Paraty, RJ State
Sao Paulo Travel Blog› entry 7 of 45 › view all entries
April 24th, 2010 – by: debsadams1979
Secondly I was reading a blog by an English guy written a few years ago that said that when writing a travel blog it shouldn't be too smug and I guess he has a point, no one wants to hear hwo brilliant things are all the time do they? So I've been racking my brains to think of any anecdotes of examples of my misfortune that would give you all a chuckle; well the worst weather Rio has seen in 30 years must count for something? You expect to regail everyone with tails of beautiful beaches, sunsets and scorching temperatures not being soaked to the bone and seeing water up to your knees.
Anyway back to the matter in hand...
Most travellers plump for either Paraty or Ilha Grande as they head south from Rio for their first beach stop, occassionally some do both, after a bit of reading earlier on in the trip I deciced to go for Paraty as it had a bit of culture as well as good beaches and was alos less hassle to get to.
After a short and uneventful bus trip (buying bus tickets was definetley less of a challenge than I'd thought it'd be) I arrived in Paraty.
After checking into my hostel late afternoon I decided to explore Paraty's charms, as from what I'd already seen so far I'd fallen in love with. The hostel was right opposite the beach (though I don't think anywhere is too far from the beach in Paraty) - bonus!
As I wandered around the historical old part of town (which I think is petitioning for UNESCO heritage status) it seemed to be unusually busy for the off-season and the reason for the throngs of people I soon discovered was that there was a tourism convention in town that weekend.
A little overview on Paraty itself; it's an old colonnial town with pretty pastel coloured buildings, quaint squares and churches, boutique shops and some pretty pricey restaurants, hotels and pousadas, particularly if you're staying right in the centre.
After wandering around soaking up the atmosphere I bumped into two American guys I'd briefly spoken to on the bus and we ended up sitting down for a drink in the main square chatting and watching the hustle and bustle. A few more picteresque side streets around the square warranted investigation and we stumbled across a caipiranha vendor and hung out next to one of the bars listening to some live music. The guitarist was pretty damn good and we managed to work out he was actually playing tunes from Western bands and translating them into Portuguese; he treated to us to Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam & Nirvana amongst other things, we'd gotten so absorbed by it all that we hadn't noticed it was so late.
Sunday I took a Schooner tour to some of the nearby islands and beaches on the recommendation of my hostel staff, it certaintly didn't disappoint. After a 15 minute walk to the docks I was greeted by an old skool type galleon, I climbed aboard and settled into a sun lounger with my book for company. I'd hoped there'd be other backpackers on the boat that I'd meet as my hostel was supposedly full of Brazilians but no such luck. I decided though it wasn't a big deal and I'd make the most of the weather and top up on my tan and catch up on my book.
The horn sounded to call us back to the boat and not long after getting comfortable a Brazilian guy approached me and asked if he and his friends could talk to me and practise their English, I of course was willing to oblidge! The rest of the trip turned into an amazing affair, there were 20-30 students who all wanted to talk to me and ask about my trip, why I had chosen to come to Brazil, what I liked about it and what I thougt about the people.
I got back to my hostel to find there were English speakers/ travellers there and actually found there were two doctors from London in my room, Riaz and Rosie.
The girls were taking the boat tour the next day and I decided to try the Jeep tour as it included Cachoeira Toboga (a natural waterslide), cachaça distilleries and some trips to various waterfalls in the national park near Penha.
The only part of the trip that really sucked were the 'gardens' we visited after our somewhat late lunch, it was the most disappointing thing we'd done all day as it turned out to be somewhat of a garden centre and a crappy one at that. Although it was good to do a fair bit in a day most of the things can be reached by public bus and in hindsight I wish I'd have made the effort to do it myself as I ran into a few other backpackers doing it off their own backs and although it wasn't really over priced it wasn't as good value for money as the previous days boat trip.
Dinner back at the hostel ended up being somewhat of a bonus as the girls had met some Canadians staying at the hostel who were cooking that night and invited us all along as they had way too much food, as our contribution to the proceedings we tapped up cake lady again to provide desert. The rest of the evening was a chilled affair supping cut-price caiparinhas on offer from the hostel and chatting with fellow backpackers.
Riaz and Rosie were heading off to Sao Paulo early the next day and I was tempted to join them as I thought it would be nice to have some travelling companions and they were following the same route I was taking, I resisted though as I hadn't really done a proper walk around the old town and take some snaps before leaving so hopped on a bus to Sao Paulo around lunchtime.
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