March 29, 2018
What a beautiful place! The sun was shining this morning and it is a warm day. We were picked up at the ship (at anchor as the port is shallow) by the schooner that took us around the many islands here and past beautiful beaches. There are 65 islands and 300 beaches in its vicinity.
This house is like a castle and belongs to the president of Fiat Brazil.
We stopped at two snorkeling spots, saw turtles, starfish and several kinds of fish. Not the most beautiful snorkeling but fun.
Here are Tori and me on the boat!
And me in the beautiful clear water.
We returned for a late lunch and then set out to visit the town. This is a former gold rush town and is a national historic monument. The beautiful Portuguese colonial architecture is undisturbed and the streets are made of stones. There are no cars allowed in the old town center. Parati means river of fish and was the name given to the entire area. Today the town has a population of about 33,000 with an economy based on agriculture, fishing and tourism.
It was the discovery of gold that turned Parati into a vital port. There were also many sugar cane plantations. The strong sugar cane liquor produced here is the key ingredient in the national cocktail, the Caipirinha.
The shops were wonderful!
The old colonial buildings, churches and restaurants are so charming, we could have spent even more time here. One other interesting fact is that at high tide, the streets flood here!
The next port, Ilha Grande, is not very far away, so tonight there will be a deck party. And for the party poopers, a movie will be shown. We will be dancing on the deck!