Days 9 - 11: Paraty, Brazil

Trip Start Sep 23, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Brazil  , Rio de Janeiro,
Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 9 - travel 

Back to Rio bus station today briefly before jumping on a second bus that took us to Paraty. The journey took us a long the coastline and provided our first brief glimpse into what life outside the major cities is like. Take away the golden beaches, high rise buildings and booming tourist trade and even just from the comfort of our air conditioned bus it becomes apparent why South America is a third world continent. Most buildings are covered from top to bottom in graffiti, packs of dogs roam the streets and homes, with their corrugated iron roofs, look run down and squalid. It really struck us just how far from home we really were and we were glad to finally arrive at our next hostel. 

Day 10 - into the wild! 

On the recommendation of our friendly hostel owner, Pablo, we jumped on a local bus that we were assured would drop us at the start of a trail leading to a small beach community. That's all we were told and as our bus climbed higher into the rainforest we began to wonder what we'd got ourselves into! The bus terminated in a remote village where an old woman, who must have known what we were looking for, pointed towards a path leading into the jungle. For 2 hours we walked through the forest, seeing huge spiders, exotic birds and hardly any people! Eventually, after some pretty tough terrain we emerged onto the brow of a hill overlooking the golden beach of Praia de Sono. We walked through the seemingly deserted village in search of some lunch but could only find a small shop selling biscuits (Kelly was happy!) that we ate on the beach admiring the spectacular view. 

Backpackers hostel is fantastic! The ski chalet-like building has a porch with hammocks and swing chairs for you to chill out in and that evening for 4 we munched on Pablo's home-cooked pizzas. 

Day 11 - Kayaking and festival number 5.

We met Matteo, the owner of Kayak Paraty, over a few caipirinhas at the hostel last night and he assured as that despite the overcast weather today would be good for kayaking. Although at first it was raining, the high humidity meant we could comfortably paddle along in nothing but our swimming costumes. The sea was flat and we made good time to our first stop, Paraty's 'mud beach'. Walk a couple of metres into the sea off this beach and you quickly understand the name. Within 5 minutes were were covered from head to toe in decomposed mangrove detritus! Looking like characters from a Lord of the Rings film we posed for photos on the beach and attempted to get as much of the mud off as possible in the sea. 

Our next stop was the mangroves around one of Paraty's hundreds of small islands. We really felt like intrepid explorers as we paddled around, under and sometimes in Kelly's case, into the mangrove branches that had red and black crabs sitting on them. We emerged from the mangroves some time later and began the long slog back to our start point. 'Spaghetti arms Kel' looked as if she might not make it at times but found enough energy at the end to steam past me onto the beach in true Seabiscuit style. 

We were exhausted from our 4 hour trip but somehow found the energy to head into the cobbled streets of Paraty where the 3 day Latin music festival was being held. We were shocked to find a huge tent with a production that rivalled a lot of the stages we'd seen in the UK, headlined by one of Brazils biggest bands. Unfortunately there weren't any kebab shops around but Kel finished off the night with a chocolate crepe! 
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