06.02.2013 - 08.02.2013 30 °C
Well we are back in Rio where we now have good internet coverage, so here are our adventures for the last few days.
When we awoke this morning the first thing we did was have a look out of our balcony at the weather. It was a lovely morning and to our surprise the low cloud had lifted and this is what we could see from our balcony. This is the Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain. We will be visiting him upon our return to Rio.
Shane also chose his costume for the Carnivale. I told him it wasn't his colour and besides it was $600.
This morning we drove 4 hours south of Rio de Janiero to Paraty. It is located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), which is a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro and the town is located on the Bay of Ilha Grande, which is dotted with many tropical islands.
This is a little coastal historic town first settled in 1667. It wasn't until the 1800s that the city really made its mark on the map, as this is when gold was found in the area. During this time, the area prospered and Paraty became the second most important port in Brazil as it was shipping gold to Portugal. African slaves created cobblestone roads for transporting the gold. In the late 1800’s an inner road was opened and Paraty was forgotten. This has helped to preserve its old city including the cobblestones, you need to watch where you walk as they are uneven.
Once we had settled into our hotel we had a wander around the historic town. Our hotel is in the historic area.
The little streets are so colourful.
Along the way Shane met some friends. These are typical through much of Brazil, but very popular in Paraty, they are "Namoradas". A namorada is a girlfriend. So these are often placed in the windows where the girls can have a daydream and watch the people go by.
There are four important historic baroque churches within a small walking distance of each other.
Capela de Santa Rita (Chapel of Saint Rita) – this is the oldest church in Paraty. It was completed in 1722. This was the church of the white elite and freed men who were former slaves.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito (Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and Saint Benedict) – This church was built and used by Paraty’s African slaves. It dates back to the year 1725. The church has a much simpler, more rustic style than the other three churches in Paraty.
Capela de Nossa Senhora das Dores (Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows) - This chapel dates back to 1800. It was used mostly by the rich women of society.
Igreja Matriz Nossa Senhora do Remédios (First Church of Our Lady of the Remedies) – This is the largest church in Paraty. It takes up over an entire city block. Its construction began in 1646 when a woman named Maria Jácome de Melo donated the land for the construction of the village of Paraty, however she demanded two conditions: The first was the building of a chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora dos Remédios and the second was that no one would harm the Indians that lived in the area at that time. The church was completed in 1873.
We had a relaxing day today in Paraty. We took a boat trip around the bay. Although it was overcast it was still nice and warm to go swimming and snorkelling. So we headed down to the pier to find a schooner called the Rei Cigano. We set sail and for 5 hours sailed around to various parts of the bay with lovely little beaches. Pulling out of the port we had a lovely view of the church on the waterfront with the clouded mountains in the background.
We went to the Praia da Lula, Llha da Pescaria, Praia Vermelha and Llha Comprida. Here are some pictures of our day.
Nothing much to report today, we spent most of the day returning to Rio de Janiero for our 4 days of Carnivale action.