Paraty, a huge change from Ilha Grande!

Trip Start Aug 14, 2010
Trip End Aug 05, 2011

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, August 22, 2010

So Sunday morning, the day we were leaving Ilha Grande came along! We were up early for breakfast as the ferry was leaving at 10am.  We packed up the last few bits, checked out and got some excellent directions and tips from Claus before getting onto the ferry.  The tickets were R$14.00 this time though! Weekend prices! 
After a lovely calm crossing we arrived at Angra.  We went to where we thought the bus stop was and then took a little rest as the bus was not leaving until 12.  So we headed back to the bus stop with 10 minutes to spare and could see no sign of the bus.  As 12 o’clock approached we were feeling a little anxious as loads of buses came and parked and not a single one of them said ‘Paraty’ on them.  It then turned out that we were standing at the wrong bus stop.  A nice bus man directed ourselves and a fellow backpacker to the correct bus stop.  So with two minutes to spare we hopped on the bus and woah, what a bus journey we had ahead of us! Let’s just say it was like we were trapped inside a jack-hammer speeding down country roads and over bridges at about 70 miles an hour! Unbelievable! We swear we caught air about two or three times! And we literally bounced about a foot above the seat once or twice! 
So Paraty was a welcome end to the two hour jack-hammering! We called our hostel like we’d been told as they said we’d get a free pick up from the bus station.  We were then told to get a taxi and that they’d refund the cost.  So we did.  We arrived at the hostel, and surprise surprise they did not refund the full cost.  We were robbed of R$5 - not a huge amount of money, but seriously annoying all the same.  The room was filthy and the window didn’t close properly, so yeah, not the nicest place we’ve ever stayed.
We decided to go exploring the Old Town as we’d heard so much about how beautiful and unique it is.  Paraty is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It’s a town of little white-wash buildings and the most treacherous uneven cobblestoned streets you could ever see! It actually is quite dangerous to walk on them, we spent the whole time watching our step with an occasional trip! It’s more like stepping stones than a road.  Not much to see to be honest but we did look around the Old Town and enjoy the atmosphere.  We walked the streets, saw the few churches and strolled along the port and pier.  So that was Paraty’s Old Town, all seen in one afternoon! 
Knowing that there wasn’t much left to do here, we set off the next day to Praia Forte, a small beach recommended in the Lonely Planet.  It’s meant to be ten minutes from where we’re staying on Praia Pontal.  We walked for the few minutes and made a new little friend along the way.  We followed the one sign that we saw for it and ended up out on a huge rock headland where the sun was beating down.  A local man directed us to the beach “through the nature”.  We followed his directions as did our new friend, who John then named Rex! It really is a tiny hidden beach.  It is literally a gap between two rock headlands, big enough to fit about five people at a stretch.  Easily the smallest beach that we’ve ever been on!  We decided to try get to Praia do Jabaquara following a track along the coastline from the small beach.  We almost made it all the way following the track (as did Rex who seemed to know the way!) only to meet a stream with no way to cross so it was then back to Praia Forte we went! Rex was a little confused as to why we weren’t continuing on.  
We spent the next while at the beach and on the headland, before heading back up to the Fort, which the little beach is named after, and planned out our next few possible destinations for our trip.  What a way to spend an afternoon in the sun planning where your next stops are going to be! All very exciting!  Our new friend even enjoyed it as he stayed with us the whole time and accompanied us back down the hill to Praia Pontal.
That evening we ate in the nicest restaurant ever!  Punto Di Vino.  We had read about it in the Lonely Planet and decided to check it out.  And we are so happy we did.  We had quite possibly the most delicious dinner we have ever had in a restaurant, made even nicer with the fact that we found it with no directions at all.  Paraty maps don’t like to include all the street names it seems!  Back to the hostel then, packed up the rucksacks as we’ll be on the road again in the morning.  Sao Paulo here we come!
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Adele on

Hey great blog and i can agree with you about bus drivers in brazil i will never forget the drive between ilha grande and partay

jam10 on

The bus trip between Ilha Grande and Paraty will never leave us!! :)

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