We`ve had a good couple of days here in Parati. Although there was no hot water or wifi when we arrived at our ¨poussada¨, they`ve been working fine since then.
Our boat tour was really nice yesterday. The weather was perfect, and there are loads of little islands you can stop at. The schooner had about 50 passengers (didn`t hear any language other than portuguese spoken, it seems most of the tourists here are Brazilian). When we stopped near the first beach, there was a queue to go down the ladder into the sea, so I decided to jump off the side… forgetting what a rotten swimmer I am! I was still wearing my sandles (for the beach) and carrying my mask and snorkel for later, and frankly it was a real struggle to make it to the beach. Had to sit in the surf for a few minutes to get my breath back. Val`s done a life saving course before (partly I`m sure with my ability to sink like a stone in mind), but she was patiently queuing. We had three more stops, one at a beach, two in rocky coves (but to be honest the snorkelling equipment was a waste of time). The water was nice, and I was sure to take one of those woggle things, like everyone else, to keep me afloat.
Today we had a jeep tour inland. First stop was at the bottom of a small waterfall. The water was really cold, but today was a really sticky day, I had to throw myself in anyway, if only for a couple of minutes, to cool down. Then we had a trip to a local distillery, followed by lunch, then a short walk to another river. This had a fantastic expanse of smooth, undulating rock, with mostly just a couple of inches of water cascading down it, and it makes a brilliant waterslide, they even have some sort of competition here every December, the locals can slide down standing up! I had several goes, some with a swing start as in the photo – it’s great fun, but it was pot luck which way I was facing by the time I crashed into the water at the bottom. There’s just enough clear water at the bottom to ensure you don’t do yourself much damage (I did skin a bit of my foot, but the cold water acts as anaesthetic anyway) you can stand up within seconds, and (if you’re careful) you can climb back up through the water rather than taking the muddy path. Val was the only woman in our group who was brave (or crazy?) enough to have a go.
Then a few yards further upstream was a small but powerful waterfall – our guide showed us a path to it and you can then plunge through it to a hollow just big enough for two. Once inside, Val was really a bit scared with the tiny space and a thick curtain of water in front. I thrust my head back through and I then saw our guide was signalling that we should go with the flow, i.e. slide down and out with the flow of the water (it wasn’t deep). It was a really nice trip, and the Brazilians with us were very friendly.