So… finally – Paraty! Another coastal town 🙂
My parents and I arrived in Paraty via bus and checked into a Pousada that definitely had the others beat in terms of location, view, and classy cabin-like architecture. We had the room at the end, so that means a private stairwell and noone walking by! Hammock on the deck added to the appeal. It was the last place we would stay together … and it was such a treat.
The old part of Paraty is really intriguing. I thought I had seen cobblestone streets in Salvador, but I was wrong! Here.. they were huge and even more uneven (if that is possible!). It would most certainly be an impossible task to walk with heals, let alone stilettos! On our first wander down from the pousada (which was on a hill) we thought Paraty was a ghost town – the streets were empty, and storefronts were mostly shut or quiet.. until you got closer to the newer town (not as pretty and nothing special). We did find a plaza right in the heart of the old town, and it looked a bit more livel. That ended up being our place 🙂 We had one “linner” (i.e meal between lunch and dinner time) there the first day, and one dinner (meal later in the evening) there on another night. It was definitely on the most interesting strip with the most action… people sitting outside at tables and live music. There were also several romantic places to dine in Paraty.. and actually despite the configuration (i.e parents and daughter) we did enjoy a candelit dinner in the courtyard of another restaurant, which was very uniquely situated in the midst of trees and flowers. We shared some laughs and several beer .. whilst young lovers stared longingly into eachothers eyes.. haha .. Not really, there were definitely other families there too.
I liked the feel of Paraty and the old architecture. Something I found pretty interesting was that the storefronts were so high up – about 1-2 feet off of the ground. Roadways were all wet at times, though it had not rained. Turns out (as per our guide on one of the trips) that the tide sometimes comes into town a few blocks during the wet season!
Paraty is a great place to get out and do stuff outside (which, we realized, is why it is so quiet during the day)! We ended up doing another schooner trip and of course, thoroughly enjoyed the fact that it was (a) sun-filled, (b) involved water and beaches, and (c) was cheap! The next day we did another trek (which I thought was even more worth it) for 50 reas (about 30 CAD that involved visiting 3 waterfalls, sliding down a slippery slope (literally) and jumping off vines … and then a visit to a Cachaca distillery. Cachaca is the liquor made from sugarcane which is used in Brazilian Caipirinha (liquor, water, lime, sugar). We tasted all sorts of flavours, from pumpkin to guava to cinnamon. I, myself, am not a fan of hard alcohol but could stomach the pumpkin (though it would be better on pie with icecream ;). Our guide was genuine and very interested in our questions .. and we had an amazing lunch of gorgonzola risotto and salad at this beautiful restaurant in the middle of the hills (range rover jeep took us around).
I wish we could have stayed longer in Paraty .. our last night we opened a bottle of champagne and went to eat a $9 dinner which included the best french fries ever! Mom had chicken stroganoff (which seems to be popular here) and it literally tasted like the best butter chicken i had ever eaten. Strange.
Anyways .. since I am now in Buenos Aires (as of March 29th) I better move along and get to Foz do Iguacu – my first destination solo and my last destination in the wonderful country of Brazil.
🙂 Thanks for staying around to read!