Friday, August 27, 2010

Brazilian Beaches Part 1: Carnaval in Paraty

My first Carnaval in Brazil started off on the wrong foot, my two travel companions, at the last minute canceled and I was forced to cancel my hotel room in Rio. I had booked a lovely 2 bedroom suite in the Leblon area of Rio de Janeiro. Left flying solo, I decided to try a new Brazilian city since most decent hostels in Rio were fully booked. I settled on a small city that I had heard about from other backpackers and online... Paraty... an old colonial city located a few hours from Rio...
How to get to Paraty from the International airport using public transportation?
Easy, first take the Airport shuttle bus to the main bus station, this should cost about R$5 and take less than 45 minutes. The (Rodoviaria Novo Rio) Central Bus Station is the main bus station in Rio, take an Empresa Costa Verde headed towards  Paraty. 
The bus will leave you at the Paraty Rodoviaria. This bus station is centrally located, but if you arrive at night, you might make my mistake and hire a cab, big mistake, I paid R$15 for a less than  minute ride, lesson learned never arrive at night in a strange city... Always try to get in during the daytime, easier to find your way around and save on cab fares.
I booked myself into the Che Lagarto Paraty hostel. I've been to several Che Lagarto hostels and they have developed a mini party-hostel reputation. Started by a group of Argentines they have created a network of hostels all over South America.... I checked in... and once I got to my room I was welcomed by this sight...

Clearly this guy had a good night, that was my first encounter with the 6 crazy Brits, a group of working-class Brits, they had a wide range of fun drinking games and were probably clinically crazy, if booze fell on the ground, they would suck it off the floor, pavement, carpet, wherever... another practical joke was to cover a guy who passed out early in shaving cream.. or using Nair to shave off the eyebrow of another guy... needless to say, these guys were a blast...

Now off to explore the local Carnaval...
Wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man
Wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man meets Neptune

The beers were cheap, R$2 to R$2.50 , girls were cute and music was great... but it's not only about the nightlife, the downtown area remained stuck in the 1700s, beaches were nice... I took a 5 hour R$20 boat ride that took me to 4 different islands and had 2 stops on those islands and another 2 stops where you could just jump off the boat... really fun!

Paraty - Brazil

Classic Brazil Beach shot

my lil boat

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