See what I did there? ´Paraty Town´ sounds like ´party town´ except Paraty is the name of place I went to. Genius.
13/01/10 - 17/01/10 Paraty, Costa Verde, Brazil
The bus from Sao Paulo to Paraty takes 6 hours but time flies by as the scenery on the way is astonishing. One view of a city by the sea (Santo I think) as the bus climbs the steep mountain-side is absolutely jaw-dropping. My jaws dropped and stayed that way for a long time - people on one side of the bus stood up to get a better view. I get the feeling that everything we saw up to now in Mexico and Colombia is going to be small beer compared to Brazil.
When I get to Paraty, the thermometer at the station reads 42 degrees exactly. 42! As soon as I get out of the bus the seat starts dripping off my forehead and soon becomes a shower of salty sweat. I can barely see through the sweat as I make my way to the Jungle Hostel recommended to me by a Dutch traveller. The hostel is only about 300m away from the station but even this distance is unbearable in the heat, especially carrying big rucksacks.
Paraty (or Parati) [pronounced Par-a-CHEE] is a preserved Portuguese colonial (1500-1822) and Brazilian Imperial (1822-1889) town. It is located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Paraty has become a popular tourist area in recent years, renowned for the historic town and the coast and mountains in the region.
The town is located on the Bay of Ilha Grande, which is dotted with many tropical islands. Rising up as high as 1,300 meters behind the town are tropical forests, mountains, and waterfalls. It is the southernmost and westernmost city in Rio de Janeiro state.
On the first day, I explore the colonial centre which is remarkably beautiful not only for it's centuries old architecture, but also for it's lack of automobile traffic. Later there is the mother of all tropical rainstorms. I got drenched but it's kind of fun and feels really refreshing in the heat.
Over the next few days I explore some of the dozens of pristine beaches that are within a couple of hours by boat or bus. I also do a boat tour of the various islands. About 30 minutes into the tour, however, there is a big storm. Swimming in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean in a storm feels really good. Tropical fish start milling around when the captain throws some rice into the water. Watching this spectacle using goggles is one of my best experiences so far.
On the 17th I take a bus headed for Rio where I will meet Michael who stayed behind in Bogota for a week longer. In Rio, I am keen to see women wearing the famous string bikini on the Copacabana I've heard/dreamt so much about.
Boat Tour in the Storm
While I was trying to take these 'artistic' photos a big wave came in and took my flip-flops so I had to run after them. Comedy, so.
Praia do Sono
Have to trek for over 2 hours to get to this beach...hope it's worth it...
First glimpse of The Beach
Leaving the beach