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5 Things I Love About Morro de São Paulo w/ Manoel Tosto

Raised on a remote island on the east coast of Brazil surrounded by the jungle, plants and animals, Manoel Tosto finds truth, happiness and wisdom in nature.

Recently releasing his new album Beira De Praia, the project is full of soft, guitar-led compositions - inspired by the simple sounds of nature. "It’s an example of a day without haste or agony, of simple joy and total peace. It’ll transport you onto the island with me and help you feel the ease and calmness I was experiencing when I recorded it.”

Based in Morro de São Paulo, a village located in Tinharé Island on the east coast of Brazil, we chatted to Manoel to find out what he loves about his home.

High and Low Tide - The difference between high tide and low tide is huge! At low tide you can go to the natural pools formed in the coral reefs where the water is crystal clear, lots of fish are swimming around and you have an incredible view. At high tide the landscape changes completely, it seems that we are in another location. The water rises quite a bit, reaching the doors of the houses in front of the beach. In addition, the water in the mini pools at low tide gets very hot because of the sun. When the tide rises it brings all this water to the edge, providing a super hot sea bath - almost like in a jacuzzi. In some places you can only go at low tide, and if the tide goes up the only chance to get back is by swimming.

Mangrove - There is nothing more beautiful than the mangrove, with its unique aerial roots, abundant life, mystical atmosphere and super exotic beauty. Walking through the mangrove is like entering a fairy tale, difficult to describe, but the landscape is so unique and different that it seems out of this world. Mud, sand, sea, river, corals - all together WOW! It is a unique experience. Many fishermen return from the mangrove to sell things such as the 'lambretas' (type of bivalve like oyster), different types of crabs and fish.

Variety of Vibes - I love the dynamics that exist here. In high season the Morro boils, the beaches are full, there are people from all over the world, a lot of parties going on down on the beach, in the forest, literally everywhere. In the low season it seems that the island stops for a while to rest and recover its energy for the next season and everything seems calmer and more peaceful. Of course, there are parties all year round and lots of tourists, after all the region lives on tourism and there are always quiet places and calm nights all year round, but the energy of the place changes between seasons and this is remarkable. I particularly prefer the low season, the more empty beaches and more contact with the locals. Anyway, you can always find your place here, no matter what.

Surfing at the Door - I love to surf, it's my favorite sport. We have good waves here, not super big but enough to brighten a surfer's day. For me there is nothing better and more pleasurable than a surf session with my father, my brother, and friends. We are lucky to live in front of the sea, so early in the morning we look at the sea and pass on the weather and condition report to friends who live further on the island. My father was one of the first surfers on the island and we had the privilege of discovering and surfing a secret wave for years, without anyone knowing that super fun waves break there. Surfing, besides being a radical sport, is direct contact with nature and here it is very common to surf surrounded by sea turtles. A blessing.

Coconut Culture and Wild Fruits - We grow coconuts on our own tiny farm. It is incredible to see the amount of things that can be made from coconut. We drink coconut water every day, we also make different types of coconut sweets and even use coconut in the preparation of savory meals. Not to mention coconut milk, coffee, fruits and cereals, chocolate. I love them all! Besides, you can still find walking around the forest in unconventional native fruits such as cashew (from which we also roasted Cashew Nuts seed), mangaba, soursop, guava and Ingá (the bubble gum of jungle) wow! Just fantastic and delicious.

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