Our arrival on Ihla do Mel (Honey Island) was delayed by one day as we had been unable to draw out any cash from the ATMs in Paranagua – it was a Sunday and all banks we tried seemed to have the same fault: no connection to the VISA network. Fortunately by the time Monday morning came around the problem was fixed, we had money in our pocket, and we were able to catch the 11am boat to the island. The advertised 1.5 hour journey turned into a 2.5 hour journey, but it was pleasant enough if not a bit noisy with the chug chug chugging of the old engine.
We had chosen Encantadas as our base on the island, but had not reserved any accommodation, so upon arrival we walked up and down the beach looking for the right hostel at the right price. Hmmm, it soon became apparent that we weren’t going to find the right price! With it being an island, all prices seemed to be heavily inflated compared to mainland accommodation prices. We realised that we were stuck between a rock in a hard place, and forked out the fee for 3 nights. Our chosen hotel had free wifi and a gorgeous clean swimming pool, so things weren’t all that bad.
We appeared to be the only foreign tourists on the island. All other island people were either locals or Brazilian tourists. This didn’t bother us, and we soon relaxed into the slow pace of island life. We spent our days sunbathing, swimming, surfing (of the internet kind, not in the sea!), eating, walking and exploring the island. Whilst out walking one day, we did bump into a German girl and her Dad who were also visiting the island and their first words to us were ‘what are you doing here?!’ as if they were surprised that we had found their secret island.
All around us on the island, the Brazilians liked to strutt their stuff and wiggle their wobbly bits everywhere, regardless of the weather. It’s like they are proud to be wobbly in the places that most British people strive to tone up or work it off! It was getting a bit sickening after a few days, in my opinion – please could they go and wave their backsides, muffin tops and breasts in someone else’s face? Or put some clothes on maybe? Haha.
Speaking of weather, we had some lovely sunshine whilst we were there, but each day, about early evening time, this intense heat turned into the loudest scariest thunderstorm I had ever heard. The lightening and thunder were always directly overhead when the storm came and the rain drove down in buckets. It was in a word: spectacular.
After a few days, we knew we needed to keep moving if we were to make it to Rio in time for some sight-seeing before our flight home. We took the boat back to Paranagua and then a bus from there to Curitiba where we discussed our next move.