Adventures in Arriving in Paraty

1 Mar

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We had our free breakfast at our pasada before gathering our things and making our way to the ferry docks to purchase our tickets and begin the journey to Angra dos Reis. The ferry ride was close to 2 hours and as we approached the ferry docks we were hit with the foul smell of hot, rotting fish. When we looked over the ferry, all we could see floating in water were dead fish. Needless to say, the smell was so strong and so foul that Tal and I actually gagged our way off the boat and into town, away from the docks.

We were under the impression that we could walk to the bus station from the ferry but en route met an Austrian girl named Yogi that told us otherwise. We hopped in a cab with Yogi and made our way to the bus station to buy our tickets and wait for the bus.

Every source we’d used to research bus tickets told us to purchase them from the company Costa Verde so we were surprised to discover that you can no longer do so. Instead we learned that we’d have to wait for a bus to come that was going to Paraty and pay on the bus.

The first bus to Paraty was similar to a Greyhound bus and arrived about 20 minutes later than scheduled. There were only 2 free seats so we said goodbye to Yogi and waited for the next one. Again the next bus was 20 minutes late, only this one looked like a city bus and there was only standing room. Not wanting to wait another 40 minutes, we got on, strategically piled our big backpacks at the front of the bus and held on for dear life as we drove through the towns. About 30 – 40 minutes into the 2-hour journey, seats began to open up and we were able to sit for the rest of the ride.

We hadn’t booked a hostel in advance in Paraty but there was a tourist office at the bus terminal so we headed there first to find out if they had any information. It seemed as though everyone else had the same idea and about 10 of us followed a guy that worked for some of the local hostels, bringing tourists from the bus terminal to book rooms.

The first hostel he brought us to was full (I got eaten alive by mosquitos in the 5 minutes we were there and it was debateable whether you could call the liquid in the pool water so we weren’t all that disappointed), as was the second hostel he brought us to. You’d think if this was your job you’d make it your business to know which hostels had availability in advance of having backpackers trek through the town in the scorching afternoon heat with all of their bags.

The third hostel he showed us had availability, no A/C and could be described as a bit of a dump. Oddly, it was Tal and I that were game for staying there and the boys who were pushing for something with A/C and a better vibe. Tal and I set off to check out some of the pasadas we’d passed on the way to the ‘dump’ and found a reasonably priced pasada with one bunk bed, one double bed, A/C and clean pool. Sold!

Our next mission was to find something to do the following day. We decided on a boat cruise around Paraty that would take place on something that looked like a pirate ship (okay, okay, a large sailboat), stop at 4 beaches and had drinks and food for sale on board.

By the time we booked our tour it was nearing dinner time and we set off in the direction of Paraty’s historic district centre which is made up of cobblestone streets, mostly white stucco buildings with brightly painted trim and shutters. As it got darker the windows lit up boasting beautiful art, jewelry, clothing, bars and restaurants. Quaint and beautiful.

We decided on a burger place with an outdoor patio and had a great meal accompanied by party-size glasses of wine. After dinner we slowly made our way back to our cool pasada room (thank you, A/C!) to get our beach bags ready for the morning’s boat cruise.

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