Parati: on a Trail of Gold

- I lived in Rio for five years. Then moved to Paraty.

- Do you like it more than Rio?

- Of course. It’s so relaxed here…

That’s Umberto, a driver that gave us lift on the coastal road BR101. I met him again while strolling around charming evening Paraty, soaking up its music, its soft light, its slow pace.

- Francesco is a painter. He’s working now. Go, have a look at his picture.

Francesco is submerged into inspiration and creativity but gladly greets me, when I emerge at his side.

- What’s that?

- It’s a naked woman, doing “shi-shi”.

I see…

The word Parati, synonym for cachaça, gave name to the city, which grew on a trade way Caminho de Ouro (Trail of Gold). It still brings money, the trail to Paraty but for now from tourism.

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Little cute monkeys dine on bananas.

Little cute monkeys dine on bananas.

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Paraty is surrounded by jungles of Southern Brazil, always wet and foggy.

Paraty is surrounded by jungles of Southern Brazil, always wet and foggy.

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They say there’s nature in Rio-de-Janeiro!

- I love nature. It doesn’t bore me. It surprises. Always

- Here’s nature, right in front of you (with a wide gesture pointing to the Atlantic swell, dotted with popping heads of people in a wave foam and a dark-skinned “gondolier”, without rush rowing on his surf board in direction of Barra da Tijuca…)

Reminded me… “They say there’s nature on the Brighton beach!” (“Madagascar”)

That was yesterday, when right after arrival me and my new acquaintances were killing time on the Ipanema beach.

- What do people do on a beach? I have no idea…

- There’re lot’s of things… like digging neighbor’s feet in sand, for example…

- That I see… what else?

…I don’t know…

That’s why today I head to Jardin Botanico (Botanic Garden). There’s nature there and there’s definitely something to do.

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Dry leaves are gliding on me from above, scratching my skin. Here they die not because of luck of sun, but of its abundance. It ruthlessly dries me out too. Because I’m also here, in Brazil.

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To the right of me – completely naked giant. Unfortunately, he’s not a man. He’s a tree. Perhaps, it feels hot too, that’s why undressed.

Green birds, looking like parrots, are fighting on flight and crying loudly. Louder than parrots are only school boys, who came here with a tour.

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This little guy could make nervous a ballet dancer - so graceful!

This little guy could make nervous a ballet dancer – so graceful!

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Flowers smell amazingly! But are so heavy that very soon fall down to the soil.

Flowers smell amazingly! But are so heavy that very soon fall down to the soil.

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Orchids were used by witches to prepare "love spells"

Orchids were used by witches to prepare “love spells”

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Jaka - very smelly and very tasty fruit.

Jaka – very smelly and very tasty fruit.

Palm leaf

Palm leaf

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And those water plants reach 2m wide and can carry 45 kilos easily.

And those water plants reach 2m wide and can carry 45 kilos easily.

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I’m back! Back… to Rio : )

…And the fog swallowed us. I felt like a hedgehog in the mist (google Soviet cartoons).

YozhikThat fog was my welcome back to Rio de Janeiro, the first thing I saw landing in its national airport this morning.

This time I came not only for Brazil but for other five or six South American countries. In two days my friend arrives, and we set about several hitch-hiking journey around the continent. Yes, that’s what I promised you before my previous trip. And I keep my word : )

All in all, there’s no certain plan. There’s road. There’s hot sun. There’s song. And wind (hopefully!). And we follow them. Where we will end up – let’s see all together.

And as aperitif… no, not the Christ Redeemer statue on Corcovado hill… Copacabana is also a wrong guess… well, for the starter – a portion of Brazilian street art. This time – from RIo-de-Janeiro!

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Be nice with Brazilian women!

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Random doors of Rio.

Random doors of Rio.

Real and imaginary Rio exist side by side.

Real and imaginary Rio exist side by side.

In Lapa, artistic and touristic center. Behind musicians - Lapa's famous arches.

In Lapa, artistic and touristic center. Behind musicians – Lapa’s famous arches.

And this is how a stair way to Heaven looks like. Rio style.

And this is how a stair way to Heaven looks like. Rio style.

This is probably what every Brazilian dreams about in rare minutes free from wild parties : )

This is probably what every Brazilian dreams about in rare minutes free from wild parties : )

And this is what I dream about. No matter when.

And this is what I dream about. No matter when.

Ugly truth on ceramics.

Ugly truth on ceramics.

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This one is my favourite – in Lapa.

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The crazy party people wait for you right after the Lapa arches.

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Ordem e progresso.

Ordem e progresso.

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“Pearls” of Brazilian street art

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This gallery contains 25 photos.

In Brazilian cities it’s possible to find real “pearls” of street art. And, although wandering though yards and narrow streets can be dangerous, some pieces of art we’ve found are really worth being discovered. Especially if you are accompanied by … Continue reading

Across Pelorinho: an antique shop (part 3)

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This gallery contains 13 photos.

For me and my friends the concert of Geronimo is a meeting place. To get the staircase of Igreja do Passo on Tuesday night, we usually don’t take straight way through overcrowded Rua do Carmo, but reach the church through … Continue reading

Across Pelorinho: Afro-Brazilian spirit (part 2)

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This gallery contains 5 photos.

Despite rich religious heritage, in Tuesday evening Pelorinho turns into main party place, in truly Brazilian spirit. Then streets are filled with drum bands, who march all around with loud batucada (drum playing). On squares stages are set, and crowds … Continue reading

Across Pelorinho: new life of old execution place (part 1)

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This gallery contains 9 photos.

The bus is taking me in direction of Praça da Sé. I’m getting out on the last bus stop and take the street to the left, pass the shop of photo equipment and comida a kilo (cafes with Swedish table, … Continue reading

One week on Brazilian Ibiza

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On the most southern-east point of Baia dos Todos os Santos (the Bay of All Saints) there’s a lighthouse. 40-meters-high tower perks on a steep hill – not the biggest on an island but the utmost. I take a trail … Continue reading

Vale do Pati: inside a fairy tale

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This gallery contains 17 photos.

Chapada Diamantina is like “a kingdom behind thirty-nine lands” in Russian fairy tales. You need to cross mountain ranges, walk turbulent rivers, overcome tiredness of rocky ascends and leave behind many kilometers of plateau, burnt by ruthless sun. The reward … Continue reading