Life's a beach!

Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
Trip End Dec 13, 2013

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Where I stayed
Che Legarto

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Friday, February 15, 2013

Boa Noite amigos.

I hope you don't mind me practicing my Portuguese, but I’m struggling here. I do know the polite basics like hello (Bon dia), goodbye (Tchau), please (Por Favor) Thank you (Obrigada), yes (Sim), No (Nao), you’re welcome (De nada) and I randomly know help (Socorro) but that is only because it has the word SOCO in it and thankfully not had to use this word yet!

Anyway I think I’m doing well and the Brazilians do appreciate you trying and you get a friendlier service for it but sometimes I struggle. The first time was in Ilha Grande when the lady was clearing our table, I went to say 'thank you’ but ended up just saying yes to her! Then today when we were walking along a trail I went to say ‘hello’ to somebody passing the other way like a polite brit does on a pleasant walk but instead said ‘you’re welcome’. I think I just randomly select a word from my limited vocab and hope it’s the right one. It’s very depressing because I watch everyone around me speaking a second language and I can’t even grasp the basics. Garry is getting very good and he is growing in confidence with it so using a bit more every day.

We were thinking of going on a week’s Spanish course when we get to Buenos Aires to set us up for the rest of our South America trip but I think I’ll send him on a two week course instead of me going and pissing money up the wall. Anyway, little rant over. Hopefully it will click soon and I’ll be bilingual when I return.

So since our last post we have been staying in a quaint town called Paraty. It really is beautiful with an old historic centre which has big cobble stone roads where cars are not allowed but a horse drawn carriage is. It is also on the coast so you walk through the historic centre and get to the sea. I fell in love with this place instantly.

15th Feb – We arrived into Paraty after catching a local bus from Ilha Grande where we were crammed in like sardines with rucksacks. We left the English 4 at the bus station, as they still had to find a place to stay, and went in search of our hostel – Che Lagarto. It had advertised itself as having a swimming pool but it was no bigger than a meter squared. The hostel was OK, it is a big chain in S. America and is just a business really, I felt it lacked the personal touch and to me just felt like an airport terminal waiting area. This was the first time we had checked into a mixed shared dorm but we had really nice Italian room mates who were very friendly and invited us to share a shisha with them, I only had one puff and it left my mouth tasting like mint. We had a wonder around the town and had our third burger in three days for dinner.

16th Feb – We had been told at the hostel that everybody was struggling to get a bus to Sao Paulo – our next stop (we have learnt that we are on what is called the ‘gringo’ trail and so everyone appears to be doing the same trip – and we thought we were original!) We were only booked into the hostel until Monday and apparently all bus tickets were booked up for that day so we spent the morning organising stuff. We walked to the bus station where Garry spoke to the guy in Portuguese and booked us on the bus to Sao Paulo on Thursday. This gave us a few more nights in the area so we decided to book a hostel in Trindade where people visit for the day but it sounded like we could fill the time. We spent the afternoon having a picnic by the river before climbing up to see the fort which was built to keep pirates out whilst Paraty was a mid point in the gold trail. We have learnt that you should take a Brazilians word with a pinch of salt. This fort consisted of a square hole in the ground with canons there which weren’t even on stands. The views were amazing though. We then walked down the other side of the hill to a beach where we lay for the rest of the afternoon.

17th Feb – Today we went to Toboga which is a waterfall in Penha about a half an hour bus from Paraty. We got to the bus stop for the 11:15 bus but it turns out the Sunday timetable is different so we waited until 12. Whilst waiting we spotted an Australian couple we had briefly chatted to at the bus station out of Ilha Grande so we started chatting to them. We then met 2 Australian sisters who we also started chatting too. We ended up spending the day with them. The waterfall has smoothed the giant rock below it over the years so the main attraction here is the natural waterslide it has produced. In our lonely planet guide it told us if you value your skull to do it sitting down and observe the locals who have managed to do it standing up. The locals really were pros at it. I saw one guy start on his chest going face first down it then he hit a lip where he jumped onto his feet and then at the next lip jumped in to the pool below. So cool. I however did value my skull so went down on my butt. At the top we were told that you could go behind the waterfall where there was a cave. It was funny to watch as people were going in and not coming out so it looked like the waterfall was eating everybody up. I got in line and went in. The water pressure was sooo hard and went on a lot longer than I had anticipated so when I got inside I was really disorientated, I couldn’t find anywhere to go as it was pretty full so came straight out again, I didn’t like it much. After another slide the Australian couple had to head back so we went to the Tarzan bar at the top across a wooden rope bridge with the Australian sisters. Jess, the older sister, said she would buy us a Caipirinha (the local beverage) for taking photos for her. We sat with them and had a good laugh before heading back for the bus. When we were on the bus Jess realised she hadn’t paid the bill, so we had a stolen free drink! We only had the one but it really did leave me very tipsy.

On our way back there was a well needed thunderstorm, it has been really hot here, nearly 40C. After the storm Garry and I headed out to see Paraty by night and there was 0% humidity, it was so nice not to be sweaty! Paraty by night is equally as lovely. Everyone here seems to be so chilled and it feels extremely safe.

Even though we are on the ‘Gringo’ trail I feel like we have discovered a real gem here.

So everybody, that is Paraty. I hope you enjoyed the read, Garry has some exciting wildlife updates for our next post in Trindade so stay tuned ;-)

Missing you all but having a ball!

K x x x
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