Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Churches, cafes, carts and confectionery

Although the old town of Paraty is small, it has four significant churches.  The largest is the Igreja Matriz Nossa Señora do Remedios which was built over the period 1646 to 1873 to fulfill a promise to Maria Jacome de Melo, a wealthy lady who provided the land to build the town.

Her gift was given with two provisions, firstly that they build this church dedicated to Our Lady, and secondly that no harm was done to any of indigenous people who lived in the area.

The Capela de Nossa Señora das Dores was built in 1800 for Paraty's white colonial elite, while the Ingreja Nossa Señora do Rosario e Sao Benedito dos Homens Pretos was built in 1725 by and for the black slaves of the town.

The Igreja de Santa Rita dos Pardos Libertos was built in 1722 for the freed mulatos, former slaves of mixed black and white ancestry.

But if the town has plenty of churches, it has even more cafes and restaurants.  With many of them obviously aimed at tourists, they are not cheap, and the quality can be dubious, but a few were nicer.

We ate at one on our first evening which was a bit more expensive, but had live music, which is always nice.  One of the waiters appeared to be a wannabe entertainer, as he was continually dancing around the room, trying to get the customers to join in.
There was also a nice cafe with good hot chocolates where we were sat playing cards when a young Israeli guy came up and asked if he and his partner could join us.  We chatted for a while and swapped a few travel stories and tips.

The other thing that we saw plenty of were the carts.  There were two types of carts going around the town.  The first was the horse and carts, both of the practical variety and the tourist sightseeing ones.

The other type of cart was the handdrawn sweet cart.  You could find one of these being wheeled on most of the main streets in the old town.  They all had broadly the same things, including a kind of soft coconut ice which was very tasty.

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