We're up at 6am on our final morning in Rio, after a restless sleep with a loud snorer in the dorm. We're packed and downstairs for some breakfast before we taxi to the bus station. The bus station is fairly manic with the coming Tuesday a public holiday, so people are taking a long weekend and heading away.
We find our platform and settle in to wait for our departure at 8.30am. At 8.25am a bus pulls in but to our dismay it's the 8am bus! At 8.35am another bus pulls in - the 8.15am bus. At 8.40am our 8.30am bus pulls in and we're off. Off on a wild ride down the bumpy coast road through winding corners at full speed to Paraty.
There seems to be a town in every bay and around every corner is another bay, with a stretch of sand and deep greeny blue waters. Forest covered islands dot the coastline.
After 4 hours we pull gratefully into Paraty and walk 50m to our hostel - Backpackers House. The hostel is cosy, looking like a house, hammocks on the porch, paddling pool on the lawn, small lounge, kitchen and rooms upstairs. We have a double which is nice enough. The family running the place are lovely, friendly and helpful.
We grab some lunch from the supermarket across the street and have lunch mid afternoon. We siesta and take a walk through the town early in the evening as dusk begins to fall. The town is as picturesque as we'd been lead to believe it would be - uneven cobbled streets, whitewashed buildings with colourfully painted window and door frames. Palms spring up, straight and tall, here and there all over town.
The old churches are full of character and the gaily painted boats bobbing at the pier sit quietly in the dusk waiting for tomorrow. As darkness falls, lights come on, spilling out yellow patches of light from small stores and restaurants.
We head back to the hostel and chat with an Australian couple who have been travelling for 17 months! At 10pm the bbq our hostel owner has been preparing is ready and we all sit down to eat, some 20 or more of us guests and the family. The table is full of food - salads, baked potatoes, fresh bread buns and meat of course. This is a bbq after all. There is steak, chorizo sausages and really good chicken that's been bbq'd. There is a boiled egg and tomato salad, grated carrot and cubed mango salad and a guacamole and tomato salad. To top it off there is a massive tub of caipirinha mixture on the bench with a soup ladle in it to help oneself! The food is delicious and the meat just keeps coming. When we learn that our hostel owner is actually an Argentine we are not surprised, it was one mean bbq!
I head to bed, belly full and tired around midnight. But those caipirinha's keep Ryan partying til the wee small hours!
The next morning we wake around 8.30am and head downstairs for breakfast. Ryan is still drunk! Breakfast is as good as dinner was last night - fresh bread buns, ham, cheese, homemade jams, hot chorizo sausages in a hot sauce, bananas, pawpaw, mango, yoghurt and yummy freshly made juices. This hostel can do no wrong.
Ryan heads back to bed. For the rest of the day!
I take a couple of walks around town, seeing the canal, more churches, a wedding, and horses pulling carriages on the cobbled streets. I read an entire book in one day and feel about as relaxed as it is humanly possible to feel. More relax time is on the cards as we're heading to a tiny island, Ilha Grande tomorrow for a few nights. This is the life!