7 – 12 December
After Ilha de Santa Catarina (Florianópolis) Sami and I approach the next island, Ilha do Mel, 300 km further up the coast. Before catching a boat to the island we stop in Paranaguá for a day though. Next to a delicious seafood lunch we find some pretty, colonial buildings in pastel colours and a very laid-back atmosphere. In many ways it seems that the clock is ticking a little slower in this part of Brazil. The only thing we worry about in this tranquil place is the weather (as it rains a lot these days) and the weather forecast for the upcoming days (as it looks very wet).
Ilha do Mel is a lot smaller than Ilha de Santa Catarina and has neither streets nor cars, just some sandy paths. Even though the weather forecast looks way too hectic to go camping we grab our tent and take off to the island, excited to challenge our luck again and very curious to find out how our second camping experience will turn out.
On the short ferry ride we meet Fabiano from Curitiba and his wife, his little daughter as well as his brother and his wife who are heading to the island for a long weekend. After a short conversation in a mix of English, Spanish and Portuguese they invite us to stay with them in a huge house they booked for the weekend. We happily accept this kind and spontaneous invitation and realize how lucky we are the minute we set foot on the island as it starts raining right away. Fabiano’s house is a great place to chill out and to wait for the rain to pass whereas our little tent would not have a chance against this steady rain that actually lasts for two days.
Ilha do Mel is a very peaceful place with wild, empty beaches and just two little villages that consist of some cozy guesthouses, cute restaurants that remind me of beachbars/restaurants that I have seen in South-East-Asia and a few surfers that walk around without shirts or shoes. When it finally stops raining in the afternoon of the next day we go for a little walk and drink some mate on the beach before meeting four additional friends of Fabiano who come over for the night. And that very night turns out to be a special one as we get to witness a proper Brazilian BBQ. Just like in Argentina, the people here in Brazil eat great amounts of meat and love BBQs that are accompanied by loads of beer. Even though it is difficult for me to follow the conversations it is good fun with new friends, delicious food and cold drinks.
After one more chilled day around the local beaches, Sami and I say goodbye to Fabiano and the others and take off in order to hike to the second little village in the south of the island. When we reach the end of the first beach though, the trail just seems to stop. We talk to a local guy and learn that we have to cross some rocks that are partly covered by water at this point (due to the high tide) and that the trail continues on the other side. Since we cannot wait for two or three hours for the water level to drop, our only option is to take off our shoes and to start wading through the water and climbing over and around the rocks with all our bags (including camping equipment) until we find the trail. What follows is a beautiful little trek along the wild cost of Ilha do Mel which has a very bizarre shape. Before reaching the village and catching the boat back to the main land we visit a little cave and still enjoy the ease and the peace of this lovely island as we will find ourselves in a completely different world when waking up the next day after a night on the bus…