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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


From the station, we soon arrived at our hostel, which happily was somewhat nicer than we had anticipated it might be.  It was also about the only place that we saw that was open for lunch, so we availed ourselves of that too before setting off to look around.

Paranagua is only small, so there wasn't a great deal to look around, but we checked out a few churches, the old market building and the square with an old animal drinking fountain.

Walking along the beachfront we saw lots of people flying kites, and we came across the rather impressive aquarium building.  Unfortunately the aquarium itself was closed.

A lot of the buildings here are quite tatty, with a number that are verging on decrepid, often with plants - sometimes whole trees - growing out of them, despite still being fully in use.

One was particularly bad, and looked as if the top of the facade might at any point fall off onto anyone below; it was a church building, so we figured they were trusting to God to keep them safe.

Underneath the tattiness though, many of the buildings were actually quite attractive, so those few that had been properly restored looked very good.

We considered getting one of the boats around the shore and nearby islands, but as it was by now pretty hot, and the smaller boats had no shade on them at all, we contented ourselves with staying on dry land.

One thing that I have found strange in a number of places in South America, but noticed a lot here, is that while they may be helpful in putting up some information about a place, they often put that information on a huge great sign which they position directly in the way of getting a good view of whatever it is you are looking at.  Between these signs and all of the messy tangles of electric and phone cables, getting an unobstructed picture can be something of a challenge at times.

In the evening we discovered that being a Sunday, all of the local young people gather along the beachfront and listen to the music blaring out of a number of cars kitted out with huge great speakers.  Some were enthusiastically dancing in the back of a pickup, and I don't hold out much hope for the future state of its suspension as a result.

As well as the gathering along the front, a number of people were driving around with their huge speaker systems too.  We were more amused though to see those who had not yet progressed to cars cycling around instead, some of them with trikes kitted out with the big speakers.

Of course this was all fine while we were up ourselves, and we're not early to bed people, but eventually we did turn in and we found that the party went on for a while and the music as some of the cars went past was so loud that the windows vibrated massively.  Nic donned his earplugs and we both did our best to sleep through it.

Having pretty much 'done' Parangaua the afternoon before, we wandered around some more and then just relaxed in the sun for the rest of the day before starting our long journey to Paraty.

As it turned out it was just as well that we had some time to spare and were sat somewhere with wifi, because in the afternoon we got an email from the hostel that we were due to stay at in Paraty saying that the reduced rate that we had booked with them over a month ago was in fact an error and we would have to pay considerably more. This was doubtless some kind of ploy as they had realised they could sell our room for more as there was an event in town, but there wasn't a lot we could do about it from Paranagua.

So we cancelled our booking there and booked somewhere else that in fact turned out to be in a better location. Happily we have still had the review form for the Che Lagarto hostel, so we will be slating it accordingly!

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