Everyone in the hotel had been on the boat trip, and with a day to spare we did it too. In town we climbed onto the boat and waited to leave. It seemed like good value, R$25 each for most of the day. It turned out the charges were hidden; lunch, scuba rental, desserts, drinks and fruit - the prices added up to over R$100. And as boat trips go, it was lacklustre.
Ten of us, on a boat that could hold 25, chugged out to an island for a spot of scuba and swim, then along to a large island with a rocky perch. Here we struggled to see monkeys and iguanas, our captain unwilling to take us closer, our eyes strained, we could make out golden brown shapes moving in the trees, but soon they were gone.
While we waited for the monkeys the glorious sunshine disappeared behind grey cloud. Beach time was substituted for more swimming time. We ate a cooked dinner on the boat; fish, salad and potatoes, none too shoddy and before we knew it we were heading back to Paraty again.
Despite all this we had a great time conversing with our fellow tourists, cariocas from Rio, down for the weekend, a well travelled woman from Buenos Aires, a scrawny brown woman from Miami and a small family. We spent most of the afternoon talking about cultural differences, healthcare, taxes, corruption, house prices and all that really serious stuff; “If it works in Brazil, you’ve paid for it twice”, they said, talking about privatised motorways.
The young couple from Rio, a lawyer and graphic designer, that had met in Barcelona, explained how Rio was attempting to clean up its act for the olympics and world cup. And of course we talked about football; I was embarrassed to find the Brazilians knew more about the current Premier league table than I did, and I knew nothing about Brazilian teams.
Back on dry land, we said our goodbyes and tried the ATMs once more. No luck. At the hotel we warmed up the jacuzzi and relaxed, we were going home soon and didn’t feel like doing anything. We shared the jacuzzi with another Brazilian couple, this time from Sao Paulo. Again, down for the weekend, we talked about life, and work and their disabled dog.
For our last night out we ate at the nearby Luna again, it’d been so good the first time we couldn’t pass it up, but had to be sparing with our cash. I didn’t think it was so great this time around, the waiter was arrogant about how great his food was, but Sam agreed, and she loved her fried fish server with tropical fruit. We lubricated the evening with some more Caipirinhas, oh how the sweet alcohol, sugar and lime mix perfectly, my favourite cocktail, but so intoxicating.