Waking up to the sound of horse-drawn carts on cobblestones has been a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Sao Paulo. Paraty is a seven-hour bus ride from Sao Paulo and is a beautiful town right on the ocean that has preserved much of its colonial charm. We stayed at a B&B that served chocolate cake and bright pink, runny yogurt for breakfast. Kind of fun for the first day, less so on the third....
We went to a couple of dinners where we learned that if someone is playing the guitar or singing you'll likely see an "artistic" charge on your bill, despite their, um, actual artistic abilities.
We hiked to the Forte Defensor Perpetuo, a fort built in 1703 to defend against pirate raids on the gold passing through Paraty's port. The highlight, though, was Cachoeira Toboga, a natural waterslide about 10km inland from Paraty. It didn't look very steep but you gather speed pretty quickly. Most people played it safe and rode sitting down, this did not include a really chubby Brazilian whose fat rolls allowed him to ride the slide on his stomach and an over-tanned, over-muscled teen who surfed the slide standing up. Terrifying but very cool.
More pictures here: