Marcos Gazzana

EFL teacher, podcaster, blog writer, photography lover and Internet enthusiast

São Francisco do Sul

DSCN0693Founded by the Portuguese back in 1658, São Francisco do Sul is located in the north of Santa Catarina – the second southern most state of Brazil. The town, which has approximately 45,000 inhabitants, has kept some of its original architecture in the downtown area and around the port. The seaport of São Francisco do Sul is the fifth busiest port in Brazil (in number of containers and sixth in trade volume) and most of the economic activity in the region revolves around it.

New YouTube channel

YouTubeChannelIt’s with great pleasure that I would like to announce my new YouTube Channel. The idea of the project is to help Brazilian learners of English by providing tips on how to learn and information about the English language. Why only Brazilians? Well, actually anyone who speaks Portuguese, as I intend to make the videos in Portuguese!

I’m working on the last details and soon I will be posting the videos!

Downburst in Porto Alegre

On Jan 29th (2016), Friday, Porto Alegre was hit by a devastating rainstorm that knocked down more than 4,000 trees in parks and streets causing damage to hundreds of street lamp posts and several buildings around the city. Around 100 people had minor injuries and looked for emergencies due to debris falling from buildings and small cuts caused by broken glass. Not only the fallen trees and branches, but also hundreds of damaged traffic lights brought chaos to the city’s traffic on the following days. More than 300,000 people had to face long power outages. Telephone and water distribution services were also affected.

Interestingly, no weather forecast service had predicted such powerful storm and three days later we are still wondering what exactly happened. Today (Feb 2nd), I was watching the news and the first technical explanation describing the phenomenon finally came out. It was a downburst. Not knowing anything about this kind of phenomenon, I decided to find a definition to share with you..

Definition from Wikipedia:

“A downburst is created by a column of sinking air that after hitting ground level, spreads out in all directions and is capable of producing damaging straight-line winds of over 240 km/h (150 mph), often producing damage similar to, but distinguishable from, that caused by tornadoes. This is because the physical properties of a downburst are completely different from those of a tornado. Downburst damage will radiate from a central point as the descending column spreads out when having an impact on the surface, whereas tornado damage tends towards convergent damage consistent with rotating winds.”

Last October, we had another heavy rainstorm that flooded some areas in the metropolitan area. I hope this kind of phenomenon does not become a routine here in the south of Brazil. A question remains, how much of this nature’s fury is due to human activity?

Parque Estadual de Vila Velha

An interesting place to visit near Curitiba (about 90 km) is Parque Estadual de Vila Velha. This is a State Park which offers some infrastructure to the visitor. There are two main guided tours in the park. One to see the rock formations and the other to see two caves more than 50 mts deep (called Furnas) and a beautiful lagoon (Lagoa Dourada). If you are in Curitiba, it’s definitely worth a visit!

The Goblet is the most famous rock formation in the park

The Goblet is the most famous rock formation in the park

Furnas formation

Furnas formation – click on image to enlarge!

 

Photo on a book cover

Recently I had one of the photos that I keep on my Panoramio profile page chosen to be used on a book cover. The photo is also featured on Google Earth. I took the photo while I was traveling in the Northeast of Brazil with my wife. She saw these trees that kind of hug one another, as if they were two lovers, near some small village on the coast, and we decided to go there and check it out.

Maxaranguape RN Brazil

Couples tie ribbons with their names on the entangled roots as a symbol of eternal love for each other

Exactly 10 years later, I get this email from a writer who is writing a book about marriage and marital relationships asking if he could use my photo. Well, yes!

; )

Serra do Rio do Rastro

Certainly one of the most incredible roads I’ve driven on. With remarkable landscapes and deep crags, this mountain range is located in the southeast of Santa Catarina (second southern most state in Brazil) between Lauro Müller and Bom Jardim da Serra. Its highest point is at 1460 meters above sea level.

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On a clear-sky day it is possible to see the Atlantic ocean, which is about 100 kms away. Though, it doesn’t seem to be visible in the picture.

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On our way up to the top!

There are many viewpoints on the way where you can stop to take photos and enjoy the view.

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Road view

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Serra do Rio do Rastro

 

Fortaleza Canyon

Fortaleza Canyon is certainly one of the most stunning landscape views you can find in the south of Brazil. The canyon is located in the Parque Nacional da Serra Geral, 23 km from Cambará do Sul. It stands at 1240 mts above sea level and on a clear sky day, it is possible to see the Atlantic ocean. There are a few trails and viewpoints for the visitors. A must-see for those who love nature!DSCN4731

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