Rock slides, rice and rum

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Howdy children!

hope everyone is well!

we can now be called children of the sun as alllll we have done in the past few weeks is tan and be merry.. so these two blogs will be quite short! nevertheless some news to share so press on i shall!

so paraty! was beautiful. unfortunately we had to get the haides bus to get there. 28 hours is not nice particularly when the bus smells like pee, has loud spanish lvoe songs playing complete with video of an old guy in leather serenading definately not 16 year olds, and 2 people get arrested for carrying weapons. but hey. the four hours in sao paulo made us SO GLAD we did NOT stop there as its a big sprawling busy smokey city of nothingness which is inland and a world away from idyllic beaches we were heading to. clap clap girls for good decision

so after said haides bus ride we arrived into paraty at about 10.30pm absolutely delirious from sitting down for so long but overjoyed to be on non moving ground. our hostel sent a taxi for us which was awesome and we drove down this gorgeous little cobblestone streets, over a bridge and down to the waterfront

the hostel had heaps of hammocks and we had some good bunks in the girls room which always seems to be the place to be in a hostel... no smelly messy men, free to get changed without hiding and generally a nice ensuite and the cleaners seem to look after it muuuch better. other rooms werent so lucky.... 9 beds in teeny fanless room when it is 45 degrees at 10pm? no thank you!

so we had some vino and crashed quite quickly. the hostel is right on the beach which is nice and extremely chilled out, however not quite as fun or clean as the other hostels we've had

the next day we went to trindade, a beach town half an hour away... so to give u an idea paraty is a colonial town by the sea, where you set yourself up and then visit other the beaches near the town. the beach in paraty itself is not as nice and its on a harbour so quite polluted, plus super shallow so by 10am the water is worse than a bath. one thing we noticed about paraty is how super duper hot it was!

anyway so our first exploring day we went to trindade. its absolutely gorgeous. so picturesque it feels like you are apart of a postcard. and the sea was beautiful temperature and we got some coconuts and the thought of leaving almost made us sad!

after a cheapo lunch we went exploring as we had heard about this thing called 'the rock that swallows you'. sounds strange but basically there is a waterfall over a cave and the idea is you put your legs in the teeny hole behind where the water is cascading down and the water sucks you into the cave and down a slide where you drop into a deep dark cavern and then swim out... fun! but seriously almost impossible to find. we asked ten billion locals.. picture me and em miming, the rock that swallows you.. so funny. i think the locals pretended not to understand just to get us to do it again. so eventually we found our way to the base of the rainforest and we must have looked a bit lost as a little jungle book boy just emerged from the trees ala the disney movie and beckoned us up over a river and up a teeny tiny path you could only see as he pointed it out.   he was lovely! well from what we could tell. niente english, about 14 yrs old and was just like, you absolute idiot travellers how can u not see this path? so eventually him and his tiger companion (ie small dog) led us up this path which eventually became more defined.. but the path was a good 15 minutes hiking and we definately would not have found this rock had he not dived into the water, climbed up over some rocks and went in it himself! amazing. soon all these local kids were diving and splashing with us in the water, just us and them and it was very peaceful and surreal.. felt like you were intruding on their normal day to day. anyway we had some fun sliding around in this cave and then jungle boy beckoned us again and led us back down to the path but veered off to the left a bit... he kept beckoning us to follow so we did and we popped out at this beautiful lagoon! and it went like that for the rest of the day, he would beckon and we would just follow on these hikes and over rocks and sand and he would show us these amazing natural wonders such as a pool which was formed by rocks growing around it and keeping the water in with fish and coral, and beautiful waterfalls and deserted beaches! we had the best day and didnt know how to repay him so we persuaded him to have an ice block which he seemed confused about at first but accepted anyway!

the other place we visited between tanning sessions was called penha, a waterfall funpark kind of place which was 40 minutes from town. you do another jungle trek and walk over this rickety wooden bridge where a bar sits hidden in the trees (rejoice! caprioskas for everyone) and  you walk further along a tiny path and come down to a waterhole where tourists and locals alike are swimming. its so hot in paraty and these natural falls are so cold that it is almost better  than being at the beach as you actually feel cool and refreshed after a swim and the trees keep you nicely hidden from the burning sun. that said we still did plenty of tanning so dont worry!!

at penha there are two little fun things to do.. the first a giant slippery rock which you slide down into a pool of water underneath.. very fun and you can get yourself going super fast! the locals take it a step further and actually slide down on their feet... very cool photos of this plus very funny video of them sending me and em down screaming all the way!

the second is that there is a waterfall with a cave behind it so if you can make it up the slippery rocks you can climb in and sit and watch the water fall pound down onto the rocks in front of you. so nice HOWEVER em and i struggled a bit to get up said slippery rocks so some local guys helped us. they must just sit and wait for poor defenceless tourists as they seemed to help alllll the ladies! it was quite funny though as they got me up the rocks then one old guy went in first. then his hands appeared from behind the waterfall, so freaky looking, grabbed me by the waist and pulled me into the cave.. i was so shocked i landed in all sorts of tangles and literally ran into him, he then grabbed my chin and forced me to look skyward and said "LOOK at ze waterfall, it is SO BEEYOOTIFUL".. luckily em was clibming in behind me at this stage so i took the opportunity to pull her in and away from said weirdo old guy. he actually reminded me alot of winnie the pooh for some reason. i must have looked quite freaked out as after we watched the falls for a few seconds em was like, ready to go and i could not of slid out from under there any faster!

So apart from all this waterfall sight seeing we just tried to really relax and chill out in preperation for our lead up to carnavale and wind down from australia day festivities in florianopolis!!

From here an easssssy 2.5 hr ride to Ilha grande which we did on the fourth day... looking forward to some island time. so stressful this mainland business.... (hahaha)

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