Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday/Friday...Rio and Paraty

Thursday we woke up and decided that we wanted to walk to the botanical gardens.  In retrospect, an inexpensive cab ride would have been a better idea but and learn right.

We started out on our quest by walking towards a huge lagoon in the middle of Rio.  The gardens were roughly 1/2 way around the lagoon and we figured it was an easy enough landmark to follow.  We left the hotel armed with backpack, the large camera and not nearly enough sun screen!!  We walked for what I am guessing was about 2 miles before we stumbled onto the visitors center for the lagoon.  Strangely deserted we walked through the park like area before deciding to continue on our trek to the gardens.  A few misguided wrong turns and about 4 miles later we finally gave up on the idea of finding the park and decided to start walking back to the lagoon and head home.  Of course, inevitably, we then found the park and decided that although Ryan already had blisters on his feet (stupid Jesus shoes) we would try to find the entrance.  One would think that was an easy enough thing to do but armed with only the stupid cartoon like, out of scale, map it was more difficult than you would guess.  Again, just as we had given up hope we found the enterance and decided at this piont we might as well go on in.  The place was HUGE and I have no idea how we could have missed it but we did.  It was beautiful and we wished we would have had more life left in our feet at that poit because we really would have liked to explore it more than we did.  In any case, we turned our feet to the lagoon and started out trek back to home.

Just before our LONG walk....before the blisters and the tired legs :O)

The boat house for Rowing where the 2016 Olympics will be held

HUGE tree!!  Wish we spoke Portuguese so we could undestand all the signs.

I would guess in total we walked roughly 12 miles in poorly chosen footwear.  We were thirsty and hungry by the time we were about 3/4 of the way around the lagoon but we knew if we stopped to rest that we wouldn't get up and keep going.  When we were finally within about .5 miles of the hotel we stopped for lunch and a drink or two.  It was much needed at that point. 

Thursday evening we decided to go to an Irish pub called Shenanigans....leave it to Ry to want to check out the only Irish and American bars in sight but we had a great time.  At Shenanigans we met two guys, a true Irishman and his Brazilian friend who spoke English.  I was most defiantly over served last night and I felt it this morning...but Ryan claims it was one of the most fun nights we've had here. 

This morning (Friday) we woke up and prepared for the 4ish hour bus ride to our next city Paraty.  I was not feeling well to say the least and I am TERRIBLE at bumpy, curvy car rides so I knew I was in for a long ride ahead of us.  The bus ride wasn't too bad, a little long but the ride was very much worth it.  All of the other passengers on the bus spoke English so it was nice to chat with them a little bit. We met one couple who was headed here to Paraty for a few nights and then to the Amazon for the rest of their trip.  The guy said you were pretty much boated into a remote hotel and you had to hope and pray the staff wouldn't turn against you because you were literally dependent on the hotel for everything.  Sounds interesting...maybe next time!!

Paraty is beautiful.....I love it here.  Our hotel is amazing and so is our room.  I wish I could post pictures to show you all but they probably wouldn't do it justice.  It´s very touristy here and it feels very much like walking around historic downtown Williamsburg.  It´s safe and beautiful but we've already termed in `magic town` because you know that the people that live and work here don´t live where we are staying. 

Our hotel room in Paraty.  It was beautiful and we loved our little balcony.  This is where Ryan listed to a film crew discuss the logistics of filming a big movie in the area.  I am 70% sure its the next Twilight movie.  Pretty dang cool!

Ryan and I have both commented on how much we love it feels a lot more relaxing than Rio.  Rio was nice but its busy an crowded...much like Chicago, and you always feel a little stressed there. Here we can sit on our little balcony and enjoy the sounds of the wildlife.  We have the windows/doors open and the air feels wonderful.  It´s not hot, in fact, sometimes I want a sweater but its perfect for just sitting out and enjoying each others company.

Well, that's all from me for now.  Ryan and I are off to book a few adventures for our time here.  More on that later otherwise I won´t have anything to write about in a day or so.

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