The ride to Parati was bliss. Passing deserted beach after deserted beach I imagined that beaches like these could only be found on exotic islands in the middle of some ocean or sea. But here along the Costa Verde (Green Cost) tropical islands and pristine white sandy beaches flanked me for the 3 or 4 hour trip to Paraty, a coastal city set on a shoreline of jutting peninsulas and secluded beaches, Paraty is one of the oldest towns on the Brazilian coast as it was a stop between the Minas Gerais gold fields and Rio de Janeiro in from the late 1500’s until the early 1700’s when a new road was built. Siting below sea-level the cobble-stoned streets turn into small rivers during high-tide. Unique architecture accented by colorful paint and white wash, the colonial part of the town is off-limits to motor-vehicles. Even the stores, restaurants and bars must take deliveries by horse-driven carts.
A highlight was simply hanging in a tiny bar where a Bossa Nova singer’s voice soothed the humid air and the bartender provided me with a tasting and quick education on caçacha, an alcoholic spirit made from sugarcane and is the key ingredient to the Caipairinha, a famous drink in these parts of Brazil.
The laid back and seemingly carefree attitude the permeates the colorful buildings and stone streets of Paraty. And for the first time in Brazil I noticed a seemingly disrespect for motorcycle helmets (capacetes). There were riders all over town without helmets. My motorcycle was parked next to the hammock at my Pousada. Someone suggested that I try a restaurant called Porto — the meal was mediocre, expensive and flavors lost or just bland.
I haven’t started taking my malaria medication, which famously is reputed to have side effects that result in surreal and yet vivid dreams. Thus, last last night I dreamed I was in a high-rise building when a bright light flashed by the window. Remembering I forgot to park my bike in the garage, I ran downstairs to find someone had taken my tank panniers and my camera equipment was stolen from my top case. I was in a state of confusion, my head pounding with thoughts of what I was going to do. Then i woke myself from the dream and looked outside my window, past the hammock and saw Doc sitting there safe and proud. All my goods intact…
It was so real. Scary.
I spent three days here taking a boat trip to many islands and beaches. The water was fairly warm and for the first time since Panama, I actually got into the ocean. Great snorkeling and the soothing warm temperate water were just the call for this motorcycle rider. What a great feeling…I can see more of this in my Brazilian future. Later I rode back south 20 miles and spent a night in Trinidade, a laid back, surfer town with one street, no pavement and simple accommodations on the coast with hammocks slung everywhere.