31.03.2010 - 04.03.2010 40 °C
The excitement started in Sao Paulo; we couldn't wait to see our beloved friends who had crossed the Atlantic just to meet us and celebrate Nick's birthday (and why not, spend 15 days in South America). We were hanging out inside the coach station of Sao Paulo when unexpectedly we heard someone call our names; it was our friend Olga from Sicily, whom we hadn´t seen for the past 7 years! And we were taking the same bus to Paraty...it's unbelievable how small the world is :-) She was travelling with Fabio, also from Sicily and a new acquaintance to us. This surprising coincidence made our trip from Sao Paulo to Paraty much easier. We were also excited about Paraty itself, as to us it was the real beginning of Brazil, of our last month travelling, and we had the best company ever!
Four hours later we arrived at Paraty and took a taxi to our hostel, the Che Lagarto. Che Lagarto is an Argentinian hostel company spread all over Argentina, Peru, Chile and Brazil. Patty, Joey and Luli weren't there yet; they were travelling from Rio and were quite tired after a 12 hour flight. In the mean time, we had found out that Marco had missed his flight from Madrid to Rio thanks to a snow storm in Brussels that left him and other 11 passengers on the ground. He would be joining us one day later than planned, together with Maria, who was flying from London via Lisbon. We all met as a group between 2002-2003 in London, and have been meeting up ever since, in France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, England...but this time it was different, it wasn't for a weekend to get away from our daily lives but to spend some quality time together, and enjoy the Beleza Pura of Brazil, which may we say, was the easiest part of the trip, it's everywhere! The minute Patty, Joey and Luli got to the hostel they dropped their bags and we got down to some serious business; catching up with caipirinhas...oh yes! First reason why we love Brazil, the caipirinhas...with cachaca, vodka or rum, classic or with kiwi, passionfruit or banana and cinnamon...it doesn't matter, they're so delicious!
The next day we decided to spend the day at the beach and work on our tans whilst Marco and Maria were making their way down to Paraty. We had heard great things about the beach of Trindade, just 20 minutes away by bus. The bus journey was similar to a rollercoaster ride, so we're thankful that we didn't suffer an accident! Trindade is a very small cute village with one unique street, with just a few houses, pousadas and some bars. The beach of Trindade is impressive; white sand surrounded by rainforest, waterfalls and natural pools, we were thrilled! On our way to the beach we had to walk through a passage made of leaves and the only thing you could see at the end of it was the sea...one of the most beautiful images that remained in our heads, yet no one took a picture. We found out that Brazilians like their comfort at the beach; bars just a few metres away, parasoles, chairs, people who wander around and sell you anything from brazelets, clothes, bikinis to fruit or seafood. We immediately adapted to their lifestyle and sat in a bar, some of us baking in the Brazilian heat and others relaxing in the shade. We couldn't ask for more; we had the sea, there were hardly any people around, we ate fish and drank beer, went for walks, relaxed and enjoyed each other's company. Towards the end of the day we wanted to visit some waterfalls that were just a few minutes away walking, but unfortunately Luli fell and slightly twisted her ankle, in the middle of nowhere. Thank God it wasn't broken, but it was definitely swollen like an elephant foot!!! Luli remained back in the beach whilst we got lost in the jungle until we found the waterfalls and a natural pool...it was great to take a fresh swim and soon after we headed back to pick up Luli and take the bus.
As soon as we arrived at the hostel we found Marco and Maria down to business with the caipirinhas and making new friends. It was great to see them, we were finally all present and ready to enjoy our holiday together. That night we decided to have dinner somewhere in beautiful Paraty, and casually ended up in a restaurant with live Bossanova and great food. Paraty is a small colonial town set in the middle of the jungle that keeps attracting tourists because it has managed to preserve itself and remain authentic. The best thing to do in Paraty is to go on a boat tour and visit all the little islands around the coast, some of them inhabited by mysterious millionaires. Being a group of 10 people allowed us to rent a small boat for the whole day and just spend around 8 Euro each! So that's what we did on our second day; the hostel booked us a tour with a really hot Brazilian guy called Leandro, owner of a boat that was just perfect for us. We spent 6 hours cruising the ocean and stopping at different islands and beaches to take a swim. The sea water around Paraty has a funny green colour, which together with the tropical landscape just makes the whole panorama very different to anything we had seen before. We stopped for lunch at an island that had a bar, and we were the only guests present. It was definitely one of the best tours we took during our trip, especially because of the people that were with us :-)
We spent our last day back in Trindade, since Marco and Maria hadn't been there yet, and back in Paraty doing some shopping, taking pictures of its beauty and preparing ourselves for the bus ride to Rio the following morning. It had been so hot during the past days that we moved to a room with air-con (girls in one room and guys in another). Weirdly, when we came back from dinner, we found out someone had been in the girls' room and gone through our stuff. Fortunately nothing was missing and all our valuables were there, but still it was a strange knowing that someone had been looking for something everywhere and all our things were messed up. A stupid joke? Was that person trying to steal something and rushed out the window thinking he would get caught? We don't know, we don't wanna know, thank God we didn't find anyone in the room...that would have been a surprise!