Leaving Rio, heading to Paraty: The last and final phase.

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Brazilian riders had these fabulous baroque Andalusians.

Sadly all fun things must come to an end…for us, that means leaving Rio, wrapping up our last Olympic sport (dressage) and hopping in a bus to head four hours out of the city to the Disneyland-beach town of Paraty (pronounced Para-chee, for some crazy Portuguese reason…).

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Art in motion!

When I say it is a Disneyland place, it’s because, compared with Rio, Paraty is just so..easy. Fun architecture, no cars really drive around in the old town, beaches galore, tons of adventure type stuff to do (kayak, snorkel, take party boats out, horseback ride, hike, taste cachaca). I would have LOVED to spend more time there, and was so sad when we had to leave.

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Kayaking!

When we arrived it was very chilly- brrr! The weather improved for our 1 full day there, and we went kayaking for 3 hours! I have never kayaked before in my life but it is pretty easy as it turns out. We went around the archipelago and into a mangrove swamp. We saw some land crabs there that are pretty big.

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Going through the mangrove swamp.

The restaurants in Paraty are excellent- we ate seafood stew from a cauldron type thing, and the day after a great feijoada- black bean stew with chunks of meat. YUM! As always, portion sizes were out of this world huge…

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Treacherous cobbles, but a very neat place.

And we were fortunate enough to be there during the Cachaca Festival! That’s right, cachaca any way you can drink it- I had it in hot chocolate in the evening, and in the daytime I had it in a slushy – your choice of frozen chocolate, coconut, tangerine. YUM!!!

I wanted to spend more time in Paraty- such a lovely place, quite busy but really lovely. Easy to get around it, safe, and totally cool. I miss it so much.

 

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River in front of our hotel.

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Very old Portuguese church. Look at how huge the door is!

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