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.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cobbles and reflections in Paraty

Paraty is one of those laid back places that just makes you want to chill out and  relax.  The newer part of town is fairly standard, but being low rise and with wide roads it feels easy to walk around.

But the main draw here is the old town, with its pretty colonial style buildings and cobbles.  And what cobbles they are!  These aren't your average cobbles, they are killer cobbles.  Big, chunky and very uneven, they look fabulous; but like many things that look good, they aren't very comfortable.

If you know me, then you'll probably know that I do like my high heeled shoes, but there is no way that I would try wearing them here.  Ladies, many of you, and maybe even a few of the guys, will have experienced how tricky it can be walking on normal cobbles in heels but these are much worse.

It is hard enough walking in boots.  You always have to be looking down at where your feet are going especially when, as it was during the whole of stay, it is wet and the cobbles are slippery.

Ah yes, it was certainly wet.  It rained most days that we were in Paraty, and in the old town than meant that the roads flooded.

Some of them just had big puddles that you had to negotiate around.  Others had one long continuous puddle running down the middle or all one side of the road.  And some were just completely underwater.

This obviously is a frequent occurrence, as some of the roads actually have permanent little wooden plank 'bridges' across them.  We also noticed that the official tourist image for the town is one of their churches, complete with reflection in the flooded road. In fact, although the flooded roads could be a problem when you turn a corner and find there is nowhere that you can go without walking through a few inches of water, they did make for some lovely images of the buildings reflected in the water.

Of course the flooded roads do cause some difficulties for the traffic, and we saw a number of cyclists having to alter course or get wet, and a few cars deciding against braving it, or taking it very slowly.

No such issue for the Skol beer van though.  It came ploughing through one of the deeper parts, sending a small tidal wave in its wake, as if the drinking happiness of the people of Paraty depended in it.  Of course it could have just taken the long way around, but where would be the fun in that?

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