Brune. A beautiful young brazilian woman I met in Paraty at a youth hostel. Someone I would call a kindred spirit. Young at heart, full of life with an energy that glows from deep within. Maybe this is typical of Brazilians? I dont know, but she will be someone I will definitely stay in touch
We met at the bar of a hostel, both of us waiting for our traditional local drink to be mixed and shaken - the caipirinha, a deliciously refreshing cachaca based cocktail made with plenty of lime and mint. In true 'Olivia'-fashion, I promptly managed to spill mine all over myself as well as Brune's handbag. A great way to meet someone! Guys - take note!
We started chatting and immediately clicked. Within no time, we arranged to meet the following morning to go mountain biking up to the waterfall where there is a wonderful natural slipperyslide with my fellow travel buddy Julien.
The next day, it was so hot, it was so tempting to bail on the biking and stay indoors in the comfort of airconditioning. But gosh, am I glad I went.
What started out as a group of 3, very quickly turned into a group of 8, though we also very quickly lost 2 of these (softies!!!!) who turned back within less than 30 minutes. It is definitely not an easy cycle - steep uphill. But at least you get to the top in just under an hour, including a 5-10 minute stop to catch your breath.
It turned out to be a great group - a canadian, american, argenitinian, frenchman, australian (me - yeehaa!) and a brazilian. What a great representation of countries!
I will try to post a video later on to show exactly what this slide is like. No words can describe it. It really is beyond belief.
Being a Sunday, there was a great turnout of local 'experts' including one, the 'daddy' of the slide, who would run at full speed before hurtling himself - standing - down this huge slide, making the final leap into a tiny pool where an enormous rock stands ominously within a meter of your 'bombing' it in to the water. It gives you the fright of your life as your body is hurtled at immense speeds straight towards it - i doubt any fun ride could ever compare! All i remember as I went down was that I would without a doubt resemble a squashed mosquito on this rock - but thank goodness, I made it out unscathed.
If you want a visual image of what this setting is like, just picture a beautiful waterfall surrounded by lush tropical trees and vegetation, cascading down glistening rock, in a paradise setting, and you pretty much can imagine what this day was like...
Anyway, back to meeting a kindred spirit. Brune invited us to her 'little' sail boat which she had just bought a few days earlier in Paraty. It was docked in the harbour 4km outside of the old town, allowing a postcard view of the town. Dramatic. Beautiful. And the side of the town you wouldn't see if you didnt venture to this harbour.
We cooked up a mini 'gourmet-storm' as an appertiser before the bbq being held at the hostel. (Gents - please note - if you want to impress the ladies, make sure you know how to make a fire for a bbq - none of the 3 men on this trip were able to light the bbq! sorry guys, but the truth has to be told! otherwise, just make sure you have an aussie chick nearby to show you how it's done :-) )
If it were not for the generosity and open hospitality of this beautiful woman, we would never have had this opportunity to enjoy our own bbq, a cold beer and a breathtaking view.
If you ever find yourself near Paraty, make sure you explore not only the old town, but venture a little further afield to the waterfalls and to the harbours where you can view the town with the mountains in the background.
Oh, and make sure you go to the mudbath beach within an easy 20 minute walk of Paraty. It is called Jabaquara and is an absolute must-do. You can roll and frolick in the mud like a little pig that knows it managed to escape the butcher. it was sensational - sensual nearly! Smooth like silk, thick black, hot and apparently great for the skin thanks to all the minerals from the leaves of thousand year old mangroves and seaweed. Pitch black, you can walk combat-style back to the normal beach to allow it to dry and soak in, where you can either wash it off in the beach shower, or why not just run back in to this hot water beach and wash it off the the lovely salt sea water from this cleaner stretch of beach? I promise you, you will have a great time. I am now no longer surprised why the Europeans pay a fortune for mud-treatments in beauty salons!
ok, enough from me for now! hope you enjoy my ramblings! Hopefully you dont find it too boring! Send through any thoughts on what you'd like to hear more of. I am trying to do a bit of research on places I visit too, so am happy to share what I learn if this would be of interest.
Next post will probably be on Iguasu Falls (including my monumental 32 hour bus trip from Paraty to Foz do Iguasu - all thanks to the bus leaving a bus stop in the middle of the night without me!) But this is for another post...
in the meantime, please enjoy these wonderful photos of paraty as per the new york times - top places to visit in 2012