Ilha Grande, Brazil
24.11.2016 - 26.11.2016 25 °C
Recipe: Begin with unlimited access to ice cold caipirinhas, (a drink made from cachaca), add warm, tropical sunshine, combine with a six hour boat trip, complete with fifty young people clad in bathing suits and you get a party boat from Paraty.
Next, add a sixty year old Canadian and allow her to record, in no particular order, her observations.
- Admiration - These young passengers were far away from home. The majority were on a G Adventures tour (which provides structure), but most had signed up for the trip without previously knowing anyone in the group. I admired their courage at leaving home and the ease with which they made new friends.
- Language skills - Many of the young adults spoke more than one language. Portuguese is the main language in Brazil, and most visitors don't speak this language, but everyone we met was willing to try and communicate with Brazilians.
- Body positivity - I loved the confidence expressed by the group when it came to their bodies. The human body comes in all shapes and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying being young and alive.
- Tattoos - A day spent with people in their twenties demonstrated that tattoos have become mainstream. Almost everyone sported some type of ink.
- Cigarettes - The number of tattoos did not surprise me, but watching many of the passengers smoke, did amaze me. Don reminded me that people often smoke when they drink, so this could account for the number of people who were smoking.
- Phones - Very few people had a camera, they recorded their memories on their phones. There were a few Go-Pros, but these were rare.
- Music - of course you can't have a party boat without music. I recognized a few tunes (thanks to boot camp), but most of the artists were unknown to me.
- Swimming - The strangest part for me was my reluctance to jump into the warm water. I know how to swim and once upon a time, I loved to be in the water. But in the last few years, I'm content to either paddle on the shore or just watch. Fortunately, Don still loves to swim, so he represented our family very well by jumping off the boat with the young kids!
- Fun - I had so much fun on this trip! There was another older couple on the boat and they were not enjoying the party atmosphere on the boat. The kids in our group were impressed with us.
After three nights in the colonial town of Paraty, we left this morning for the second to last place on our tour, Ilha Grande. We are staying on this beautiful island for two nights, then we're off to Rio for one night and then we head home!
I really enjoyed our time in Paraty. On our first day we rented kayaks and went out into the bay for three hours. The weather was overcast, but we were warm. The lack of bright sun probably prevented us from getting sunburnt. Several years ago Don and I went kayaking in Maple Bay and I bravely agreed to go in a single kayak. I struggled the whole time, trying to manoeuvre the boat while fighting the wind and current. This time I asked Don if we could rent a double kayak and he agreed. What a difference! I enjoyed the experience and Don assured me that I did help move the boat!