So that is us 1 month and 1 week on the road, only 6 months and 1 week left in South America. time has flown by, hardly seems like a week ago when we were arriving in Rio. Time flys when you’re having fun. 😀
Our last three stops have been Paraty, Trinidade and Sao Paulo. Paraty is an old colonial village, with lots of old European style buildings. We stayed at the Sereia do Mar hostel. It was a cool hostel with a pool table and nice bar/restaurant. We caught a ferry from Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis and then had a 2 hour bus journey down the coast.
We spent our first day getting our bearings and doing a bit of exploration around the town. We had met a couple from LA and we had a meal with them that night at our hostel, all you can eat pizza 😀 Awesome
On the second day we went round the old town and saw most of what was there to see, which was mostly nice old buildings that were pretty much identical. Paraty is definitely not the most exciting place we have been and after checking out the old town and the docks we felt we had seen enough and spent our last day chilling out on a reasonably mediocre beach. One plus side is that Paraty is where our favourite caçacha is made, Gabriella. It tastes of cinnamon and cloves and is amazing. We bought a shot to share on our final night from a street vendor. As you can see, it was a good sized measure and it was extremely tasty.
We left Paraty and headed about 30km down the coast to Trinidade. This place was perfect. It had 3 of the best beaches we have seen on our travels so far, as well as waterfall all within a 15 minute walk through jungle to each other. We stayed at the Kaissara hostel, it is situated in the jungle and is probably my favourite place we have stayed so far. We had a huge boulder in the middle of our room, we were 5 minutes walk to numerous beaches and we were adopted by a dog for 4 days.
Her name is Teka and she is known around Trinidade as “The Companion of the People”. She followed us everywhere, including up on a huge rock overlooking the sea and swimming in a natural pool. She slept outside our door at night and even waited outside the restaurant when we went for dinner. We were told that she only does this for gringos, and that even after we left she would sleep outside our room for a couple of days until she found some new gringos to take her all over town. It was tough leaving her behind!
Everything else about Trinidade was equally hard to leave behind; we spent our time there lounging on the beach or swimming in waterfalls or napping in the hammocks in our jungle lodge (its tiring lying on the beach all day). We had really good weather whilst we were there and as it could be our last beach time for a while we made sure we used it wisely. Check out the photos on Flickr, there are some good uns. 😀
We swapped Trinidade for its antithesis, Sao Paulo. Everything that Trinidade was, Sao Paulo is the complete opposite. Everything is huge, there are skyscrapers everywhere. No beach, no waterfalls, no hammocks and the only jungle I saw was made of concrete awash with cars and people. We stayed at the 3 Dogs hostel, another nice wee place that did some tasty banana cake for breakfast!
We covered more distance in getting to Sao Paulo than we had for the entire 5 weeks before that. We have decided to leave Brazil as it is expensive and the food is getting very repetitive. Bread, ham and cheese for breakfast, probably the same for lunch and then rice beans and chicken for dinner. This is mainly due to our constrained budget but Brazil is no Argentina in terms of food quality. Thankfully this was one redeeming factor of Sao Paulo. Lonely Planet calls it the gastronomic capital of Latin America, now obviously we will be the judges of that, but in all fairness the quality (and price) of the two restaurants we tried in Sao Paulo were high. We tried a Mexican the first night, and Italian on our last. The Italian was particularly good as we received a free starter and desert! I’m pretty sure this came about after we explained to the Italian woman running the place that we could only speak English, not that we were English. Once she realised we were Scottish and traveling she just started throwing free food our way, a lovely woman. 😀
We spent 3 nights in Sao Paulo and did some sightseeing during the days. We saw the Sao Paulo Cathedral, it is the first cathedral I have seen that has palm trees outside leading up to it, a fantastic picture op if ever there was one! We also went to Ibirapuera Park, which has an Oscar Niermayer designed auditorium.
I am currently writing this blog draft on my phone, we are halfway through a sixteen your bus journey from Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguaçu, and we have just had to swap buses for an unexplained issue. Its gonna be a long night.
We have just arrived here at Foz do Iguaçu, it was a long night. We are both looking forward to checking out the falls, I think we will do that tomorrow and will hopefully catch the Champions League final here in Foz today. We are then going to hot foot it into Paraguay as we both need chest x-rays to meet working visa requirements for New Zealand. Pretty annoying!!