Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Curitiba and Ilha do Mel

I have been looking forward to this trip for a long time, when two years ago, on one of the coldest days of winter, I sent a photo of snow and my friend from Brazil sent back a picture from the beach, saying I should come here, they have 30 degrees. So I asked a friend in Austria, who has been in Brazil for a year during school what to do when there. She told me lots of things and then asked me if I plan to go there. I said "maybe" and she told me she wanted to visit Brazil again for a long time but she didn't want to go alone. From there it was fixed, we had to go to Brazil, and Argentina afterwards because I know people there as well, and we are going in winter because it's summer there and escaping the winter is always a good decision.

So when the moment finally came I was so excited I can't even describe it, the whole week before I could not stop smiling. The trip was long, from Graz to Vienna to New York to Sao Paulo to Curitiba. But finally we arrived in Curitiba and were greeted by my friend, welcomed into the home of his family (who by the way prepared the best breakfast I had for a long time). Everybody was so excited for us to be here and really trying to talk english to us so they would be able to get to know us. As we arrived pretty late, we just saw one of the popular going out streets with lots of bars, which was pretty cool because everybody was just chilling and drinking outside on such a warm summer night.

On the next day we went to Ilha do Mel, an island two hours from Curitiba. My friend from Brazil planned and organized the whole trip and it was really great! The island itself is without cars, so you can just walk around or take the bike (if you have one). It is pretty big but most of it is forest and only some paths connect the two villages and all the beaches. And there were many wide and amazing beaches that seemed almost untouched. The whole place felt so magical, and the weather even intensified the feeling.

We were actually glad we didn't have 35 degrees and sunshine because this would have certainly made us two austrian girls turn into a very red version of ourselves within a very short time. Also the most trails of the island are on the beach without any shade which would have been hard to walk along in the hot summer sun of Brazil. So we were lucky about the weather, as long as it was not raining.

We spent our time on the island discovering the island by foot or by bike, seeing the most amazing landscapes and taking the most stunning photos on the way, having brazilian barbecue, learning many new card games, enjoying the waves in the ocean and just relaxing. It was adventurous, exciting, delicous, impressing and im general just a wonderful time.

I really wish I had more time as there is still so much left to discover and it is just such a perfect summer paradise. I even thought about what I would like to do if I came here again and I am sure I could fill a week with all the activities. But then again it would have never been so great without knowing someone to take you there who knows the island and the country who can take care of things I wouldn't even know about. This made me think about whether I did travelling wrong until now.

Because when you are with people who live there, you get to see the real country. They show you places you would else never could have visited, they show you life as it really is, they cook you the real food, they make you meet and get to know even more people from there. You are not just seeing the country, you are part of it. And this is something else entirely. I really loved the experience and I am so happy my friend from Brazil made this happen.

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