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Residents Live Alone on Mini-Islands Off the São Paulo Coast

12/28/2017 - 10h45

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ANGELA PINHO
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT FROM SÃO SEBASTIÃO (SP)

"This is our television", says psychologist Maria Miller, 56, on the terrace of her house. She points to the ocean at a dolphin route. "This is our Animal Planet [channel]." She looks up at the sky. "The Weather Channel", she says.

Surrounding her, her husband, David Ferdinand, 53, a mutt-dog named Lao, and Brad Pitt, a beige cat that she gave the name to when she moved to the Couves island in São Sebastião - "because I just couldn't go to a deserted island without taking Brad Pitt, right?"

A little more than three kilometers from the coast of São Sebastião, as one is leaving Barra do Sahy, Couves island doesn't have even have a refrigerator. But, like the neighboring dos Gatos island, it has preserved nature, sun, shade and fresh water.

On each of the islands there is only one residence, where the people live who were chosen to take care of nature and to keep thieves away from the mess left by tourists.

On Couves island, the role belongs to Maria and David. An American from Rhode Island, David was the one responsible for the couple's move.

Five kilometers distant, the "moment" has already lasted for 35 years for Caio Rodrigues Rego, 65, who has been living on dos Gatos island this whole time and serves as guardian for a history of greater longevity.

Facing the Baleia, Camburi and Boiçucanga beaches, the island has a small sand strip, which was artificially constructed from exploded stones.

What was left over from the stones was used by American Julian Penrose (1916-1968) to build two houses on the island: one for the caretaker, on the lower level, where Caio lives and a much bigger one on the upper level, which today is in ruins.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Eduardo Anizelli/Folhapress
Caio Rodrigues Rego, 65, has been living on dos Gatos island for 35 years
Caio Rodrigues Rego, 65, has been living on dos Gatos island for 35 years

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