Sunday, 25 August 2013

A Week

Bonito taught me one thing: No matter how sad you think you feel, it's hard to actually be sad when you're lying in a hammock trying to ignore the midday sun and Monkey appears, steals some food from two domesticated Macaws and then is chased away by a lady with a broom. 


Here are some photos from this week, to give you a vague idea what I might have been up to... 













Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Bonito

Before coming to Bonito, I spoke to my Grandmother about where I was going, saying that I was off to do some further adventuring. She replied that she knew exactly where I was going and that it was an awful place with huge snakes, crocodiles and all sorts of other beastly creatures. My Uncle helpfully added that there were piranhas too. Today I bought her this postcard:


So, yesterday my final week in Brazil began and yesterday, I took two planes and drove for four hours (including a 100km down a dirt road) to reach my final destination before flying home - Bonito.

Bonito is a strange city, next to the Pantanal and having got used to the 'if that's a bit of land that hasn't already got a house i'll build on it' attitude of Rio it's somewhat unnerving to be in a place where all the buildings are so spread out... and although in the town's center all the roads are tarmac, most of the roads leaving Bonito are dirt tracks. However, it's down these dirt tracks that Bonito starts to get interesting.

This morning, I went wandering through two absolutely stunning caverns/grottos/caves. I've never been inside a cavern/grotto/cave before, unless you count Chislehurst Caves in London, which despite being an extremely historical site is not at all comparable to the places I visited today. Unfortunately my ability to take photos is waining (probably due to copious caipirinha consumption) and so these are the best of the worst.







After exploring the caves, we drove to a place called the municipal baths. For any English person, this would imply a large communal swimming pool, but this wasn't the case. We paid a mere 15 Reais (5 euros) entry and spent the afternoon floating down a clear-water river and swimming with the fishes. There were also lots of monkeys and Macaw(caws) and very sadly a roadkill Armadillo (first time I've ever seen one).








Friday, 16 August 2013

Hang gliding.

Today I decided to throw myself off a cliff and pretend to be a bird. 

And all I have to say about the experience, is if you get the opportunity DO IT. 








Plus a monkey I saw driving through Tijuca National Park. 



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Beach

Sunday was another lazy day and one which I wasn't actually planning on writing about. My Uncle and I decided that whenever we were both up, we'd head out to the beach - a nice, but not particularly special Sunday afternoon. However, when we got to the beach, I was in awe.

For miles, I couldn't see anyone in the water. From a distance the waves seemed a little violent, but nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Then, as we got out of the car, I noticed that everyone was sitting as far away as possible from the sea, without actually having to get off the beach - so most people were huddled around the fences which divided the beach from the road. Most of the time, the waves would break a good distance from all the beach goers, but every so often the sea would flood the beach reaching the dividing fence and then retreat again taking tables, plates, sandals and an assortment of rubbish with it. Which kept my Uncle and I amused for some time.

The waves themselves were magnificent. The water was white from the foam and as the water swelled and rolled over it became a stunning pale blue. Above the waves the sea spray, which could felt as far back as the road, spattered the sky with rainbows.


video

Oh and on the way back I saw some wild capybaras.





Saturday, 3 August 2013

Paraty & a day of rest.

As this week rolled in, it stopped raining and the weather started to heat up again. So on Wednesday morning my Uncle and I decided to make the four hour drive to Paraty, a small seaside town bordering the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, where the locals have wasted no time in making up merchandise playing on all possible variations of the Paraty - Pirate pun.

Paraty is a beautiful, old town, with cobbled streets which dip in the middle making a kind of natural gutter, which comes in very handy every spring when the sea's high tides flood the town. We had a wonderful time walking around the town, drinking a lot of caipirinhas and buying our faire share of artisan goodies and t-shirts.



  

We also decided to take a boat trip to some of the towns surrounding islands (yes, it would appear no matter where you are in Brazil, you will be plagued with idyllic scenery) and I invested in a snorkel and some flippers so I was able to jump off the boat and explore the underwater wildlife. The boat journey and the islands were beautiful, but sadly the underwater visibility was pretty poor.






We got back from Paraty yesterday and the temperatures in Rio have soared. Today it was 33° by 10am, which I guess is a fairly reasonable temperature for a Brazilian, but with my English blood I was dying. So we had a lazy day by the pool with a barbecue and dogs, one of whom decided to take a dip with us.