Paraty, we hardly knew ye

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We left Rio on Saturday and took a bus four+ hours to Paraty. Paraty (para-chee) is a colonial era settlement tucked within mountains and off shore islands. The streets are cobblestone and the central area is closed to traffic. There are basically three types of establishments in Paraty, Pousadas (bed and breakfast like hotels), restaurants (a surprising number serve crepes), and artsy-fartsy shops.

Our hotel is an old stone building, but due to the tropical weather, it is not cold at all. There is an occasional lack of hot water, but otherwise it is quite nice, if not too quiet. (Our hostel in Rio was terribly loud.)

We really only had two full days in Paraty. On the first, we took a 5 hour schooner tour around to various remote beaches or diving spots. At a cost of 20 reals ($13.33) plus lunch, we decided to forego the other tours and do it again the second day. Both days were supremely relaxing and enjoyable.

I am a little sad now as my vacation is drawing to a close. Tomorrow we have to wake up early, get across town to the bus stop (can't get a taxi since there aren't any cars near our hotel), and take a six hour bus ride to Sao Paulo. I then have two hours in which to take the metro to the airport (approximate time required is 1.5 hours), and then I have two hours before my 12 hour flight that will get me into O'Hare around 5:30, in time to catch the blue line home, take a shower, change clothes, and show up to work... a day I am sure will be hectic.

Although I don't want to leave nor end my vacation, I am ready to resume normal life... so I think my vacation has been a success. Hopefully the traveling tomorrow won't be too stressful.