Finally escaped Rio. Knew for sure I’d been there too long when even the guy at the juice store knew my name (and included me in the employee jokes); the grumpy guy working at hostel greeted me warmly with handshake, smile, and pat on the back everytime he saw me (maybe he recognised a kindred spirit?); the guy at the bar on the corner greeted me with a handshake each time (every brasilian has their own special handshake – this was handshake, followed by touching fists); and the hostel owner gave me a hug and kisses as I left (as well as making sure that her son knew I was leaving today, “Because he likes you, and he’d be upset to come here this evening and find you’ve gone”).
So, Elise, I guess I have been making friends. But it doesn’t mean I like people.
So – left Rio. Caught the next bus to Paraty, from dodgy old bus station. Dodgy HUGE bus station. Big ol’ bus station. Bus to Paraty – passed a nuclear power plant; a town in a nice bay which would have been awesome, until they built a big container ship port there; some kind of planned community with identical houses on straight tree lined streets, looking exactly like a seppo military base ‘community’ from the moving-picture-shows.
Then – Paraty. Another World Heritage site, I think. More cobblestone streets. Rather expensive in the historic centre though. Prices for beers double, depending on whether you walked on cobblestones or asphalt to get there. The ‘Shrimp Festival’ was on when I arrived though – so had to have a meal of shrimp in the expensive part of town. Immediately followed by finding a small local’s bar in the cheap part of town, and enjoying cheap beers. About 30% cheaper than in Rio.
Went on a ‘Schooner Tour’. Get on a schooner. Tour some of the 65 islands, and 300 beaches nearby. Not many of them though. 4 stops in total.
First – a little snorkelling. Forgot how bad I am at snorkelling. I decided to blame it on my mask not being tight enough though, and couldn’t be bothered to test my theory after getting out to tighten it.
Second – a beach. Not a great beach, but a beach. Very small waves, but… it was a nice change.
Third – stopped in a small cove. Had lunch, saw some ginga monkeys, and a very very red bird. Lunch was extra – and fairly overpriced, of course. Beers also.
Fourth – another beach. Pretty bad beach, but set way back in a long narrow bay. Good place to live for when the Reds come. (You know what Reds I mean, and they ain’t communist.) Sit on the beach and pick them off when they come in the mouth of the bay. There were a few turtles and an old man who had obviously had the same idea.
After that – a freezing cold shower. My room here has it’s own bathroom, but the very dangerous setup for hot water doesn’t work. And I’ve heard too many stories for me to try fiddling with it to make it work. I’ll try to remember to take a photo of one sometime. Basically – an electric unit attached to the showerhead which heats the cold water as it flows through. But – the electrical wiring for it is always uncovered – and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with all three wires attached. Which, as most of them work, I assume means they haven’t been grounded. Pretty sweet.
Entire evening was beers and snacks at my local bar. Just as I’d decided that I should leave, a car of three guys pull up. End up joining them, chatting. When they leave, they want to pay for the one beer I’d bought since joining them, despite them buying a couple – and us all sharing all of them. Then, the very drunk guy says something else to the waiter. They leave, I finish the beer, and go to pay my bill. They’ve paid for everything. Which was not heaps, but a fair bit. But – they’re rich city boys from Sao Paulo.
Sao Paulo is where I hope to be heading in an hour or two. Currently have my laundry being done. I feel really sorry for these people when I pull out my laundry bag. But… I’ve tried handwashing, and it just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work.
6 hours in the bus to Sao Paulo. Hopefully one or two hours in Sao Paulo bus station, followed by 12 hours to Florianopolis. Not sure if I’ll stay there, or catch another bus on. See how I feel by then. At the moment, I just want to get out of Brasil. Go somewhere cheaper. I’m sick of paying over one NZ dollar for a beer.