We checked into our hostel, the 3rd Che Lagarto in a row, and ended up spending the afternoon walking around the old historic part of town. The rain was quite heavy throughout the afternoon, but still we set out to the shops in the old part of town with a mission - to get pirate santa gifts.
The old town of Paraty is so ridiculously postcard beautiful that I can’t do it justice with words, so just look at our pictures and I’m sure you can google some more. The cobblestones however are more like cobble-boulders, and it makes just walking down the street take a whole lot of concentration if you don’t want to stack it every 20 metres like Rach did… No surprises there.
On christmas eve we went on a Jeep tour that took us to a cachaça distillery in an effort to find out why the headaches we were getting were so bad, and then on to 3 different waterfalls.
The Paratiana Cachaça distillery was a nice first stop - despite the fact we couldn’t understand the guide in Portuguese, a South African family was happy to translate what they could for us. The old copper stills and barrels ageing the final product were very cool to look at, and I swear I got a bit of a buzz off the fumes in the place. We then went to the gift shop and got to taste some of the finished products, including the super tasty chocolate and chill variations.
The first waterfall - Cachoeira Pedra Branca was really beautiful, with a big torrent of water you could splash under, and a few deep swimming holes to swim in. One of these holes apparently went at least 4 metres deep into the rock, but I couldn’t see past about 2 because of the black tea coloured water. There were also some fun little rock jumps into the pools.
The next waterfall was a little drive away after some lunch, Cachoeira Toboga. This one was basically a big flat wide rock that was an awesome natural waterside with a big splash pool underneath. There were 2 local guys here taking run ups and sliding down this huge rock on their feet, which looked so much more sketchy and dangerous than it sounds here. They were even hurdling over each other whilst sliding and one guy did it on his feet with a blindfold. Mental. We tried to film them but probably didn’t do it much justice. Apparently every year they have a “rock surfing” contest that attracts some decent crowds, which I think is called “Desafio Surf de Pedra.” Try googling this, there’s some other videos so you can get an idea.
The next waterfall was a short walk upstream from Toboga, and was a small waterfall filling into a huge 3m deep pool that was super fun to swim around in. Oh, and the best part was a 12m jump rock. To get up here was a hell of a lot more difficult than the jump itself. The ascent began up a sketchy ladder, then rope climb/rappel up a vertical rock face, followed by a scramble up some biting ant covered vines to to the top of the rock overlooking the pool.
Myself, Bec and Sammy all did the jump and got some go-pro footage, however again it probably doesn’t do it justice. That arvo we returned to the hostel. Bec and I did some last minute christmas shopping for our group Pirate Santa gifts (everyone got each other some variation of chocolate, cachaça and a shot glass). We had a big hostel Christmas Eve dinner which was… mediocre compared to the spread’s we’re used to at home. Nonetheless we had couple cheeky bevies and a fun night.
The next day we relaxed, explore the town a little more and went for a dip at the beach.
Next stop… Florianopolis, after 18+ hours of buses and at least 6 hours of layover. Tis the season to be jolly.