Waking up in Paraty after a rough day of travel, we hoped a new day would bring a change of luck. Things started looking up from the moment Katy first looked out the window, sun! By this point in the trip we hadn’t seen a lot of sun so Katy did a little happy dance. Sadly I didn’t get the video camera out fast enough, this time.
Happy dance complete, we had a quick breakfast at the hotel – it’s amazing how good yoghurt can be, when it’s good – and headed off to take a boat tour on one of the many schooners in port. As our guidebook pointed out, Paraty is a great jumping off point for exploring the beaches and islands off the Brazilian coast.
We stayed at Pousada D’Ouro. A Pousada is small hotel. Actually, the guide book calls them “exclusive”. Mick Jagger and Salman Rushdie stayed at ours…separately I think. I digress, our Pousada was close to the water in the historic part of town so it was a quick walk to the port. Still, it gave us our first chance to see Paraty in the daylight. It’s a beautiful little town, despite the rough cobble stone roads.
Though it was a short walk, it was long enough that clouds had started to roll in by the time we reached the port.
We thought about putting off the boat ride for a day but decided that we would go anyway, despite the fact that we know how a boat ride can go wrong. If it turned out to be rainy, we would just try again the next day.
The boat we took was the Banzai and we’d highly recommend it. It’s a pretty standard tourist schooner, but the staff were really friendly and the musician they had onboard was really good.
The boat stopped at two different beaches and two different islands for everyone to get off and go for a swim. Katy rented some snorkel gear and jumped in. Sadly my still healing collarbone meant the best I could do was watch from the boat, or take the dingy (a.k.a. the sad loser boat) in to shore and walk on the beach.
I have to say my favourite part of snorkelling was when the guy from the boat started throwing bread near where Katy had her head down looking at the fish. The mini feeding frenzy was good for the fish, startling for Katy, and hilarious for me.
As it turned out, the weather was great for the boat ride and the rain only started as we pulled back into shore.
After a little walk, and a quick stop back at the hotel, we headed out for dinner. Paraty offers a fair amount in the way of nice food for such a small town. In the end, we ended up having pizza. This may sound strange, but we found that not only is it easy to find a vegetarian pizza, Brazilians make a mean thin crust pizza.
Oh, and live music. Everywhere we went, particularly in Paraty, the live music was great. Just don’t be fooled into thinking it’s free. You’ll find a line item on the bill at the end of the meal, or boat ride. Worth every penny.