Vila Velha Park a Castro, Paraná

On the Paraná Tropeirismo Route

Furna Float
Military Agreement
Furna Funda
View of the Tropeiro Museum
Castrolanda clogs
Priest's Hole
Padre's Waterfall
San Francisco Mystery
Araucaria hedge
Above Guartelá Canyon
Renovations at the Tropeiro Museum
Vila Velha
Tropeiro Model
Old Fashioned
the cup
Castrolanda II clogs
Capão Alto Farm
Nun's Rift
Between Ponta Grossa and Castro, we travel in Campos Gerais do Paraná and throughout its history. For the past of the settlers and drovers who put the region on the map. Even that of Dutch immigrants who, in more recent times and, among many others, enriched the ethnic assortment of this Brazilian state.

When we are confronted with the enormous cavern, largely lined with moss and lichens, we reconfirm how much Paraná is prodigal in phenomena and natural exuberances.

The one that haunted us could barely be compared with the riverine and surreal exponent of the Iguaçu waterfalls also in Paraná.

However, it had its own mysterious charm, that of a large cave opened in the Earth, over time, by a river named to match, the Quebra Pedra.

On that day, as for many years, its flow fell from a height of 30 meters. He fell, tumbling, between mossy slabs.

For a lagoon with a bed made of the same sandstone carved by the river and a beach look.

The beams of light that penetrated through the opening at the top gave the feeling that God was pointing it.

As a whole, the place was known as Buraco do Padre.

The historical genesis of the name, shared by the surrounding Campos Gerais, added to it an imaginary period that dazzled us twice over.

The Campos Gerais of Paraná in the Colonial Beginnings of Brazil

Living it means going back to the middle of the 150th century, around XNUMX years since Pedro Alvares Cabral landed on the coast of Porto Seguro.

At the turn of the XNUMXth century, in present-day Paraná, the Portuguese towns of Paranaguá stood out, with the Ilha do Mel offshore, and from Nª Srª da Luz dos Pinhais which evolved into the contemporary Curitiba.

Shortly afterwards, the bandeirantes exploring the unknown interior discovered gold. In no time, Paraná attracted a horde of explorers determined to explore and prosper.

As almost always happened, they were accompanied by Jesuits tasked with converting the natives to the Christianity, to supervise and bless their submission to the invaders.

The Carmelites followed in the footsteps of the Jesuits. Soon, Portuguese religious people were seen in the four corners of Campos Gerais, in proselytizing approaches to indigenous villages.

Often, in remote places prone to retreat and prayer, as was the case of the cave on the Quebra Pedra river.

From the Concession of Sesmarias to the Profusion of Farms and Sites

The Portuguese Crown transferred the sesmarias model to Brazil.

The granting of sesmarias in Campos Gerais do Paraná resulted in a multiplicity of farms and farms (50 and 125, respectively, in 1772).

A nobleman already born in São Paulo was appointed general administrator of these parts. Faced with the difficulty of forcing indigenous people to do field work, Pedro Taques de Almeida – that was his grace – validated the acquisition of slaves from Africa.

The population of Campos Gerais began to be made up of farmer settlers and, in much greater numbers, indigenous slaves, blacks and their mixed race.

The social context of the region has become more complex.

Vila Velha to Castro, Paraná Tropeirismo Route

On the Edge of Farms, Mining Led by the Bandeirantes

In a reality parallel to that of the farms, the bandeirantes took over mining centers lacking slave labor, mules and carrying horses.

Able to provide them, breeders further south got used to having them follow north, via the Caminho Real de Viamão and various alternative routes.

All these routes converged on the same fair town, Sorocaba, located in the southeast of São Paulo.

Almost all came from what is now Rio Grande do Sul, where the plains were vast, covered in lush pasture, perfect for raising horses.

Troops and Tropeiros: Brazilian suppliers of Mules and Horses

The men responsible for taking them to Sorocaba were troops, similar to North American cowboys, responsible for taking care of the horses and protecting them.

One of the concerns that guided the drovers was that, along the route, the animals could graze, grow stronger and gain value.

Now, less flat and vast than the Gauchos, but rainy, furrowed by rivers and dotted with farms that served as livestock stations, the lands of Campos Gerais soon proved to be ideal.

Which takes us back to Buraco do Padre.

The Tropeira Route via Quebra-Pedra River and Buraco do Padre

It is estimated that one of the routes chosen by the tropeiros passed through the Quebra-Pedra river.

Now, stories abounded from the tropeiros that, when they reached the top of the cave, they often saw the Jesuit priests who evangelized the indigenous people, in prayer.

More concerned with fluency than eloquence, the tropeiros popularized the term Buraco do Padre.

A short distance away, a tight gap between two mossy cliffs where recent fractures reveal scarlet slabs, preserves a name without the same historical basis.

In recent times, people chose it to match the Buraco do Padre. It's Fenda da Freira.

These two geological prodigies form one of the neighboring attractions of Ponta Grossa, one of the three main cities of Campos Gerais.

Vila Velha and the Natural Park full of Geological Sculptures

35km to the southwest, we find another, similar and much larger park, the Vila Velha State Park. Protected since 1966, this other geological domain concentrates, in its 18km2, a profusion of erosive sculptures in the most different forms: tortoise, sphinx, Indian head and the like.

There are still plenty of walls and towers that, as a whole, resemble a medieval village and inspired the title Vila Velha.

Due to its monumentality, the “Cup” became the park’s trademark and the postcard of the Ponta Grossa region.

In a way, it reminds us of a Grail.

What enriches the lithic-religious imaginary of these parts and opens the way to more northern demands.

We spent the night in Ponta Grossa. The next morning, we followed the main tropeira route through Campos Gerais. We went up to the neighboring city of Castro.

From Pouso do Iapó to the City of Castro

The village was founded in 1778, as an evolution of the Pouso do Iapó farm and village, built 74 years earlier, on a bank of the river of the same name, as a pioneer sesmaria in the region.

In 1750, Pouso do Iapó was donated to the Carmelite Fathers.

They added two new buildings that served as shelters for the slaves that (unlike the other farmers) they kept free.

Later, it became known as the Capão Alto farm.

The Tripartite Conflict between Indigenous Peoples, Portuguese and Spanish Rivals

At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, part of the indigenous people remained to be appeased, let alone converted.

How Roland Joffé portrayed in ”The mission”, the bandeirantes of São Paulo persecuted and enslaved them.

Obsessed with this aim, they went so far as to destroy religious missions. As if that wasn't enough, Spanish colonial rivals disputed them.

Like the Portuguese bandeirantes, in addition to slaves, Spain sought indigenous lands outside the respective border of the Treaty of Tordesillas.

Successive Spanish expeditions explored that corner of the New World, from the southern coast of Vera Cruz to Asunción, in Paraguay. And beyond.

The crowned Indians, in particular, patrolled the immense Guartelá pass, said to be the 7th longest pass on the face of the Earth. They often attacked the drovers crossing the Iapó and Tibagi rivers.

When Pouso do Iapó became a village led by experienced military personnel, they finally stopped feeling on their own.

The Baptism of Castro in Honor of a Portuguese Minister

At the end of the XNUMXth century, however, called Vila Sant'Ana do Iapó, it was promoted to Castro.

With this renaming, the city paid homage to Martinho de Melo Castro, a minister of Overseas Affairs during the reigns of D. José I and Dª Maria I who was notable for his reforms in the Portuguese colonial system.

The event narrated in the genesis of the name change is also a curious episode.

At one point, Martinho de Melo Castro visited the Limoeiro political prison, in Lisbon. There he came across a man called Captain Manoel Gonçalves Guimarães, who allegedly got rich in Brazil smuggling gold.

Now, upon seeing the minister, Manoel Guimarães knelt down and begged for his freedom. To achieve this, he told the minister that he lived in a town in Brazil that was developing but without a king or roque and that crimes, whatever they were, were multiplying.

He also promised that, if the minister granted him his freedom, he would return, he would try to manage the town well in order to elevate it to the town that he would name after the minister. Martinho de Melo Castro felt honored by the promise.

In such a way that caused the captain to be released.

Grateful, Manoel Guimarães returned to Sant'Ana do Iapó. On his return, he drew up a plan and the necessary contacts with officials from Paranaguá that led to the promotion of the village to Vila de Castro.

The Decline of Tropeirismo and a New Immigration

At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, finally, modernity won over the drovers and their troops. Tropeirismo persists in the culture of the Campos Gerais region.

In local expressions, gastronomy, costumes and much more. Castro and Fazenda Capão Alto dedicate to them unavoidable museums that we are privileged to visit.

The history of the region followed its post-tropeiro course.

Castrolanda: Holland transposed to the Interior of Paraná

With the end of 2nd World War, at a time when Brazil still lacked labor for its endless lands and millions of Europeans were eager to start their lives over, Campos Gerais welcomed thousands of Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, German and Italian immigrants, among others .

Vila Velha to Castro, Paraná Tropeirismo Route

On the outskirts of Castro, we were surprised by one of its most emblematic “new” towns, Castrolanda, built by Dutch people with no space to develop their projects. agricultural, in the Netherlands.

In the middle of Brazil, we find ourselves in an unexpected Brazilian Kinkderdijk, dotted with Friesian cows that graze among Paraná araucaria trees, a characteristic mill and a museum full of Dutch artefacts.

Five Netherlands can fit in tiny Paraná.

Since the discovery by the Europeans, Tropeirismo outside, until the present day, Paraná has welcomed a whole world.

Ilha do Mel, Paraná, Brazil

The Sweetened Paraná of ​​Ilha do Mel

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.
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.
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.
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.

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.

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.
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
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.
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
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.
Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso, Brazil

In the Burning Heart of South America

It was only in 1909 that the South American geodesic center was established by Cândido Rondon, a Brazilian marshal. Today, it is located in the city of Cuiabá. It has the stunning but overly combustible scenery of Chapada dos Guimarães nearby.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Luderitz, Namibia
Architecture & Design
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Sydney, Australia's exemplary criminal city, Harbor Bridge
Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
scarlet summer

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
extraterrestrial mural, Wycliffe Wells, Australia
Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

Locals, UFO experts and visitors have been witnessing sightings around Wycliffe Wells for decades. Here, Roswell has never been an example and every new phenomenon is communicated to the world.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Bonaire, island, Netherlands Antilles, ABC, Caribbean, Rincon
Rincon, Bonaire

The Pioneering Corner of the Netherlands Antilles

Shortly after Columbus' arrival in the Americas, the Castilians discovered a Caribbean island they called Brazil. Afraid of the pirate threat, they hid their first village in a valley. One century after, the Dutch took over this island and renamed it Bonaire. They didn't erase the unpretentious name of the trailblazer colony: Rincon.
Asparagus, Sal Island, Cape Verde
island of salt, Cape Verde

The Salt of the Island of Sal

At the approach of the XNUMXth century, Sal remained lacking in drinking water and practically uninhabited. Until the extraction and export of the abundant salt there encouraged a progressive population. Today, salt and salt pans add another flavor to the most visited island in Cape Verde.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
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.
M:S Viking Tor Ferry-Wrapped Passenger, Aurlandfjord, Norway
Flam a Balestrand, Norway

Where the Mountains Give In to the Fjords

The final station of the Flam Railway marks the end of the dizzying railway descent from the highlands of Hallingskarvet to the plains of Flam. In this town too small for its fame, we leave the train and sail down the Aurland fjord towards the prodigious Balestrand.
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.
Bwabwata National Park, Namibia, giraffes
Natural Parks
PN Bwabwata, Namíbia

A Namibian Park Worth Three

Once Namibia's independence was consolidated in 1990, to simplify its management, the authorities grouped together a trio of parks and reserves on the Caprivi strip. The resulting PN Bwabwata hosts a stunning immensity of ecosystems and wildlife, on the banks of the Cubango (Okavango) and Cuando rivers.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
UNESCO World Heritage
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde, Landing
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
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.
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica, public boat
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

The Flooded Costa Rica of Tortuguero

The Caribbean Sea and the basins of several rivers bathe the northeast of the Tica nation, one of the wettest and richest areas in flora and fauna in Central America. Named after the green turtles nest in its black sands, Tortuguero stretches inland for 312 km.2 of stunning aquatic jungle.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.