The lovely Colonial town
After Ilha grande we headed off to Paraty pronounced parachi by the locals. We could have done with a few more days at Ilha grande as the one full day beach trip was not enough to do the island justice.
We took a ferry to the bus stop and then a 2 hour bus ride along the lush green coast and ended up in Paraty about 2pm on the afternoon of the 28th Feb. Once again GAP had us in cosy accomodation located in the new part of town. You see the town has an historic area which has been there since the late 15 early 16th Century. It is a very endearing place with it´s cobble stone streets which doesn´t have access to vehicles, only horse drawn carriages.
Most of paraty´s appeal lies in the old part of town, with countless romantic little cafe´s, churches and an array of Cachaca liquor stores. The brazillian Sugar cane liquor is one of Paraty´s more famouse products. You would think you could get a cheap Caipirinha here but it is double the price of Rio, go figure.
After a much needed Nap I ventured to the towns beach alone as Harsh needed a few mor hours to rest offcourse, I was met with a fairly disappointing shore line compared to Lopez Mendez of ilha grande. However, there was character in the form of beach side bars with local music and water temperature of around 28 degrees in my approx. I even managed to sneak in a few reps at the dip and chin-up bar with a local young lad.
Both of us ventured out alone for dinner into the town centre, there was too much choice, we were lucky enough to be there for the towns birthday and were pleasantly surprised with a great fireworks display at about 9.30 pm. The town sqaure was full of locals who were obviouslt intoxicated on Cachaca, one street vendor was walking around with a normal home telephone as it was a mobile having an indepth converation with an imaginary friend, whilst another young lad was downing drink after drink screeming AIH!! AIH! AIH! AIH! to any one who would listen to him. Evry one was just loving life. We had a quick bite to eat where we shared a table with two Aussie blokes who were doing a world tour for a year, dinner was nothing to write home about except for the fact Harsh´s Pizza was about 8cm in diameter, well she should have known it did say mini pizza. Apart from that the most memorable moment was a palm tree branch falling 5 meters away from our dinner table and bi-secting two locals.
Luckily day two at paraty was much more Picturesque, we decided to decline the groups offer to take a bus to a beach 40 minutes away. Instead we opted for an Island hopping boat tour. This was a great decision. We visited 4 seperate islands within 5 hours, stopping off for about 45 mins in each. We had a simple seafood lunch on board, and were extremely cozy throught the day whilst we sailed the emerald waters aboard a comfortable scooner.
The two highlights of the tour was Harsh´s attempt at snorkling and meeting a young Brazillian family. Firstly lets talk about Harsh´s snorkling, C-O-M-E-D-Y! as George from seinfeld would say. Harsh was expecting to disembark the ship on a pier like we boarded. But the captain had other plans, at our first stop we had to jump into the water and simply explore the marine life. This was great for snorkling enthusiast like myself but for Harsh who struggles underwater in the bathtub it was somewhat dawnting. Credit to her she did take the plunge with a massive orange life jacket and did jump into 12 feet of water for the first time, she was feeling quite chuffed with herself until Luca and Amanda the 7 year old kids of the lovely brazillian family we met jumped over with no fuss whats so ever.
As mentioned the second highlight was meeting alexandria and her husband, they were convinced Harsh was Brazillian and the kids were fascinated at the fact we spoke English. I think that is one of the best things about travelling, you get to meet so many different people and learn about their from their own perspective.
After the tour we joined the group for dinner at a restaurent called Bohemia, there was hundreds of variations of Cachaca´s. The owner was a zany character who got pleasure out of serving us samples of cachaca from bizzare bottles that contained, Crabs, tarântula´s and snakes. You know us, we would never knock back a freebie so we tried them all. The food was great, I had to drag Harsh away from licking the bowl, as this was the closest dish that resemebled a curry since we got here.
We ended the night sampling icecream from a per kilo place. Thats right pay by the kilo for ice-cream. 200 grams set me back about 7 real.
Well we are just about to board a bus to san paulo enroute to iguazzu falls(24 hrs in total. I cant wait as I do love waterfalls and these are supposed to be sepectacular.
Sorry about the fact there are no pics, there is in issue with the PC here I will update the last 4 blogs with photos when i get to a proper PC.