Paradise in Paraty

Trip Start Jun 14, 2009
Trip End Dec 24, 2009

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We headed out of Rio on a rainy day and were so happy with the weather Rio had put on for us during our time there - sun, sun and more sun!  We made it to the bus station eagerly anticipating our first solo bus ride, seeing whether this could be done without the all important tour leader and speaking little to no Portugese.  There neednīt have been any worry as Eugene had it all sorted, I was positioned at a place in the station in charge of the bags and in a little under 10 minutes Eugene comes back with tickets for a bus leaving to Paraty in under 20 minutes.  Thatīs service for you and Eugene now has the designation of tour leader!

After about 4 hours on a very luxurious bus we arrived at Paraty.  We had heard so much about the town, how it is a cute historic colonial town.  We werenīt disappointed, the center of town had lovely cobbled streets where no cars are permitted, beautiful buildings, a lovely port and mountains surrounding the entire area.  Paraty first found riches after the discovery of the world's gold mines in the mountains of Ouro Preto and around, Paraty became an export port for gold to Rio de Janeiro and from there on to Portugal.  After the gold rush finished the town continued its export business but with coffee instead.

When we arrived, again tour leader Cash was to the rescue, I was sent to a cafe with the bags where I indulged in a cappuccino while Eugene sorted out a hostel for us (yes I am very spoilt and lucky, loving every minute of it!).  With hostel sorted we were ready to explore the town.

First day there we were undecided to take one of boat tours around the bays which looked amazing or just have a wander around.  The clouds over the mountains looked a bit dubious so we decided to leave the boat trip till the next day.  We instead went for a walk to the fort and over to Jabaquara beach.  We decided to take the coastal route on the way over, scrambling over rocks and wading through water, we nearly got stranded at some points because the rocks were impassible - it made for an interesting trip.  We eventually made it to the beach and had a great day just relaxing on the beach (Eugene built an amazing sand sculpture named Sandy!) and having a couple of beers at one of the many stalls lined along the beach.  We took the sensible path on the way back following the road making it home much quicker.

The following day was beautiful so we opted for the boat ride.  It was an interesting experience deciding which boat to take as they are all lined up at the dock all offering similar packages.  We finally decided on a boat which had a great deck and we started off on the adventure.  The trip was amazing taking us to these picturesque beaches and coves in the most amazing surroundings.  We had a traveling minstrel throughout the boat ride, he played the guitar and sung aswell as giving us a guided tour of the islands.  We stopped for swims throughout the journey which were just fantastic, crystal clear water and lovely golden beaches.  It was just paradise, but to have a holiday house there is really expensive, the guide pointed out some of the islands that are sold for millions and owned but hot shots from Sao Paulo, they had heli pads and all.  Might be awhile before we can purchase our own island there!

On our final day in Paraty we were just going to relax and wander through the town but someone from the hostel we stayed at recommended us to take a local bus to Trinidade, a town with about 5 different beaches all along it.  We were told it was stunning and again werenīt let down.  It was just beautiful, lovely beaches one after the other.  We walked to the furthest beach for some swimming, we had been told about this lovely spot if you continue walking through the jungle, so we decided to go for it.  It was a fabulous spot which I could only describe as a swimming hole created by the tides of the sea and surrounded by rocks.  We ended up spending the rest of the day there and as the sun was going down decided we had better start on the walk back.  To our luck there was a local boatie there that offered to take us back to the main beach for USD5, we hopped at the chance, had a great ride back and had time for a beer while watching the sunset over the hills before catching the bus back to Paraty.  

Once back in Paraty my spoiling continued, Eugene had been up early that day and gone to the fish market to buy some prawns that were in season and just huge.  With some additional ingredients Eugene whipped up a wonderful meal for us which was delicious, nice having some home cooking for a change!

Next morning we were up ready for our long trip to Foz do Iguazzu.

Update soon,
Renee and Eugene
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