Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brazil: Party in Paraty (sorry, sorry)

Leaving Bahia, we headed south to seek more sea and sun in Paraty before landing in Rio. Initially we were going to take the bus, but flights were amazingly cheap. The only kicker was that our flight left at 4am. Which meant that we had to get a cab at 3am. So of course we had no choice but to stay up all night eating chocolate and playing cards until we left.

While once a busy and important port town for the transfer of gold from mines (before travel to Rio was made easier and faster with roads cut through the mountains), Paraty is now more quaint than cutting edge. Artists and travelers trod its lumpy cobblestone streets (known as pes-de-moleque or street urchin`s feet) admiring the obvious wealth and importance of its well-preserved colonial history. The city`s architectural beauty has to compete with the stunning natural setting of the town, which explains its deserved popularity.

Unfortunately for us, the weather gods were not smiling in Paraty, which was cruel as the area was known for its secluded beaches, tropical islands, and great fish-viewing. Undeterred, we didn`t let the inclement weather stop us from singing and snorkeling in the rain. When the Tourist Office stopped running boat trips because of drizzle (or not enough people, or whatever excuse they felt like using), we grabbed a young Brit and commandeered a boat to take us out. Our fearless captain Domingo braved the (not too) stormy seas with us in his valiantly pinkish-purple boat. Admittedly, we could have swum faster than Domingo`s boat put-putted along, but that wasn`t the point, was it? After two days of rain, we had to admit that our sea-n-sun adventure had turned into cards-n-hot chocolate with cognac, so we threw in the towel and decided to hit the road a few days earlier than planned.

In a ´what a small world´ encounter, we ran into some friends from home at the bus station in Paraty. Newly wed and honeymooning, I don`t think they minded the rain.

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