Feliz Natal in Paraty. A Slide into a weird hands-on experience - Days 405 - 406
Feliz Natal in Paraty; what a chillax Christmas we had including a slide and a very weird hands-on experience!
We opened our Christmas stockings or should I say hats, and I must say that some of the presents were very creative. A wine tasting, some tea bags and a promise of tea in bed, and various types of massages from John. No turkey for us, but we did have red cabbage with steak and of course, that well known Christmas special – ratatouille! Plenty of party games, including Mr and Mrs, Salad Bowl and Contract plus much time relaxing. I think we all needed it.
Day 406: When it rains here, the heavens certainly open and it was forecasting the big wet stuff this afternoon. So, up and out early down to Cachoeira Tobogã Waterfall. Oh my, what fun. Large, smooth boulders form a natural water slide and to reach it, you need to walk across a flat, but very slippery ridge. We walked through the lush forest to the bottom of the slide first to get me settled with the camera and leave our bags there. John went first, zoomed down with a big grin on his face and a large splash into the rock pool. He did look a bit shocked at the temperature of the water. George next, followed by Tim who slipped and knocked his head. He was thankfully ok. Girls next. I wasn’t intending to go, but it looked so much fun, that in the end, I went with Tim, whooping as we reached the steep descend. Georgia won the contest for speed, style and sound. She ended up rocketing down backwards with a loud screech on one of her turns. Great fun.
We dried ourselves off and found a lovely café with seating overlooking the tropical forest watching beautiful bright coloured Tanagers. Oh, this is the life, great food in beautiful nature with our loved ones. The family-owned business was fabulous, selling local produce and treated us so well. Our next stop was Engenho D’Ouro a small local distillery for Cachaça. I think this drink is going to feature quite a bit while we are in Brazil!
Our guide explained the process of making this spirit. This is similar to what we learnt on our Brandy tour in Stellenbosch; the evaporated alcohol is cooled and captured in thirds called the head, heart and tail and it is the heart that is kept to form the basis for the spirit. More tasting and we all agreed that the coffee blend was delicious, so a bottle of this plus a bottle of the hard stuff was purchased, the latter is useful for cocktails.
After preparing for our next day and a nice snack of calamari and prawns, we got ready for our Puppet show back down in the town. What a difference it is at night time. It comes alive with restaurants overflowing onto the street, live music, street stalls selling homemade jewellery, people playing basketball in one of the squares, lots of beautiful youngsters sauntering about.
We arrived at the small theatre and just past 8pm we were ushered to our seats. Some music played, and a short film was shown, giving a history of the puppet theatre company, which has been running here for over 30 years and has also performed all around the world. Two people, a young lady and man, walked silently onto the stage dressed in black. They slowly prepared the scene and then formally pulled their black hood over their faces so that they became near invisible to the audience.
What followed was rather bizarre. Seven short acts followed with them manipulating small puppets with their hands. One was of a lady in India enjoying a bath. Another of a guy committing suicide by shooting himself. My favourite act was of an elderly couple slowly connecting and flirting with one another. The last scene was the most whacky with a female in bed masturbating, becoming pregnant and giving birth to a very long scarf! Of course, we took this all very seriously, and I managed to refrain from having the fits of giggles. Phew!