Many people with limited time avoid visiting the Morro de São Paulo. It’s a long trip of more than three hours each way.
It is indeed a constraint, but due to the diversity of the transports and the suburban landscape, it is not too difficult.
The most unpleasant thing is the long ferry crossing, with its waiting times and clutter of clutches. At the end everything happens at a good pace. Bus and hour in the lush tropical landscape, and a lively speedboat ride does not saturate. On the way back, until the crossing of the bay was faster and without waiting. Worth it!
The entrance to the settlement is made by the gate of the old fortress, where visitors have to pay a visit fee. Old age is a privilege, and being exempt, we were limited to watch (with time to make a few pictures).
With more than 600 meters of extension, the fortress of Tapirandu, in Morro de São Paulo, was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, and expanded in the 18th. After an important role in protecting access to the bay, it fell into ruins until it was classified and preserved as a national monument
The modest church of Our Lady of Light was built in 1845, at the site of an earlier chapel, which legend says, miraculously avoided a Dutch invasion.
Inside it houses some relics from the 17th and 18th centuries.
After reading that there are no vehicles on the hill, it was with surprise that we were faced with a lush trade. The small size of streets and houses, and the color of displays and facades create a very welcoming atmosphere, full of people, even in low season.
The long beach of Morro de São Paulo is divided by some small peninsulas or islets, which divide the beach into segments that for convenience were numbered. The first beach, next to the fort is small, with some exposure to the waves, and the most supported by the commercial structure. Because of the waves is the favorite of surfers.
The second beach concentrates all the movement and excitement. Well protected by the reefs , and flanked by an endless series of restaurants, inns, bars and kiosks, with terraces stretching along the beach at the low tide, it is the main beach
From the third beach, the construction fades, and the beaches grow in extent and gain, as you move southward, a growing appearance of isolation. The presence of the reefs is maintained, which continues here and there to provide natural pools in the convenient phase of the tide.
The Lighthouse comes from1855, included in the building of the first fabric factory of Brazil. Almost hidden amidst the tropical vegetation, it provides a panoramic view of the beaches, and it is celebrated by a small replica in one of the biggest squares of the village.
Upon arriving at Morro de São Paulo, the guide led us to a set of umbrellas in the beach of this restaurant where a space was reserved for us (and a commission for him, of course).
We accepted the suggestion and used the shade and chairs as the basis of our exploration of the place before ordering lunch.
We dare the most expensive on the list – Lobster Moqueca – and we did not regret it. The price, astronomical in Brazil, but moderate in Portugal seemed fair to us, even because I had the privilege of running away from beer, drinking a reasonable wine from Chile.
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