Paraty - World Heritage Site

Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 15, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, February 21, 2010

This tour group is different from previous ones - they count their
vacations in months rather than weeks.  I am on one of the shortest trips of
anyone.  Lots of them have their own computer notebooks with wifi so they don't have to
worry about weird punctuation (I can't find the shift key and commas easily), but the internet is very slow in the hostel.

I thought I might go horseback riding on the beach but I don't want to mess up Jenny who is experienced so I will check out the town of Paraty with its cobblestone streets and tourist shops but I can't buy anything unless I send it home immediately along with the snorkel and mask I can't use because i forgot my contacts.

I was up very early and waiting for breakfast at 7 rather than 8 am since there was a time change so I had to wait an extra hour.  I  did manage to get on the internet for 45 min and checked my mail and wrote some replies.  Hostel and campground computers seen extremely slow and prone to failure.  I went for a walk in Paraty with Sarah and Hilary.  They are from England and met on a previous Dragoman tour and have become great traveling buddies.  While I am writing my diary entry, there are guys eating BBQ meat below me on the street and it smells good.  South America is definitely for the carnivore.  In town we did a little shopping, photo taking and stopped for cokes at an upscale restaurant close to the pier and then we went for lunch at a less pricey place:  a little quiche and salad, roll with cheese and meat.  Why do all my trip notes mention food??

We went to dinner at a Thai restaurant.  Actually, the restaurant had to move to the owners' home.  The food was fantastic as we sat outdoors in a lovely tropical garden.  I first became aware of our driver Mick's vast appetite.  He was looking for more food so I gave him my leftover rice and then offered him Jodie's leftovers.  She wasn't sure he would want them but he was very grateful.

Here is an excerpt from World Travel Guide website on Paraty: 
Paraty: An enchanting colonial town, situated approximately 400km (250 miles) south of Rio, Paraty has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town's churches, squares and townhouses with flourishing courtyards
are still much as they were when Paraty was a chief port for the export
of gold and coffee in the 17th and 19th centuries respectively. The
cobbled streets are open only to bicycles, horses and pedestrians and
are surrounded by a wealth of old buildings containing appealing art galleries,
restaurants and handicraft shops. The town sits on the ocean and is
backed by lush Atlantic Rainforest. The most imposing church is the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Our Lady of the Remedies).
Originally built for the white elite, it now contains works of art by
local artists. Approximately a 20-minute walk north of the Old Town is
the Forte Defensor Perpétuo (Perpetual Defending Fort), on the Morro de Vilha. Its purpose in 1703 was to defend Paraty from gold-plundering pirates but today it houses the Museu de Artes e Tradicoes Populares (Museum of Popular Arts and Tradition).
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