Pirate sightings and noodle antics

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
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Trip End Aug 13, 2011


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Where I stayed
Che Legarto Paraty

Flag of Brazil  , State of Rio de Janeiro,
Sunday, January 9, 2011

The coastline from Rio city to Paraty was beautiful, it is mostly inlets, lots of mountains and rain forest, a far cry from the tropical metropolis that is Rio city, I can see why this is the getaway destination of choice for the upper class city dwellers. 

I stepped off the bus at around 10pm, my energy was depleted, I had a headache and was so hungry an empanada laying in a gutter would have looked appealing.  There was one taxi at the terminal, and about 40 passengers.  I predicted some problems here.  The taxi picked up a load and drove off. All the locals seemed to disperse into cars of family and friends or just took off on foot, leaving 4 lost looking gringos standing on the side of the road.  We introduced ourselves and chatted for a while hoping something would happen.  20 mins later another couple of taxis showed up, I jumped in, gave the guy the address and got charged about 10x too much for a 2min ride.  Asshole. 

Hostelworld gave shitty reviews of this hostel, in fact I'd heard bad things all round about their hostels everywhere, but it still had the best rap of all in Paraty so I went with it.  I walked in expecting it to be dingy, rundown and to resemble a bomb shelter.  What I found instead was a lush open garden area with a medium sized pool, outdoor bar and clean looking tiled entrance to the reception area.  Quite the pleasant surprise. 

I did my usual mingling routine after checking in and leaving my dirty washing in the capable hands of the guy at reception and befriended a cool bunch of people who'd arrived earlier during the day.  A bunch of English girls and an American guy.  I was brought up to speed on what there is to do around town and after chatting to the reception guy again we decided to put our names down for a boat tour the following day...we we're told if they get enough people from the hostel we would go out on a private charter and pretty much go and do whatever we want, like fishing, snorkeling, beaching and so forth.  Unfortunately they didn't quite get enough people interested so we had to take the normal cruise boat with the planned itinerary.  

The boat was a triple deck luxury sail boat, with an overpriced bar and restaurant, but that's fine, cos we brought some chips and our own cachaca, which we had to keep hidden from the crew...

It seemed like we were the only ones having a good time, granted, the average age group was much older than us, and it was more a family setting, with a very slow cruising speed, and a down tempo, female vocalist band swooning us.  We got bored quite quickly and started getting a bit restless, and in turn the crew quickly took a disliking towards us and our disruptive, loud behavior, especially since we wouldn't buy any of their over priced food or drinks. 

The boat anchored at about 5 beaches (4 by my count, the last one can hardly be called a beach, more like a strip of mud about 5m wide) and we got to have a swim at each beach.  the vessel catered well to the kids offering an abundance of foam floaty noodles, though some kids maybe missed cos we ran in there, grabbed about 3 each and dived in.  This was a bit of fun, we tested different bouyancy techniques such as sitting on the noodles, having one noodle on each foot, resting out knees on the noodle...We got bored with this and started jumping off the side of the 3rd deck.  We got in trouble for this, so we had to do it when no one was looking.  They caught us in the act several more times and repeatedly told us to stop jumping off the 3rd deck, we mostly ignored their requests, agreeing that there wasn't much they could do, leave us stranded on a beach somewhere?  Not likely.  The crew became more persistent and announced over the band's microphone that jumping off the 3rd deck was not permitted.  Bad move.  This just stirred all the old farts (I use that term loosely, they weren't that old, just matured) up and that's when the real action began.  One guy, obviously merry from a good amount of cachaca decided that he was going to join in on the rule breaking.  I'm not sure what he said next, but I assume he announced loudly, his intentions to jump off the top deck.  In the water, people started crowding around the side of the boat gazing upwards as if someone were about to throw themselves off the side of a building.  The man stood on the railing of the boat and cheering on the crowd...the boat crew were powerless, win the crowd and you will win your freedom.  Once the crowd had peaked to the man's satisfaction he counted himself down and leaped off causing a cannonball splash that only a man of his circumference could create.  The crowd cheered and he climbed up again.  The crew, instead of admitting defeat decided to save face and turn a blind eye.  The man then got a cape from somewhere and wore it for the rest of the afternoon...he got his son to jump with him and then got us to jump with him.  He loved it, everyone loved it...Brazilians take note: We showed you up on the having a good time contest.

The hostel cooked a BBQ that night which was good value, but really late by the time it was ready, like 10pm or something. During this time we drank a lot of caipirinhas and well, we got pretty drunk.  It started raining heavily which bummed us out quite a bit as we weren't planning on going to bed after the amount of drinking we'd just done.  So we did what any group of rowdy drunk people would do when it's torrentialy pouring down and want to go out...get our bathers on and go out.  

The first bar we stopped at there was a pirate.  We posed with him and took some photos with him and moved on as the only thing that bar had going for it was that it had a pirate and as fun as it was initially, we could foresee ourselves tiring of this pirate.  The next bar was packed, and it was only next door to the bar with the pirate in it so if we did want to go back there we could. 

The next day I went out for some street photograph and saw the pirate wandering around with his sword drawn.  At fist I didn't think much of it, then I was like, wtf is this guy still dressed as a pirate for...during the day!? Nice career.  Muy exstra˝o. 

I would have liked to stay longer in Paraty, but the expense of Brazil was just getting to me, my money was just draining out of my pocket and there was potential that Dan was still going to be in Bogota if I got there in a few days.  

My last day in Paraty was awesome, I'd signed up to do a waterfall tour with a guy in a jeep as everyone who'd been previously said it was fantastic.  It was cheap enough.  i was accompanied by two Israeli's (who didn't like swimming in fresh water...big wtf are you doing on a waterfall tour?) and a chick from Luxembourg who I deeply offended by saying something about her being from Belgium...yep, I'm a dickhead.

The tour was indeed fantastic just as reported.  there was nothing flashy about it, just going around to waterfalls as expected, but it was just a whole lotta fun.  Tarzan ropes and the rest.

We went to about 4 different waterfalls (apparently there are shit loads of them around, I would have loved to have gone exploring), but these are the best 4, so we were told.  The last one was the most incredible, basically it was a massive boulder, about the size of a small office building, maybe 2-3 story's high and the water cascaded down it.  There were a whole lot of local kids there, they were all doing sprinting run ups and sliding down the rock on their feet, like skis, it was incredible to watch.  They we're doing aerial tricks off little jumps in the rock, I caught a bit of video of it, not that great though, I'm pretty bummed about that.

At the bottom is a sink hole that you land in, then you get out and walk back up the rock along this small ┤path┤where the moss has been scraped off.

Half way through the tour we stopped at a micro cachaca distillery and got to sample a bunch of interesting and delicious cachaca concoctions such as cachaca infused with orange leaf (my fav) and a bunch of other classy things.  So we got pissed and went sliding down a big waterfall rock.  

Next stop, Sao Paulo.  
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