Friday, February 10, 2012

Ola Brazil

4th February

Had an absolutely magical day in a little Brazilian coastal town called Paraty yesterday. Spent the day exploring the charm of the old section and then went to the beach and had a swim in the bathtub warm waters.

That night we had dinner with a local family, one of the oldest in the town still living in the old section. We gorged on an incredible array of food, including black beans, cassava flour, chicken, beef, sausages, a very creamy potato salad, rice, salads and all washed down with what seems to be their national drink, caipirinha. This is a sugar cane rum, drunk straight, with pieces of lime, ice and sugar to make it palatable.

In our defence we had been forced to drink caipirinha´s
After dinner we had dress ups in old period clothes. Not sure if this is a regular pastime or just designed to make fun of tourists. Elizabeth liked her dress so much she kept it on and we had difficulty getting it off her when we left. Our host Wado, an artist with his varied works displayed downstairs, brought out a guitar and in a soulful voice sang local songs and songs we know like Joe Cocker´s Unchain my Heart. A book was passed around for us to leave a message for the family. I wrote 'A comida esta deliciosa' (the food is delicious) and under my name our tourist guide added 'and sorry for eating your dog' (also in Portuguese, the language of Brazil). Elizabeth wrote 'thank you for making me feel 8 years old again in your pretty dress'.


I cannot emphasise how useful it can be to know some phrases in the native language. As we left I thanked the host in Portuguese for a delicious meal  and we suddenly became friends, hands around my shoulder we chatted for 10 minutes about our respective countries. I use a free app I downloaded called 'Tourist language learn and speak' which currently has 58 languages with common phrases you can read or hear.

Afterwards they were having a free samba concert in the main square, which did not start until 11pm. We wiled away our time beforehand by just sitting on a park bench watching the families having fun, myriad dogs playing, children running around throwing glow sticks in the air, such a fantastic family atmosphere. In the end the concert was an anticlimax as I enjoyed watching the people more. It was a half hour walk back to the hotel and we got lost. So here we were in a foreign town, late at night wandering through back streets. With hand on tripod (in case I needed a weapon) we retraced our steps until we hit a familiar landmark. No problems ensued, the people here are quite friendly and we got home just after midnight, exhausted but very happy with our holiday choices thus far (thanks Harvey World Travel and GAP Tours).

Ate depois amigos