Sunday 23rd February 2014
Curitiba to Paraty, Brazil
Awoke to a very damp morning in the truck stop, so we packed up our wet tent – fortunately all of our big bags were in the truck – had a (very) light breakfast before heading off on the road again at 6:00am. Lynn still felt dreadful. It soon warmed up and the rain cleared and we drove through more quite spectacular green heavily forested country with many towns – in one of these, we bought some fruit and yogurt and rolls to eat as there hadn’t been very good management of our mealtimes on this trip, had lunch in a very hot spot (though some shade) in a service station on the way. We managed to get some more money from an ATM and now have a bit of a stash for Rio. Today was a very long driving day which caused Lynn some problems as all she wanted to do was lay her head down and all she could do was sit up in the seat. However we finally arrived in Paraty, a beautiful historic town east of Sao Paolo, at around 8:00pm. Our tour leader was taking the group to town for a familiarisation walk and group dinner, but we decided to stay in camp and go to bed (without any evening meal because Lynn still felt awful and there was nowhere for David to buy dinner). We had camped away from the others because there were four Tucan trucks in this campsite and there was loud music. Weather was fine today but temperature in tent tonight 28°C and very muggy.
Monday 24th February 2014
Today dawned fine and clear. We had eggs and cereal for breakfast. Lynn started to feel a bit better after that and we decided to walk to the town (about 20-30 minutes away). David was searching for a dentist as he had a pain in one of his teeth – a challenge in itself as, at the time, we only spoke two words of Portuguese (Hello and Thank You) – [we now speak many more: chips, beer, chicken, meat] - but we managed to be directed to a dentist eventually, the third one we tried, in a back street, who was able to fix the problem. We then had lunch in town and strolled round the town, bought a few little things and then walked back to the camp. The town is 367 years old, was founded by the Portuguese, and is very quaint. The old town has cobbled streets and a very interesting way of cleaning the streets – at every full moon, the tide rises into the town and flushes it out with sea water. The buildings are all white with mostly blue trim. After we walked back, we sat down on the beach with some members of the group then back for dinner, hamburgers – yum! There was a jungle theme tonight – although only the younger group knew - and they dressed up and we played music and chatted and generally had a social evening together. It was very hot today – about 37°C and very humid, overcast in the afternoon and cooler. 28°C in the tent tonight.
Tuesday 25th February 2014
This morning we had a meeting and they told us that Magaly, our truck, has to go for repairs to Sao Paolo and we won’t have her back until after Rio. Today we had booked a “booze cruise” (free capirinhas – Brazilian cocktails – all day) so we set off at around 10:00am to the port, about ½ hour walk. All of the groups that are staying in the campsite came on the cruise. We set off after all signing in and deciding what lunch we would have – fish, chicken or vegetarian. The weather was fine and very warm. The boat had shade on the bottom deck and mostly sun on the top deck. We motored out into the bay and finally moored and had a swim. Most people jumped into the quite warm water and swam. There were a number of noodles to assist with flotation. After some time we moved on languidly to another swimming spot and then had a surprisingly delicious lunch on the boat, continuing to drink a few cocktails, served from a garbage bin…. After lunch we again went in for a swim and a couple of wicked girls from our trip convinced us to jump in from the top deck (about 7 metres above the water). It was a big buzz and all the young people on the trip thought we were pretty game. We even jumped in twice each to prove the first was not a fluke. Eventually we had to come back to port (the afternoon cocktails were stronger than the morning ones) and walk back to the camp. Some of our group had a cocktail or two too many and found the walk back a bit of a struggle but were helped along by the less challenged. It was our turn to cook tonight and when we got back, most of it had been done by other members of the group who hadn’t gone on the cruise. It was a great day out on the cruise. After dinner we had a drink at a bar on the beach with some of the others, and then went back to camp. We went to bed fairly late about 11:30pm. Weather fine and mostly warm to hot.
Wednesday 26th February 2014
Up late today for our last day here. We found out that Ninka, our tour leader, would not be continuing with us past Rio. She would instead be going with another group. Our new leader will be Isabella whom we spoke to last night. After washing our clothes and having lunch at the truck, we headed off to town to go to an internet café as our computer was playing up and we needed to post some photos. This took ages, but managed to get some money out of an ATM in the town (always an exciting moment), took some photos of this really nice town then walked back to camp. Sat down by the beach and had a beer, very peaceful, then dinner and after dinner we decided that because there was a snorer near us (a camper who had set up his tent near us the prior day) who was in full form, we would walk into town again to listen to the excitement that was happening – we could hear music and drums as part of the town’s birthday celebrations. We strolled around for a while, looked at the shops, bumped into a few people we know, and then walked back and had a rum and coke on the beach opposite the camp (anything to escape the snorer). To bed about 12:30PM.