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Sarah's Travels

Party in Parati

BRAZIL | Friday, 8 February 2013 | Views [224]

Our weather luck has finally run out!! On the way from Iguazu to Parati, as we went around Sao Paulo the heavens opened and about 2 feet of water landed in our campsite over the space of 2 hours. We had seen and heard the storm coming, but had managed to get the tents set up. However, while we were cooking dinner, the campsite flooded and we had to abandon the tents and find the nearest hotel. The next morning we set off early with the soggy tents and once arrived into Parati, set off to find a bed for the night while the tents dried off. Breakfast the next day was taken on the beach in front of the hostel and refreshed we walked back to the muddy campsite to meet up with everyone else for the boat trip. It was a pretty overcast day, but we set off in high spirits and soon the beers and caipirinhas were flowing!! We visited 4/5 bays and stopped each time to jump off for a swim. After all the rain the visibility wasn't great, but the water was warm and there was plenty of bird life around and even some monkeys. Jumping off the boat and getting back on italso proved entertaining. Lunch was fish served with garlic potatoes and salad which was enjoyed by all along with the lime or passion fruit caiporinhas, beers and guarana drinks. Although it did rain at quite a few points in the journey, it was warm enough to relax in swim cossies and sarongs on the boat.

Once back on dry land we found a dry tent to sleep in, then went out for pizza at the nearby hostel. It wasn't the best pizza ever, but no one felt like cooking. The next two days were pretty much spent wandering around Parati taking photos, shopping, eating snacks and ice cream, relaxing on the beach or at the campsite and enjoying a leisurely beer. The highlight of Parati and one of my highlights of the whole trip was the Brazilian cooking evening that I organised for 8 of us from the truck. I cannot recommend it more highly, it was a mix of cooking, history, conversation about Brazil and enjoying the amazing food and wine!! It was run by an American/Brazilian couple in their house near the port in the historic centre of Parati. We started off with a demo on how to make a caipirinha and the cachaça distillation process. Then it was aprons on and over to the hob to make the acaraje for the starter. This is a Bahian street food made from black eyed peas pureed and deep fried in ovals and usually served with peppers, onions and dried shrimp. However, as this was fine dining, we made a bechamel sauce with prawns to go with the acaraje. Next was the Moqueca, a fish stew made in a Moquequero (a casserole dish with quite a rounded bottom). This was made with peppers, tomatoes, coriander, fish fillets and coconut milk, and was served with plaintain puree. These courses were accompanied by a very palatable Sauvignon Blanc from Argetina. The evening was finished off with Quidim, a coconut custard, coffee and a taste of an oak-aged Cachaça from Salinas in Minas Gerais. After which we stumbled out into the rain-soaked cobbled streets and back to the campsite. For the last night in Parati, we had a Chinese feast cooked to celebrate Chinese New Year and chocolate cake for a fellow passenger's birthday. And so to Rio for the Carneval......

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