Thursday, December 8, 2011
Nov 28th – Picture Perfect Paraty
Because there were no coastal roads back then, Paraty was the only place where the gold could be taken down to the coast – we went on a 4x4 trip into the mountains to see the rough roads where 6,000 tons of gold were literally carried down the steep hills, to be transferred to Portugal, to fund the splendours of Lisbon.
Our trip also took us to see beautiful waterfalls and one set of rapids where madmen "surf" over the rocks down to the bottom – you have to see it to understand how it's done (how they don't kill themselves, I don't know).
After the tour, we explored the picture-perfect historic streets of Paraty – it looks more like a film-set than a real place, although the incredibly rough cobblestones remind you that this town hasn't just been made for tourists.
The streets are so peaceful that it seems a world away from the tourist glitz and crowded beaches of Rio – a wonderfully peaceful start to our next cruise.