By Amaya Muñoz
Although we were a bit unfortunate and ended up in Paraty during a rainy weekend, we still found a way to take advantage of the only time we’ll be there in probably our entire lives. One of the first things we did after arriving was search for the beach, of course. Some of us in the group felt risky enough to walk along this path of large jagged rocks out into the ocean. The rocks would shake and you were constantly scared you were going to fall, but it was one of the most adventurous and fun experiences of my life. A few people from the group looked for a café to watch the Portugal and Spain world cup game, and the rest of the night was spent being followed by adorable stray dogs and admiring how much more relaxing this town was in comparison to our home base of Catete.
On Saturday we had a tour of the city (see blog post Paraty Part I) and then we walked for hours along the stone paved streets of Paraty. We spent time at coffee shops, random knick-knack shops and playing cards. That night, we had dinner with Professor Sanchez and Adams— one of the amazing people from the CIEE office— at an outdoor restaurant with live music right next to our pousada. We ate amazing steaks and burgers and had great conversations that led to it being one of the best nights we’ve had here in Brazil for a lot of us.
On Sunday we went on a tour that took us on a hike through the Atlantic Forest and followed the “Gold Trail” for several miles. It is along this trail that enslaved people carried gold and other commodities to the port to be shipped to Europe. In some areas the trail has been very well preserved while in others the stones that pave the way were barely visible.
Though we couldn’t go on a boat tour because of the weather, our trip to Paraty was a lot of fun, very educational and cultural, and ended up being the mini vacation that we needed. We came back to Catete ready to take on the rest of our trip.