Brazil > Paraty
Typically the sun was bursting early in the day as we were preparing to leave Ilha Grande. As we were short on cash (there are no ATMs on the island) we decided to take the local ferry which took 2hrs to reach Angra, from here we jumped on a local bus almost immediately as we had no idea of how long the second part of the journey would take. Another 2 hours later and we got off at Paraty Bus Station.
Within the first 5mins I was hassled by some weirdo who was adamant on selling me her mangos, no pun intended thank God. People were staring at us from all directions and the toilet was a hole in the ground. We were ready to jump straight back on that bus. Instead we took a deep breath and found a taxi. 5mins later and we were in a whole new world (perfect opportunity to break out into song Sarah, or put your CD on!).
We pulled up to a hostel on the beach doorstep (Sereria Dos Mer Hostel) and received a warm welcome by the staff. As always we like to have a wonder around the area so we walked into the Historic Town in order to feed our screaming stomachs. It only took 10mins to reach and when we did all memories of dodgy bus stations vanished. Paraty is a beautiful beautiful colonial Portuguese town with cobbled streets, brightly decorated houses (though we are yet to see your yellow house Emma!) and horse and carts that are used to transport goods around the town. The receptionist at the hotel recommended a restaurant in which you pay by the kilo - eyes bigger than our bellies and 3-plates later (between us, not each), we were satisfied. That evening we enjoyed cocktails and beers at the hostel whilst playing pool, ping-pong and finally writing our first blog.
Nick had set his sights on getting to a natural waterfall he had heard about in Ilha Grande and so we spent the day hopping on local buses to find it. It took about 40mins and is just outside of the town. Although it isn't a huge breath-taking waterfall in height, the length is great and covers a lot of land and rock. Towards the end of the fall is a final large rock that is used as a natural slide as the moss is so slippy. We happily watched another couples going down clearly loving every minute, but the near misses from the huge boulders at the bottom were enough to stop us from stripping into our swim-wear; we've both endured enough dentist action this year to last a long while... and so we jumped on the bus and went back to the hostel and ate freshly caught fish followed by the best chocolate crepe in the world - girls, i'm going to suggest these for the 10th hole, it is definitely in the same league, if not higher!!
By 7am the next day we could feel the heat from the sun in our room - naturally we spent the morning and early afternoon relaxing on the beach, giving Nick a great opportunity to show off his football skills inspired by Rio. Just like Ilha Grande, this little part of Brazil was proving to be such a safe place. We were surrounded by families which gave us some good people-watching entertainment and allowed us to capture some great pics. (Chloe, the one of the chunky kid is especially for you - he waddled and wobbled and you would have loved him!) When the sun began to set we ventured back into the town to have a proper look around, take lots of pictures and for me to bore Nick to death by looking in every open shop. (Dunners, even Paraty has Che fever - that pic is for you.) Because of the quiet nature of the town we spent our evening in the hostel watching Pulp Fiction, my first time, and yes I loved it.
An early rise called the next day as we had a 6hr bus journey leaving for São Paulo. We were both sad to be leaving our hostel and the town as we could have definitely stayed longer than 3-nights. Unfortunately our tickets were booked and so we said our goodbyes...