Saturday 13th September - arrived at Paraty.
Back at the port, we caught a bus which took a couple of hours to get to Paraty (named after a type of fish!). We were staying at a hostel we´d been recommended called Sereia do Mer. The hostel was lovely, just across the road from the beachfront with a nice restaurant and terrace. It was really quiet when we arrived as a group of 35 people had just left that morning, but we met 3 other guys who had met in Rio and travelled to Paraty together. One of which was an actor living in LA, had been in London´s Burning, Casualty and had worked with Victoria Beckham - sorry ¨vicky¨ and his mother also had the largest collection of Royal family memorabillia in England. As well as a young, very posh and amusing British couple, he was called Cosmos Montegrue - his family coat of arms was on the wall of Bath Cathedral and the antique´s roadshow had been filmed at his house.
We took a walk around the historical centre of town - lots of cobbled streets lined with white buildings, which have been built by freemasons at a time when Paraty was booming due to being part of the trade route for diamonds and coffee between Rio and Minais Gerais. In the evening, we decided to head into the centre with the people we´d met in the hostel. On route we saw a cult celebration taking place on the beach!! A load of midddle aged women dressed in black gown outfits dancing to old schoool dance music (N-Trance, hahaha!) booming out a cd player!! A guy at the hostel told us they were witches and this happens quite a lot apparently - bizzarre!
In the town, live music was playing in the streets with loud druums and people following and dancing behind. And we had a few drinks in a bar ' sampling the local tipple ' cabriella. Cachaca, sugar and cinnamon - very sweet and very strong!
Sunday 14th Sept - local surf competition.
Sunday morning we all went to watch a local surf competition at the Cachoeira Toboga - a natural water slide on a huge rock face (once in a film called The Emerald Forest apparently) where locals slide down and fall in the pool at the bottom (non-locals are told to go down on their bums). It was really cool to watch as guys surfed down (ie standing instead of sitting) some doing crazy things like being blindfolded, with a skipping rope, jumping over things, etc. Suffering with hangovers and little sleep, we headed back to the hostel at noon, had dinner and an early night - the hostel was quiet and theres not much to do in Paraty.
Monday 15th September - it bloody rained!
We decided to leave for a surfer´s town called Florianopolis, heading further south towards Argentina and Iguassu Falls. We had to wait until 11.30pm for the bus and so we hung around the hostel (theres not much to do in Paraty when the weather is pants) and watched a dvd of Sweeney Todd. The bus took 6 hours overnight to get to Sao Paulo, then a few hours wait at the station for a 12 hour bus journey onto Florianopolis. We didn´t spend any time in Sao Paulo (the world´s 3rd biggest city) as we didnt have much time left in South America and wanted to get to Argentina