Where Our Love Affair Began
05.11.2012 - 07.11.2012 30 °C
Overnight Stays: Paraty (2 nights)
DW - The buses in Brazil always seem to leave on-time, but my God they always arrive late, without fail. Even the simplest shortest journey from Buzios to Rio, scheduled to leave at 11am and arrive at 1:40, got us into Rio an hour and 20 late, bang-on 3pm. Mind you, the traffic in RIo was nothing short of horrendous, manic chaos. Sadly, being nice and late meant we just missed out on the next bus connection to Paraty and had a few hours to kill at RIo station.
When we arrived into Paraty we couldn't have been more relieved; not only did it take us all day to go only a few centimetres on the map, but with the sniffling man behind us snorting every couple of minutes, we couldn't get off the bus sooner. So a wasted travel day had us exhausted, but it wasn't going to get the better of us, and as soon as we started to see Paraty our spirits were lifted. It's a really old small town, lined with the roughest of cobblestone streets, not at all car-worthy. But low and behold, our cabbie took it in his stride and we were escorted on the bumpiest road we're seen for some time. At the hotel it was mozzie central like we'd not seen before, the room was nearly black for all the horrid little buggers. But it wasn't unusual according to the staff, and a quick spray of the room annihilated the lot of them and we made it through the night scot-free, winning.
The next day was when our love affair with Brazil began. Sure, we'd loved everywhere we'd visited to date in Brazil, but we fell in love with Brazil in Paraty, and there's a huge difference. It began with the best brekkie of the trip so far; all your standard Brazilian suspects (fruit, cereal, ham, cheese, bread) but the selection of cake was unfounded. There would've been about five (5) to choose from including the best lemon meringue pie I've demolished, sitting across from the beach, with the sun telling us it was going to be a great day. Fed and satisfied, we wandered into town, about 20 minutes away, back across the cobblestone, to find the cutest little town you could imagine (Paraty). The streets were lined with tiny boutique shops and cafes/restaurants, and with the seemingly metre-high cobbles, no cars, just pedestrians, it was awesome.
On arrival at the bus station we boarded a public bus (after asking several people with no clear answer on if, where or when the bus arrives) southbound towards Trindade Beach, the best and highest rated in the area. The bus ride was an awesome experience of its' own, as we drove through the jungle into the tiniest of towns, dropping locals off in what appeared as the middle of nowhere. It was as tropical and hilly as we've seen and just what you'd expect Brazil to look like, marvellous.
Trindade Beach is simply amazing, and was at this stage by far the most impressive beach we'd seen in this country, and since Sardinia. The sand was a fine white/yellow colour and the greenest of waters was just the right temperature, calm as you like, under the clear blue sky, as hot as my beautiful wife. The long beach backed onto the greatest little town of Trindade, filled with shanties disguised as hotels and cafes, perfect. At that stage we knew we'd found the real Brazil, what we'd been looking for for quite a while, and it didn't disappoint, top stuff. We spend hours swimming and baking, taking Trindade by the balls and embracing Brazil at its' best.
Back in Paraty, finally having fallen hook line and sinker for this gorgeous country, we found a nice little local restaurant for lunch and ordered the plate of the day for just $5AUD, accompanied by $1.50AUD beers, this just gets better and better. Loz had her second moqueca (Brazilian seafood stew) and I could see in her beautiful blue eyes that she'd fallen as hard as I had, Paraty we love you.
I spent the rest of the arvo in the biggest hammock I've ever seen, across the road from the hotel, on the beach, blogging, with a long-neck of Skol by my side, almost crying with happiness. It's difficult to describe when you fall in love; but when it happens, it's just so powerful, and it's hard to wipe a smile off your face. After a while Loz joined me and we shared the hammock and beers well into the night, not wanting it to ever end.
Paraty, we can't thank you enough for making us fall truly madly deeply in love with Brazil.