A Cup of Para-tea

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Aug 23, 2011

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday 11th August

After leaving Sao Paulo at 4pm it took only six hours to get to the coast, to the small town of Paraty. After struggling to converse with a lady who ran a travel agency, she managed to make a phone call for someone to come and take us to a hostel. We were trying to speak in Spanish to her....and she was replying in Portuguese to us. Either way, in the end we managed to sort things out. Sao Paulo has been pretty chilly and it felt a touch warmer on the coast. We were in a dorm room for nine people. When we arrived, the hostel was also a pizza restaurant and the smells coming from the kitchen were divine. It was too expensive for us to indulge. It was a pretty nice place with an outdoor TV area, outdoor kitchen and we were also right next to the beach......we were about 4 metres from the hostel to the beach.....we just needed to walk across the road
Friday 12th August

It was a, fill-your-boots breakfast which included cake, cheese, ham, bread, coffee, cereal, fruits and yoghurt. This was all part of our accommodation....and so we helped ourselves to plenty of everything! It was free fruit all day, so I think I had about six bananas. We played a bit of volleyball, just the three of us, while we waited to go kayaking. It was a free kayaking trip because the hostel were taking pictures for their website. So we paddled around, first across the bay and then through a channel that connected back to the sea again via a few man-made channels. We saw quite a few wading birds nesting in trees or on the river banks watching us suspiciously. Our surroundings were pretty green and the beach was a long, beautiful stretch of sand. Looking out at sea there were a few islands, some of which were inhabited.....others just receiving a bashing from the sea. The sea was quite calm and after an hour or so, it was time to head back but a slightly different way. This time we were in the sea itself and although the waves were small, if they hit you side on...it was easy to fall out as Phil found out. Everyone else from the group headed directly back to the beach close to the hostel. We had a free license to do what we wanted, so we went and circled one of the small islands and then made our way back. My arms were knackered after paddling for a few hours but it was good fun....and the sun had been shining all day, which was nice! During the day, we had also seen quite a lot of fish jumping out of the water. The old part of Paraty looked lovely from the kayaks and we paddled underneath some lovely bridges. 

Later that night, after a standard spaghetti bolognese for tea, we watched Sweeney Tod. Other options available included, The Yorkshire Redemption, like Shawshank Redemption we think but set in Armley Prison in Leeds. We had a fair chuckle at that!

Saturday 13th August

This was the start of the Premier League season and so Slater and Phil watched Liverpool play Sunderland, in what I was told, had been an unmissable game of football between these two giants. Anyway, I spent the whole day on the beach relaxing. At around 3 o'clock, me and Phil walked in to the old part of the town. The new and old parts are separated by the river, we'd paddled down the previous day. It was a really rustic, old town with cobbled streets. According to the Lonely Planet, the streets are so cobbled, "it hurts" to walk through the alleys. There were people selling cakes on the streets, some lovely restaurants inside some really beautiful buildings. We also noticed that a stage was in the process of being built. We returned later to watch some live music. We had a couple of beers and wandered the streets some more, showing Slater some of the things we'd seen during the day. 

Sunday 14th August

Up at 07:30, we caught the bus at 09:00 after some breakfast, from outside the hostel to the old part of Paraty. We then caught another bus to a place called Angra, and then from there we caught a boat over to Ilha Grande.....a big island. It is Brazil's third largest islands, apparently, and is quite an exclusive place. So, whilst we waited for the boat over to the island we boat a few things.....enough to last us the entire time we'd be on this expensive island. 
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