From Buzios to Paraty…where clothing is optional

After the hectic city that is Rio, it’s been nice to escape to the chill beach towns for a week!

Just four hours north of Rio is a super cool beach town called Buzios… basically it’s made up of scenic beaches and bays, turtles swimming around and a small Centro. We got in late in the afternoon to our Hostel, after our taxi driver threw his hands up in despair at not being able to find it, and essentially kicked us out to navigate our way by foot. Fear not! We arrived to our little hammock filled oasis, complete with cute puppy (All hostels seem to come with it’s own dog?)

It’s low season at the moment, so we rarely find ourselves travelling with other tourists and the hostels are always rather empty. Our Hostel in Buzios only had 2 other girls! That made for quite the awkward “saturday night bbq path” which consisted of us four, and what I think was the hostel owners middle aged friends. Regardless, the food was good and the Caiphirinas were free. Winning!

We took a short walk to the local Pier, which is lined with cute seaside bars and restaurants, where apparently we get the best sunset view of the whole town…and it didn’t disappoint!

We’ve spent most of our days here lazing on the beach, or taking a boat to numerous little islands and bays. One particular you with two other tourists (again, low season) we got our very own photographer… who has clearly been to cruise-ship-photog-class and knows how to work the “hands on hips and gaze into the distance” thing… very awkward with our rather affectionate non-english speaking tour mates…. and of COURSE we got the pictures on cd… it would be rude t=not too…and will provide SO much entertainment and comic relief.

Buzios saw me have a near repeat of my Bali sunburn…luckily (or not so?) for me It didn’t entail an old Indo woman rubbing my semi-maked body in fresh aloe… but it did come close! I think my feet and shins are still peeling a week later and I’m still a whitey… From Buzios we jumped on a Bus and headed South to PARATY…..

And what can we say about wonderful little Paraty? This colonial gem is a stunning seaside town with a European vibe-cobbled roads, cafes spilling out onto the walkway, vendors selling sweets and music and dancers permeating the streets of this old-school charm town.

Our bus arrived at dusk, so we strolled the streets to our hostel…which earned Britt the title of ‘worst hostel booker ever’ and had me rescinding my plea for help booking and planning. On paper it looked okay, It was in a great location and it was cheap! The ultimate drawcard for backpackers worldwide, the bargain price tag should have been a giveaway…the 10 bed dorm we can handle… but 10 beds THIS close together, with zero floorspace, zero common area-and I’m not exaggerating when I say if you aren’t ON your bed, you need to be outside exploring. One dirty toilet/bathroom for 17 people just does not work. And definitely not after some dodgy roadside empanadas… So we decided to clear out the next day…and returned home to an empty dorm..seems the other 8 were just as unimpressed and all decided to switch hostels early as well.

So on we move to our second Hostel, where we basked in our open spaces, empty dorm (Yeahhhhh low season) and breakfast served on the beach. Like, actually on it. Full of friendly backpackers (and the cute scuba diving/criminologist Brit that Britt pashed. I call them Brit Squared. Cuutteee) We spend our mornings running along the beach and the dock, where hoards of local fishing and tourist boats dock, ready to ferry people to the stunning islands surrounding Paraty. We spent an amazing day drinking cocktails and eating fresh squid on our boat, sailing from beach to beach. We found a yummy Middle eastern restaurant recommended by our local friends, scoffed gelato and met the local drug dealer, decked in gaudy, flashy bling. We officially feel like pirates.

On our final day in Paraty we went on a rock pool hunt. You can take a local bus 45 mins to a neighbouring town, take a 2km trail through the beach/rainforest and you come to some amazing natural pools. These babies were well worth the effort…crystal clear water surrounded by big rocks, we lay like lizards in the sun in the middle of our rock pool paradise.

Unfortunately we had to move on-Paraty is one of those little beauties you just never want to leave, especially not to board a bus that you know you’ll be sitting on for the next 30 hours. We spend the day travelling to Sao Paolo, tried to book an overnight bus to Iguasu, find allll the overnights are full, get a taxi to a different bus terminal, try three more companies and find ONE that has 2 seats left, on a regular sitting-up-straight-for-hours bus. 6 hours to Sao Paolo, 2 broken down on the side of the road just outside of Sao Paolo, 16 long hours to Foz Do Iguazu, the Fall on the Brazillian side, a bus to the boarder, stamp our passports at the Brazilian exit, wait 1.5 more hours for another bus to come by, get stamped into Argentina, take a taxi with some Spanish speaking Israelies to our Hostel….

30 stinky hours after we left Paraty, we are officially in ARGENTINA!  Now excuse me while I go eat my weight in Argentinian Steak.

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