Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Paraty, Brazil

As you can tell from the title, next on my adventures was Paraty, Brazil.  In order to get there, we had to take 22.5 hours of buses . . . sounds like fun right?  Well as it was our last long haul over night bus, I decided to fork over the US$50 to get an upgraded seat on the cama bus (semi-cama is what I'd been riding it's like an economy airline seat).  Cama seats are more like business class airplane seats, where they recline almost completely & are wider, so easier to sleep in & move around in.  We got on the bus, organised my seating area (water bottle out of bag & into seat pocket in front of me, blanket out, shoes off, iPod out, etc).  As it was only about 6pm when we boarded the bus, I decided not to go right to sleep since the journey was 17.5 hours long!  By 9pm, I was so bored I had to try to go to sleep just so I didn't want to scratch my eyes out of boredom.  It's tough to sleep on a bus when Brazilians are also on the bus because, they just love to talk, walk around, don't say excuse me when they bump you, and often like to bribe the driver into stopping extra places to drop things off or pick things up (I'd say mostly illegal dealings)  17.5 hour later, we arrived in San Paulo, which is a freakin huge city!  We arrived at the bus station, collected our bags and then walked to the far end of the station to get on our next bus, but this time it was a much smaller bus, just a mini van type thing, which could hold 20 people comfortably.  Away we went towards Paraty and just 5 hours later we were there!  We settled into our hostel and then did a little walking tour of the town.  Had dinner and went to bed.

The next day was the first Brazil match for the world cup and the town was all decked out in green & yellow.  My mate & I decided to take a jeep tour of the surrounding area which would end and have us back in town in time to watch the match.  What we did not realise was that the tour company had given the English speaking guide the day off . . . we did not learn this until the first stop (about 40 minutes outside of the town).  Luckily for us there was a bilingual couple also on the tour who were able to translate the important bits to us.  It was a bit annoying since of course the couple could not translate everything, but the scenery was divine!  We saw lots of small waterfalls, which had it been warmer we could have swum in.  We also saw 2 rum distilleries, one of which was run by water power!  The tour ended just in time for the match to start, so we went to find a restaurant where we could see the match and get a bite to eat, as it was nearly 3pm and we were rather hungry!  Brazil won 3-1 and the town went MENTAL!!!  All night long people were dancing in the streets, everyone was in green and yellow, there was music blasting out of every window, and everyone was happy.

The next morning, we left at 8am and drove just over an hour to catch our ferry over to Ilha Grande.

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