A spectacular mountain pass brought us down to the Emerald Coast of Brazil, and it was easy to see where the name came from, the lush jungle reaching all the way to the sea. Our destination was the town of Paraty, which combines beautiful colonial buildings, churches and cobbled streets with stunning islands and beaches. A great combination with something for everyone!
Our first day saw everyone head out to explore the town, plenty of photo opportunities wherever you looked, and plenty of cafes and beachside bars to sip on a cold coconut while engaging in the traditional overlanders’ sport of people watching.
Our time in Paraty coincided with a local festival, and being Saturday night, the central square was the place to be, live music and freshly made fruit cocktails, what could be better? Well, for Heather and Jeanne, their churros were strong contenders (long straight deep fried dough treats filled with chocolate sauce or our old favourite, dolce de leite).
As we approach Carnival, which we will be celebrating in Salvador, we are experiencing the somewhat nocturnal nature of Brazilians in a party mood! And so it was that we changed campsites after many of the group suffered a very disrupted night’s sleep, but even in the new, quieter, campsite, local drumming bands could be heard until the (not so) early hours. It is taking some getting used to, but we all travel to experience different cultures, and this is an important part of the Brazilian cultural identity, so perhaps it is best for us to appreciate the quiet nights when we get them, and embrace the noisy ones when they come our way!
Parties in Paraty aside, one of the major draw cards for a visit to Paraty is the coast and warm water. Tony headed off to experience the deeper side of things with a couple of dives.
Meanwhile, the rest of us headed out on a schooner to do a bit of island hopping, snorkelling and swimming. It’s tough, but someone has to do it! Having carefully chosen the boat with the largest amount of shade, we arrived early to try to secure as much of the shade as possible, although by the end of the trip it was less about shade and more about protection from the rain! Yes, the weather didn’t quite play along in the afternoon (but on a positive note, no one got sunburned), but it was still a fantastic day out and a great way to experience the stunning Emerald Coast.
A huge thanks as always to the expedition members who allow me to use their photos in the blog – it is great to be able to share these amazing images with you all back home and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!