Friends go kayaking

This past weekend I went kayaking in Victoria’s Inner Harbour (to the Gorge) with a friend and we had a lovely time! We only went for two hours, but that was plenty of time (hello bathroom breaks…) and it was much easier than when I first attempted to go kayking in Brazil, in the ocean at Paraty.

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That time we were rented these totally insane surf kayaks (??) that we had to basically jump into in the waves, fight the waves and my balance to paddle out to a few islands (one of which apparently had a dangerous guy living on it??). I couldn’t even reach the foot stop in the ridiculous kayak- it was too big for me. So I was floating in the middle of it, trying to paddle without falling out of the kayak or the kayak tipping over. In the waves. UGH!

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Pretty tippy!

Ian switched with me and I used his, which was MUCH easier. Ha. It was still quite the adventure! I have to say that the kayaks at Ocean River Sports are very slick. They are not cheap to rent (2 hours is $44.00) ouch. But really good kayaks and it’s a very relaxing way to spend a morning with a friend! I loved it. 🙂

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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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And here I was

And here I was

For the whole weekend! Yep, pretty tempestuous, but it was a desperately-needed break.

I wanted to go either surfing or kayaking this weekend, but unfortunately my husband and I were too sick to even pick up a surfboard (ughhh) so we did some light hiking and a lot of sleeping and sitting in a hot tub.

I’m feeling a bit better, still have a cough but the majority of symptoms have abated, like chills, sore throat, extreme muscle/joint pain and body aches. PHew!

The weather was not great, it was ok when we arrived and then the next day it HAMMERED rain all day. Gidget was less than impressed.

That’s ok though, we visited the adorable Ucluelet aquarium, went to Tofino and had lunch at the great Sobo (not cheap but worth it!!) and then visited the Tofino Brewery. They’re a fun bunch those guys, not much more than a warehouse in the industrial district, literally, it is on a road called ‘Industrial Road’ but they have so much heart!

And then back to the folks for Easter dinner, and riding on Monday.

Oats was very good, having some really fun times with him these days–Monday we just hacked around and then trotted and cantered some small crossrails set up.

Tuesday we rode during a lesson (blah!) and there were quite a few other riders…So my hacking was a bit distracted, disjointed and lousy. BUT we cantered a small vertical so smoothly…My coach said she didn’t even see it as a jump, it was so quiet. Nice!

Go pony go!