of the Central Plateau and the state of Goiás, the Serra Dourada State Park shines double.
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Manaus, Brazil

The Jumps and Starts of the former World Rubber Capital

From 1879 to 1912, only the Amazon River basin generated the latex that, from one moment to another, the world needed and, out of nowhere, Manaus became one of the most advanced cities on the face of the Earth. But an English explorer took the tree to Southeast Asia and ruined pioneer production. Manaus once again proved its elasticity. It is the largest city in the Amazon and the seventh in Brazil.
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

The Swampy Freedom of Quilombo do Remanso

Runaway slaves have survived for centuries around a wetland in Chapada Diamantina. Today, the quilombo of Remanso is a symbol of their union and resistance, but also of the exclusion to which they were voted.
Ilhabela, Brazil

Ilhabela: After Horror, the Atlantic Beauty

Ninety percent of the preserved Atlantic Forest, idyllic waterfalls and gentle, wild beaches live up to the name. But, if we go back in time, we also reveal the horrific historical facet of Ilhabela.
Goiás Velho, Brazil

A Gold Rush Legacy

Two centuries after the heyday of prospecting, lost in time and in the vastness of the Central Plateau, Goiás esteems its admirable colonial architecture, the surprising wealth that remains to be discovered there.
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

Gem-stone Bahia

Until the end of the century. In the XNUMXth century, Chapada Diamantina was a land of immeasurable prospecting and ambitions. Now that diamonds are rare, outsiders are eager to discover its plateaus and underground galleries
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
good buddhist advice
Ceremonies and Festivities
Chiang Mai, Thailand

300 Wats of Spiritual and Cultural Energy

Thais call every Buddhist temple wat and their northern capital has them in obvious abundance. Delivered to successive events held between shrines, Chiang Mai is never quite disconnected.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Iguana in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The Sidereal Murphy's Law That Doomed the Dinosaurs

Scientists studying the crater caused by a meteorite impact 66 million years ago have come to a sweeping conclusion: it happened exactly over a section of the 13% of the Earth's surface susceptible to such devastation. It is a threshold zone on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula that a whim of the evolution of species allowed us to visit.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Fuerteventura Canary Island Weather, PN Corralejo, Playa del Pozo
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Fuerteventura: Canary Island and Time Raft

A short ferry crossing and we disembark in Corralejo, at the top northeast of Fuerteventura. With Morocco and Africa a mere 100km away, we get lost in the wonders of unique desert, volcanic and post-colonial sceneries.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Praslin Island, Cocos from the Sea, Seychelles, Eden Cove

Praslin, Seychelles


The Eden of the Enigmatic Coco-de-Mer

For centuries, Arab and European sailors believed that the largest seed in the world, which they found on the coasts of the Indian Ocean in the shape of a woman's voluptuous hips, came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the oceans. The sensual island that always generated them left us ecstatic.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Alcatraz Island, California, United States
Natural Parks
Alcatraz, San Francisco, USA

Back to the Rock

Forty years after his sentence ended, the former Alcatraz prison receives more visitors than ever. A few minutes of his seclusion explain why The Rock's imagination made the worst criminals shiver.
Cathedral of Santa Ana, Vegueta, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
UNESCO World Heritage
Vegueta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Around the Heart of the Royal Canaries

The old and majestic Vegueta de Las Palmas district stands out in the long and complex Hispanization of the Canaries. After a long period of noble expeditions, the final conquest of Gran Canaria and the remaining islands of the archipelago began there, under the command of the monarchs of Castile and Aragon.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Drums and Tattoos
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

Neighbors Bora Bora and Maupiti have superior scenery but Tahiti has long been known as paradise and there is more life on the largest and most populous island of French Polynesia, its ancient cultural heart.
Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo, Buddhism, Myanmar, Burma
Mount Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar

The Golden and Balancing Rock of Buddha

We are discovering Rangoon when we find out about the Golden Rock phenomenon. Dazzled by its golden and sacred balance, we join the now centuries-old Burmese pilgrimage to Mount Kyaiktyo.
Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.
Nissan, Fashion, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.