Paradise could only last so long….we boarded the little ferry back to the mainland and waved off Claire on the shore – and then there were two….myself and Jess continued our journey by mini bus to the little town of Paraty.
Paraty is a really sweet colonial style town with pedestrianised cobblestone streets (that create a natural level of sobriety in order to tackle them). The houses are all multi coloured with contrasting painted door and window frames. There were lots of clothes shops and cute cafes to peruse. Horse and carts await to transport people around the town and kitsch 50s style small double decker boats fill the dock trying to persuade you to go on boat tours.
We went on a somewhat overpriced but enjoyable jeep tour to the nearby nature reserve. Our first stop took us through a small woodland walk (complete with tiny monkeys!) to some waterfalls surrounded by jungle type vegetation and the odd yellow butterfly fluttering above. The water was icy, but compared to the bath water of the sea, a pleasant relief! Our next stop was to the Cachaca factory (a spirit derived from sugarcane)…where we got tasters of different amazing flavours – cinnamon and coconut..yum!! The tour was less of a tour and more of a broken, hard to understand explanation of the diatillery process. Being cheapskate travellers we obviously took the freebie samples but left empty handed. The final stop of the tour was to another set of waterfalls where the water had naturally smoothed a rock face creating one gigantic waterslide!
On our last day we did a walk around town, up to a “fort” overlooking the town (an under construction unassuming looking building) and to the local beach. The beach didn’t have anything on those of Ilhe Grande (although nice beaches were apparantly only a thirty minute drive away)..the water was a little murky and like a warm bath…random bits of dead fish were washed up on the shore and dogs took to toileting on the beach…but hey…it had yellow sand and the sun was shining so we still enjoyed it and it beats Bognor Regis!
With one last meander through town that evening and for the first time not getting lost in the maze of identical looking streets, we said goodbye to beautiful Paraty and hit the road again…..