They say the best way to see São Paulo is to not see it at all.. Our bus arrived in at 7am and we left at 8am. The bus station reminded me of a prison, the city appeared very run down, and there was a lot of smog, so we were happy enough to continue onwards to Paraty. I’ve probably been a bit harsh, some people really like São Paulo but I didn’t feel like we were missing out by moving on anyway.
Paraty (pronounced Parachi) is a really nice coastal town and is a unesco world heritage city due to the gold route from colonial times. I hadn’t heard of Paraty before reaching Brazil and we hadn’t originally planned to go there but a few people recommended it and we thought it would break up the journey to ihla grande too. It did not disappoint.
The town itself was very picturesque with old colonial style buildings and cobbled streets. On our first night we went out for dinner but quickly realized that the town was very expensive so we retreated to our hostel for food and a few beers there.
The next day we went on a boat trip, for about 15dollars, with all you can drink chaprhinas. Could be worse. The trip was really good. We stopped off at several islands for a swim, to see monkeys, to play beach soccer and then have lunch before heading back to Paraty. The Brazilian guy who captained the boat (and made the cocktails – multitasking at its finest) joined in in the football so I was happy enough to get a crack at playing beach soccer against a Brazilian in Brazil.
We met a group of Dutch lads on the boat too where had organised to play a football match against some locals later that night and they invited me along. I didn’t need to be asked twice. We split in to four teams as there was so many (7 a side) 2 Brazilian teams and 2 Dutch teams (one of which included me!). The rules we simple: 10 minutes and winner stays on or first to 2 goals. The Brazilians beat the Dutch in the first game and then it was our turn. We took the lead with a screamer of a goal from one of our guys who made a great run up the pitch. A few minutes in and the ball comes to me, quick turn and I smash it in top corner for the win! I wasn’t aiming there but they didn’t need to know that!! We played really well and beat all the teams in a row before losing our first game. It was great Craic and we played as a group for about 2 and half hours. The Brazilian guys were good Craic too, pulling the piss out of anyone (including themselves) that tried something fancy when it didn’t work. It had been a bit of a goal of mine to play soccer in Brazil so this day definitely went into the win category.
For our last full day in Paraty we headed to a little beach town called Trinidade to another stunning beach. We took a local bus from Paraty for about 1dollar and when we got there We just chilled for the day. It felt strange that our hostel recommended to get a bus to this beach when our hostel was already located on a beach but when we got there we could see why. Just fantastic. Our hostel was pretty cool and laid back too with a resident golden retriever, called Pucho,that had a nack for climbing the stairs and being afraid to come down without your help. Very cute.
The next morning we caught a bus to Angra Dos Reis, which is the town beside the island of ilha grande. We timed our arrival in Angra perfectly to catch the speed boat across to the island. It only took 30 minutes and before we knew it we were in another paradise. I’m getting too used to this.